The allure of the Volvo Ocean Race

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The latest edition of the Volvo Ocean Race involves 6 teams, 9 offshore legs, 10 official ports and at least 39,270 nautical miles of sailing (escorted detours to avoid pirates not included). But it remains, above all, about dual identity.

The race, once called the Whitbread, is part traveling trade show and part extreme sporting event, which can lead to abrupt transitions from pushing product on land to pushing a 70-foot, or 20-meter, yacht on the ocean as fast as it can reasonably — or not so reasonably — go.

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