THE World Ocean Race will set sail from Alicante on January 15 for the fifth consecutive time.
11 teams will take part in the tough and dangerous endurance event first held in 1973.
The eight-stage race is a nautical challenge that has been previously staged on 13 occasions.
Two classes of boat will take part, visiting seven ports in six months.
The stops will be at Cape Verde (West Africa), Cape Town (South Africa), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (United States), Aarhys (Denmark), The Hague (Netherlands) and the finishing line at Genoa (Italy).
The race start is a big money spinner for Alicante which claimed €62 million was added directly into the local economy from the last contest back in 2018.
The 2020 race was postponed due to the Covid pandemic and uncertainty meant that a rearrangement for 2021 was not possible.
Rather than the traditional autumn start, competitors will have winter conditions to endure early on in their 31,000 nautical mile journey.
A new innovation is the creation of the ‘Ocean Live Park’ on a 55,000 m2 area of Alicante port to provide music and entertainment in the lead up to the race start on January 15.
Planned events include a drone light show at 8.00 pm this Thursday with the drones specially choreographed for the occasion.
There’ll be special themed shows put together by the La Fragua de Vulcano company including pirate and sailor displays, dancing, and a magical circus.
There’ll be a grand closing ceremony at the park on January 15 and a fly-past by the Eagle Patrol of the Spanish Air Force.