10 Aug 2017 Press release Water

Volvo Ocean Race joins UN marine plastic campaign

August 09, 2017 The Volvo Ocean Race has joined forces with UN Environment for its 2017-18 edition of the world’s longest and toughest professional sporting event. An exciting addition to the race fleet will see one of the Volvo Ocean 65 boats race under the campaign name of ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’, drawing attention to the growing menace of plastic waste in the world’s oceans.

About #CleanSeas

The ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign will be representing UN Environment’s Clean Seas global campaign, which calls on governments, industry and citizens to end the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic and eliminate microplastics in cosmetics, both major sources of marine pollution. Currently, it is estimated more than 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans each year, wreaking havoc on marine wildlife, fisheries and tourism, and costing at least $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems.

The crew

At the helm of ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ will be record-breaking British skipper Dee Caffari, the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in both directions. The international crew, currently under selection, will be a mixed, youth focused team and it will be the first time that a male-female mixed team has competed in the race’s 45-year history. Keep an eye out for news of the crew announcements!

Interviews, photos and video

UN Environment can facilitate interviews and access to the highest quality multimedia material at any time throughout the event. This includes pre-race interviews with the ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ crew members, live updates from the boat and crew interviews during the race. Each boat competing in the Volvo Ocean Race will have a dedicated OnBoard Reporter (OBR) who will generate daily video and photos for editorial use. UN Environment can also offer interviews with scientific experts on marine litter and its impact on our oceans.

Key dates and locations

The Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 race will take the teams 45,000 nautical miles around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 landmark host cities. Six of these cities will also host ocean summits to bring together political, business and science leaders to find solutions to marine pollution (marked below with *).


  • August 2 – August 16 – Leg 0, beginning in Portsmouth, UK
  • Mid August - mid September – ‘Turn the Tide on Plastics’ crew based in Cascais, Portugal for training
  • October 8 - fleet depart Lisbon on the Prologue (warm-up leg) to Alicante, Spain*
  • October 22                           Leg 1                     Alicante to Lisbon, Portugal
  • November 5                         Leg 2                      Lisbon to Cape Town, South Africa*
  • December 10                       Leg 3                      Cape Town to Melbourne, Australia
  • January 2, 2018                  Leg 4                      Melbourne to Hong Kong, China
  • February 1                            Leg 5                      Hong Kong to Guangzhou to Hong Kong*
  • February 7                            Leg 6                      Hong Kong to Auckland, New Zealand
  • March 18                              Leg 7                      Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil
  • April 22                                  Leg 8                      Itajaí to Newport, United States*
  • May 20                                  Leg 9                      Newport to Cardiff, Wales
  • June 10                                 Leg 10                   Cardiff to Gothenburg, Sweden*
  • June 21                                 Leg 11                   Gothenburg to The Hague, Netherlands*


For further details on the Volvo Ocean Race visit: www.volvooceanrace.com 

UN Environment’s #CleanSeas campaign is also partnering with 11th Hour Racing, a programme of The Schmidt Family Foundation and founding principal partner of the Volvo Ocean Race sustainability programme, to raise awareness about marine plastic litter and to help restore and protect our oceans for future generations.

For more information on UN Environment’s #CleanSeas campaign visit: cleanseas.org