The boats taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race around the world will be calling on Miami in April and, following a brief stopover for re-supply and media feeding frenzy, will continue to Baltimore for more of the same. Those not sailing in the race between Miami and Baltimore have a chance to race a different sort of vessel between these cities, courtesy of the Race's sponsor, Volvo. Selected journalists covering the Volvo Race will take part in a rally between Miami, Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore, using brand-new Volvo automobiles instead of sailboats.
Invitations to join the rally — the event is not called a race, apparently for safety and legal reasons — were sent to members of the sailing industry press, inviting them to take part in the Volvo Land Sail on April 12.
The Volvo Ocean 60s are stripped-down race machines with what can optimistically described as Spartan living accommodations. The boats are described in a Volvo press release, thus: "You want to eat, and there is no larder or kitchen. You want a shower, and there is no bathroom. You want to sleep, and you are offered something like a coffin on a horse-drawn cart running over cobbles. Even life's simple things, taken for granted by those living ashore, take on a whole new dimension aboard a racing yacht like a Volvo Ocean 60." All Volvo automobiles that come out the shop these days, on the other hand, are climate-controlled, leather-upholstered cells of culture and refinement. Yet the sailors don't have to contend with rush-hour traffic.