Thursday, July 8, 2010

Round the world racing returns to Punta del Este, Uruguay

In the mid-1980s, Punta del Este, Uruguay, was the South American stopover port for the fully-crewed Whitbread Round the World Race and in the following decade, solo sailors in the BOC Challenge pulled into the port at the end of their brutal Southern Ocean leg from Australia. The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) can now confirm that Punta del Este is the South American stopover port at the end of the 6,000+ mile Leg 3 from Wellington, New Zealand. The stopover will be hosted by the Uruguay Ministry of Tourism with the fleet to be based at the prestigious Yacht Club Punta del Este (YCPE).

For Dr. Hector Lescano, Uruguayan Minister of Tourism, the GOR stopover is an exciting prospect. “It is a great honour that this international event has chosen Punta del Este as the South American stopover,” confirms Lescano. “Our national and local authorities are working together to support and coordinate the event and ensure that all requirements for the Race Organisation and racing teams are in place,” he continues.

Located at the southern tip of Uruguay on the northern shore of the Río de la Plata, the South Atlantic port of Punta del Este is an overwhelmingly attractive prospect for round the world race teams. The town is a very popular resort for international holiday makers with the deserved reputation of being the ‘St. Tropez of Uruguay’. With a network of global flight connections for the GOR crews, their teams, friends and families, miles of pristine beaches and a cosmopolitan and relaxed atmosphere throughout the city, there could be no better place for the teams to relax and recuperate after the exacting demands of the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn.

The nature of the GOR Leg 3 demands that the South American stopover provides the vital services required for carrying out checks, maintenance and repairs to the racing yachts following 6,000 miles of hard sailing through high latitudes. The choice of the Yacht Club Punta del Este as the GOR base is ideal with the vastly experienced team at the YCPE capable of supplying all facilities from an essential travel lift to fibreglass work and a comprehensive range of skilled specialists.

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