Volvo Ocean Race To Make $56M Investment To Boost Commercial Appeal
The Volvo Ocean Race will make a €50M ($55.5M) investment in new boats with "foiling" and "flying" technology for future editions "as part of a plan organizers hope will strengthen both its sporting reputation and its commercial appeal for sponsors," according to REUTERS. Organizers used an event at the Volvo Museum in Gothenburg, Sweden, to unveil the design for a foil-assisted 60-foot monohull boat that will be used for "the offshore legs of the round-the-world race for teams." The monohull will be designed by France's Guillaume Verdier and will be a "faster version of the boats that are sailed solo around the world in the Vendee Globe." Race CEO Mark Turner also said that ultra-quick "flying" catamarans of up to 50 feet will be used for inshore harbor racing at each host city. "Flying" catamarans, familiar from the America's Cup, sail "completely out of the water." Turner said that the America’s Cup would "continue to be sailing’s technological pinnacle," but argued that the Volvo Ocean Race would present a "unique challenge in mixing grueling round-the-world sailing and short, fast racing in harbors" (REUTERS, 5/18).
HK YACHT CONFIRMED: In Hong Kong, James Porteous reported Hong Kong will have a yacht in the '17-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Sun Hung Kai & Co. Exec Chair Lee Seng Huang will run the crew from his "supermaxi Scallywag." Hong Kong will be a host city in the event, held every three years, for the first time early next year. Lee said that he hopes the campaign can "promote competitive sailing in Asia and build a long-lasting youth sailing legacy in the region" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 5/18).