Cabo Verde hosted the first stopover of The Ocean Race, which arrived on Sao Vicente island on January 23rd.
Mindelo, the first-ever host city in West Africa, was at the heart of The Ocean Race summit, which also featured a special appearance by United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres.
What is The Ocean Race?
The Ocean Race is a sailing race around the world, held every three or four years since 1973.
The 14th edition of the Ocean Race 2022-23 saw the foiling IMOCA fleet set out on a 60,000 km race around the world. Over the course of six months, they will visit nine iconic international cities.
The first leg was a 1,900 nautical mile sprint from Alicante to Cabo Verde that started on January 15th.
The IMOCA boats arrived in Mindelo on January 22nd, marking the first time the Race came to a halt in the African archipelago.
Leg 2 began on January 25 and saw the fleet racing across the equator, south to Cape Town, the Race’s 12th stop in the southern tip of Africa, making it the most visited stopover in this edition of the event. This will also be the first of three ‘haul-out’ stops, during which the boats will be lifted from the water for maintenance.
Following that is a record-breaking leg – the longest racing distance in the event’s 50-year history – a 12,750 nautical mile, one-month marathon to Itaja, Brazil.
Then there’s Newport, Aarush, Kiel-fly-by, the Hague, and the grand final in Genova.
A Watersport Destination
Cabo Verde has warm weather all year, perfect wind conditions in the winter, and good summer wave swells.
This fantastic combination made it an ideal spot for water sports. This lovely country has produced world champions in windsurfing and kitesurfing, and it hosts international competitions in both sports on a regular basis.
Mitu Monteiro, world champion in kitesurf wave and professional kitesurfing coach, and Josh Angulo, world champion in windsurf and owner of one of the best windsurfing cape verdean centres, have been invited as special guests to The Ocean Race Summit to speak about sports and sustainability.
The Ocean Summit
On Monday 23 of January Mindelo hosted at the Ocean Science Centre Mindelo (OSCM), a very important Summit focused on ocean sustainability.
More than 400 people attended the event.
Between the high level speakers:
- Antonio Guiterres, the Secretary General of United Nation
- Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde
- Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
- Abraão Vicente, Minister of the Sea Cabo Verde
- Gilberto Correia Carvalho Silva, Minister for the environment Cabo Verde
- First Lady Debora Carvalho and much more..
On the panel dedicated to Sports and Sustainability
- Mariana Lobato, Biotherm team
- Boris Hermann, Malizia team skipper
- Carlos Jorge Duarte, Minister for Tourism and Transportation Cabo Verde
- Josh Angulo, windsurf wave sailing world champion
- Mitu Monteiro, Cabo Verdean Kite surf wave world champion
The Ocean Emergency
A significant presence was that of the United Nations General Secretary, who appeared to be very close to the issue and genuinely concerned about ocean conservation and protection.
He considers the ocean crisis to be an urgent issue that must be addressed “must be addressed in order to safeguard this priceless blue gift for our children and grandchildren. We must become the champions that the ocean requires.”
António Guterres delivered a powerful message at The Ocean Race Summit Mindelo, delving deeply into each individual problem such as overfishing, plastic pollution, the destruction of marine habitats, and the impact of climate change.
“The ocean provides the air we breathe, the food we eat, the cultures and identities that define us, the jobs and prosperity that keep us going, weather and climate regulation, and it is the home for billions of animals, plants, and microorganisms. The ocean is vital to life and livelihoods, and it is in peril.”
Cabo Verde’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia e Silva, said that “We share a strong commitment to the cause of conservation and sustainable use of the seas and oceans as together we can be stronger.”
The Ocean Race and partners, including the Government of Cabo Verde and US-based Earth Law Center, are working to give the ocean a voice and gathering global support for the adoption of a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights by 2030.
“The sun and the wind, which a few decades ago were symbols of droughts, today are resources for the production of renewable energy and the reduction of our dependence on fossil fuels.”
One Blue Voice
Guterres stressed the importance of acting quickly to end the ocean crisis once and for all. It is required to create legal and policy instruments concerning the ocean, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The crises affecting the ocean know no bounds, ranging from climate change and pollution to industrial overfishing. Though the problem is universal, a global approach is required.
There is no legislation enough in place to protect the seas. So, where to begin?
A campaign called “one blue voice” created a petition to request that ocean rights be recognised at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September 2023.
The goal is to inspire fans and stakeholders of The Ocean Right to support a universal declaration of Ocean Rights.
Our help is required. Your help is required.
Come on board and help us give the ocean a voice.
On January 24th, the day before the start, a very nice prize giving ceremony saw Mitu congratulating to the leg 1 winner, Holcim Team, that won the speed record challenge.
As a prize, a symbolic watch signed by Ulysse Nardin, the Official Timing Partner of The Ocean Race.
Truly dedicated to ocean preservation, Ulysse Nardin has launched The Ocean Race Diver watch designed to be the first diver collection made with sustainable materials.
This unique timepiece is the official watch of The Ocean Race
Below the placement:
1. Team Holcim-PRB, winner leg one, finished – 5d 11h 01m 59s
2. 11th Hour Racing Team, finished – 5d 13h 50m 45s
3. Team Malizia, finished – 5d 16h 35m 21s
4. Biotherm, finished – 6d 8h 47m
5. GUYOT environnement – Team Europe, finished – 6d 12h 20m 37s
A Message from Mitu Monteiro
Two of the sailors competing in The Ocean Race, Mariana Lobato from Team Biotherm and Boris Herrmann, skipper of Team Malizia, were on the panel discussing sports and sustainability, along with World windsurfing champion Josh Angulo and Mitu Monteiro, Kitesurf world wave champion.
“All my life has been around the ocean” Mitu said, talking about his connection to the sea, “I spend more time at sea than on land. The ocean requires our assistance; let us think before acting. Everyone can do their part, and together we can make a big difference.”
The Ocean Race Cabo Verde left us a significant message.
To recap, the Ocean Race is not only a massive sporting and touristic event, but it is also an excellent tool for raising awareness about the importance of ocean action among governments, businesses, civil society, and the general public.