Press Releases

Two Dutch boats in next Volvo Ocean Race



Amsterdam, Holland, March 11, 2004 –  ABN AMRO, based in the Netherlands, today announced that they will run two boats in next Volvo Ocean Race.
The bank invests approximately EUR 20 million in this campaign and their aim is clear – to win!
"Having a recognized blue chip company financing two boats is great news," says Glenn Bourke, CEO of Volvo Ocean Race.


Next Volvo Ocean Race will start in Galicia, Spain in November 2005 and finish in the summer of 2006. This race is the world's premier global race and one of the most extreme sporting events in the world.

  • The first leg in the competition runs from Vigo, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. But actually, there are three legs to complete before the start:
  • First is to fund the entry – which now has been done by ABN AMRO and the Spanish Telefonica syndicate.
  • Second leg is to build the boat.
  • And third is to make it fast through crew training and sailing.


At the launch of the ABN AMRO campaign today, the company claimed to be in the race to win. Their strategy is to select the best team possible. Working closely with the Dutchman Roy Heiner, who previously been involved in two races on boats BrunelSunergy (1997-98) and Assa Abloy (2001-02). ABN AMRO willl relying on Heiner's knowledge and expertise of the sailing world and a project plan has been written and the nautical preparations have started.


Designer and builder
To complete the second phase a designer and builder for the boats have already been chosen. The design will be in the hands of Juan Kouyoumdjian from Argentina. Killian Bushe from Ireland will be responsible for building the boats. Bushe also built the winning boat (Illbruck) in the last race. At this moment, ABN AMRO is selecting a skipper.


The ABN AMRO strategy to success it to build and race two boats. Experience gained from the first boat will be used in designing and building a second boat, giving it an optimal start. Ultimately both boats will take part in the race.


Since the Volvo Ocean Race (formerly The Whitbread) started in 1973 in total 60 dutch sailors have been in the race. And the famous Dutch skipper Conny van Rietchoten has won the race twice on the boat Flyer.


"The Dutch have got a lot to defend in this race and I am sure the ABN AMRO boats will be very competitive. It is a highly respected company that will add quality to the race," says Glenn Bourke. He continues:
"The people they have chosen to work with are very experienced and they understand what it takes to run a Volvo Ocean Race campaign successfully. However, I am convinced that Telefonica of Spain and other syndicates will do their utmost to be on top as well. So we can, for sure, look forward to a very exciting, challenging and fast race."


An ideal candidate
Following last years rebranding campaign of its major subsidiaries – Banco Real, LaSalle Bank, Standard Federal Bank, Delbrück Bethmann Maffei, Alfred Berg, Hoare Govett, Banque de Neuflize en Banque OBC - ABN AMRO wants to further reinforce their brand worldwide. “The Volvo Ocean Race, which visits almost all of the continents, emerged as an ideal candidate, especially considering the range of commercial opportunities offered by participating,” said Tom de Swaan, Member of the Managing Board of ABN AMRO and responsible for this project.


Netherlands-based ABN AMRO is a leading international bank with total assets of EUR 560.4 bn (as of 31 December 2003). It has over 3,000 branches in more than 60 countries and territories, and has a staff of over 110,000 full-time equivalents worldwide. ABN AMRO is listed on the Euronext, London and New York stock exchanges.

  • The Volvo Ocean Race
  • The Volvo Ocean Race will start with an in port race in Sanxenxo, Galicia, on November 5, 2005.
  • The start of leg one, the first offshore leg, will be from Vigo, Galicia, on November 12, 2005.
  • The Volvo Ocean race is a round the world yacht race featuring nine offshore racing legs.  Included in the 2005-2006 event will be an inshore race at each of the main stopover ports including the start port in Galicia.
  • Four teams from the last race measured the media value of their exposure. The results showed an average of US$50 million, which equates to a 200-300% return on their sponsorship investment.
  • Volvo Ocean Race achieved a cumulative audience of over 800 million viewers ranking it among the top international sporting events.
  • Research on awareness of the competing teams was also conducted which again showed an increase by up to 30% for some sponsors.Information about the Volvo Ocean Race, originally known as Withbread around the World race, is available on


For further media information on the Volvo Ocean Race, please contact:
Lizzie Green, press officer
Tel: +44 1489 554 832 
Mob: +44 7801 185 320
Email: mailto:


Bo Handel, PR director
Tel: +44 1489 554 832
Mob: +46 708 204 064
Email: mailto:
For further media information on ABN AMRO, please contact:
Geert Pielage ABN AMRO Corporate Communications
Tel: +31 20 628 8900 Mob: + 31 6 53 99 42 13 Email:


Current stills archive (royalty-free images for media):
Patrick Anderson, Tel +44 777 55 33 956, Email:
Online archive or


Film and video archive:
Axiom International, Pat Marshall, Tel +44 1252 795 567, Email:

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