The Ocean Race: bringing sailing and science together to improve ocean health.

The Ocean Race is the ultimate ocean challenge– a round-the-world sailing race through some of the most remote waters on earth. The roots of the event’s Science Programme can be traced to 2001 when onboard sensors captured data from surface water. 2015 saw teams deploy drifter buoys for the first time. 

One of the Race’s key aims, besides athletic excellence, is to advance knowledge and collect data on ocean health. This is considered particularly valuable to scientists because teams gather information from areas of the ocean that research vessels seldom access, helping to fill critical knowledge gaps. The 2022-23 race’s focus areas include measuring meteorological data, essential ocean parameters, and microplastic pollution; as well as deploying surface drifter buoys and Argo floats; marine megafauna protection; and researching ocean biodiversity. Collected data is open-source and shared with the Race’s science partners, feeding into reports that inform and influence climate policy and targets.