June 6, 2002
Volvo to sponsor second round-the-world Ocean Race in 2005
Gothenburg, Sweden – Volvo has announced that the next Volvo Ocean Race will start in Europe in the autumn of 2005.
Mr Jorma Halonen, President of Volvo Trucks and representing the Volvo Group, commented, “We within the Volvo Group found it very easy to make the decision to support the continuation of this race. The media returns have been overwhelming, and the response within the Volvo Group has been very positive. We are looking forward to another successful event starting in 2005, and I can assure you that we, within Volvo, feel a strong commitment to develop the race to even higher levels of success.”
The current edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, currently in the middle of the Gothenburg stopover, has been the most successful round the world race to date. On the water, the event has featured closer racing than ever before, new world speed records, and a successful mix of shorter course and long ocean racing legs.
Through the first six (of nine) stopovers, the race had reached a cumulative television audience of over 650-million viewers, across major markets in Europe, the United States, South America, Australasia and Africa. Radio distribution through the BBC World Service, and Voice of America has brought the Volvo Ocean Race to millions of listeners while the event has resulted in nearly 13,000 press cuttings in monitored territories, through to the end of leg six. Finally, the event website, www.volvooceanrace.org has reached nearly three-million unique visitors, making it the most widely viewed sailing Internet site.
With the 2001 – 2002 Volvo Ocean Race scheduled to finish in Kiel, Germany on the 9th June, thoughts are naturally turning to the next event, and Volvo has been evaluating the future direction the race should take, and what changes should be made to achieve this. It is expected that the route will include stopovers in South Africa, Australasia, South America, the USA, and Europe. Details of the final course will be announced in the spring of 2003.
One of the major objectives of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 is to reduce the entry-level cost of a competitive campaign. Reducing the length of the event and the number of stopovers will significantly contribute to this. Another area where costs can be decreased is in the design, construction and sail plan of the race-boat and Volvo is considering a number of options.