Next Volvo Race to stop in China

New routing for the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) will bring the top around-the-world sailing competion to China. The VOR, established in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race, will feature new routing, including stopovers in the Middle East, India and Asia. Four coastal cities in China have been selected as stopover candidates, but no final decisions have been made. Suitable sites among the finalists will be selected according to the wind conditions, but Qingdao and Shanghai seem to be the favorites. Other factors that went into the site selection process were the economic development level of the city, port and commercial facilities, and the cultural influence of the city.

According to Glenn Bourke, Chief Executive to Volvo Event Management as well as the VOR, “The race is an event integrating technology, intelligence and perseverance, reflecting the real sports spirit – passion, innovation, adventure and world class teamwork. We are grateful for China’s support in providing us an opportunity to bring the race to this region.” The changes and new routing have transformed the event from a quadrennial run to an event that will be held every three years. The race will follow the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and, according to Wei Di, Director of China Water Sports Administration Center, “€¦ the Volvo Ocean Race will definitely accelerate the development of water sports in China.”

The 2008-2009 race will start in Port of Alicante, Spain, and travel to Africa, the Middle East, South America, North America and Europe before finishing in the Baltic. The 10-person crews and their Volvo Open 70s are expected to arrive in China in the spring of 2009.

By Ocean Navigator