Organisers of the Volvo Ocean Race confirm that Hong Kong will host the event for the first time in February 2018.

Race organisers say a unique collaboration with the Hong Kong Sailing Federation will bring the event to the iconic Victoria Harbour. It will be the largest world-class sailing event ever staged in the port.

The world’s toughest offshore race will transform the old airport in Kai Tak – where a Race Village will offer activities for both sailing fans and those new to the sport.

The city will also host an In-Port Race, giving spectators the opportunity to sample the electric live atmosphere and grab a closer look at the 65-foot racing machines which make up the fleet.

Speaking at the announcement on 13 April, Hong Kong Sailing Federation Council Member, Anthony Day said: “Offshore yacht racing doesn’t get any more exciting or prestigious than the Volvo Ocean Race and this stopover will put Hong Kong firmly on the map as an international sailing venue.

“We look forward to welcoming the fleet to our waters and to introducing the skippers and crews to a generation of Hongkongers who, I hope, will be inspired to get out there and involved in the sport,” he concluded.

Acting CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, Antonio Bolaños López added: “I’m thrilled that the Race is visiting one of the most iconic and beautiful ports in the world for the first time.”

“We’re delighted to welcome Hong Kong to the Volvo Ocean Race family and know that we will have a stopover here, which will be one of the highlights of the 2017-18 edition. I’d like to pay a special tribute to the Hong Kong Sailing Federation and the Hong Kong government for making our dreams of bringing the race here a reality,” he stated.

Hong Kong brings the confirmed list of Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 stopovers so far to nine, alongside Alicante, Auckland, Cape Town, Cardiff, Newport (US), Lisbon, Gothenburg and The Hague.