Lisbon has been chosen as the first of the European ports for the 2011-12 race. It will be the first time that the historic Portuguese port has hosted a stopover.
Lisbon, located in the west of Portugal, will be the finish of the transatlantic leg of the race during the summer of 2012.
Interest in hosting the race in Europe was received from 34 cities, 15 of which went through to the final phase of the bidding process. Europe was by far the most competitive continent in the selection procedure.
"It is great to have such an iconic city included in our list of stopovers and Lisbon, especially, has wonderful sailing conditions, which will make for a very exciting in-port race," said CEO Knut Frostad.
"Lisbon is a delightful city with much to offer the race. This will be a stopover to look forward to after the rigours of the transatlantic leg.
Antonio Costa, Mayor of the City of Lisbon, was delighted that the city had joined the Volvo fold. "Lisbon has a great navigational past and the Volvo Ocean Race helps increase this. It is the capital of the Atlantic and it’s natural for Lisbon to be the transatlantic finish."
"The Volvo Ocean Race has been an amazing event since 1973 and we are very proud to succeed in gaining this stopover," he said. "Victory was obtained through the great efforts of all parties, made possible by Tourism Portugal, Tourism Lisbon and Lagos Sports."
"No other city in Europe has such good conditions for this event," stated Bernardo Trindade, the Under Secretary of State of Tourism. "We project we will have thousands of visitors to Lisbon and we see it as a very important economic and touristic event."
João Lagos, Chairman of Lagos Sports thanked the race for believing in Lisbon. "We are a small country but dynamic," he said, "and we went for this event and got it!"
The Lisbon announcement follows the confirmation of Cape Town as the first port of call for the 2011-12 race which starts in Alicante, Spain.
The second European port will be announced on Wednesday 3 March. The entire route will be revealed by the end of the month.