La Route des Princes is a 3,045 nautical miles race between Valencia and the Bay of Morlaix, via Lisbon, Dún Loaghaire and Plymouth. Open to all multi-hulls of 50 feet and over, this race is a tour of Europe that focuses on the regional and the local, taking a dozen crews in three multi-hull classes (Ultimates, MOD70 and Multi50s) on a race modelled on the Course de l’Europe, which was created in 1985 by Gérard Petipas. La Route des Princes runs from the 5th to the 30th of June 2013 and will take competitors through the Mediterranean Sea, the Portuguese trade winds, Atlantic depressions, the treacherous Irish and British coasts, and the stony shores of the French Finistère coast.
The second stage of the race, between southern Portugal and Ireland, is between 900 and 1,000 nautical miles, depending on class, with some classes making a detour via Fastnet Rock. The stage will finish in Dún Laoghaire on the weekend of the 20th to the 24th of June, depending on weather. Described as the “key stage of the race”, this will be the longest leg of the event and will involve the most off-shore sailing.