For Immediate Release
Volvo Ocean Race embarks on 32,000+ miles
Southampton, U.K. - September 23, 2001 - As Great Britain's Prince Andrew fired the opening gun, it was Gunnar Krantz's Team SEB who crossed the starting line first, with its A5 reaching kite up in a 8 - 10 knot Northerly breeze. Following right behind was Amer Sports One with Grant Dalton in command and Dee Smith calling the shots. Third was News Corp, followed by Tyco, djuice, illbruck and ASSA ABLOY.
On Lisa Mc Donald's boat the kite split right at the start line which immediately left them behind. Replacement was at hand and set less than five minutes later putting the all female crew in the position to chase the fleet.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a grand prix at sea - with custom-built 60 foot boats, capable of reaching speeds near 30 miles per hour. Over 10 months and 32,000 nautical miles, the world's top sailors race across four oceans--over nine legs-stopping in 10 ports on five continents, before concluding June 2002, in Kiel, Germany. There are 8 boats in this race- and only one winner.
The Volvo Ocean Race is often described as the 'sailor's Mount Everest' because it is the toughest and longest sailing race, taking in four oceans and five continents.
The journey includes: Southampton - Cape Town - Sydney - Auckland (Via Hobart) - Rio de Janeiro - Miami - Baltimore/Annapolis - La Rochelle - Gothenburg - Kiel.
It is the best race of its type in the world and it's also rated as one of the top seven TV sporting events, worldwide.
The scoring will be done by a points system, where every leg counts the same. Winning the final sprint from Gothenburg to Kiel will be as valuable as victory in the seven thousand miles through the Southern Ocean, from Auckland to Rio de Janeiro. The winner will be the team with the least accumulated points.
Successor to the former Whitbread Round the World Race, this is the first time that Volvo is its organizer. The race, which is held every four years, has changed over time both in its professionalism and its competitiveness. In 1997, Volvo sponsored the trophy but did not own the race.
The Volvo Car Corporation has its headquarters in Goteborg, Sweden. 27,400 people worldwide are employed by Volvo Cars and in the year 2000, the company's sales increased to 422,100 cars.
For more information on the race, and to follow its progress: www.VolvoOceanRace.org
For pictures, please go to http://media.vemuk.com