• Volvo Swithches To A 2 Year Cycle, Caffari To Lead 6th Volvo Team





    The Volvo Ocean Race will switch from a 3-year to a 2-year cycle after the upcoming 2017-18 edition, a change that will provide more continuity and more commercial value for professional sailing teams, sponsors and Host Cities.

    Confirmation of the change will mean at least some race activity in every calendar year, from now on – meaning more action for fans of sailing’s iconic race around the world, more continuous employment for the professional sailors involved, and even greater return on investment for the stakeholders backing the teams.

    The 2017-18 edition starts 22 October from Alicante and will finish at the end of June next year in The Hague, Netherlands. The three races after that will run 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2023-24 and the tender process for Host Cities is now open for all 3 editions. This change, coupled with the new mix of stopover formats, and additional inventory, means the best ever value proposition, and flexible options, for the bidding cities around the world.

    The race has again engaged long-term partner The Sports Consultancy to work on Host City partnerships and develop these new opportunities, with discussions now starting with existing and potential future Host Cities.

    Over the last 20 years, the Volvo Ocean Race has expanded massively from the early routes that made as few as three stops around the world. The race now visits many more markets that are important to both stakeholders and fans and in 2017-18 the route takes in a total of 12 Host Cities.

    By reducing the cycle, it won’t be necessary to go to all commercially important markets in every edition, meaning organisers will be able to choose routes that provide the right balance between the sporting integrity of the race and commercial value.

    “The shorter cycle means we could shorten each edition by a few months from the current 8-9 month format, but nonetheless go to more markets in total over each period of 4 years and 2 races,” Race CEO Mark Turner said.

    “At the same time we will strengthen the core DNA and heritage of the race – always being around the world, and always having the Southern Oceans around Antarctica at its heart.”

    The race is making a firm commitment to visiting North America, South America, Australasia, China, and at least five major European markets at the very minimum once every other edition (and in some cases every edition), making it easier for two-cycle sponsor commitments to be made to teams before fully detailed final routes are fixed.

    Turner explained: “One expected result of these changes will be teams and their sponsors committing for 2 races at a time, over 3 to 4 years – something that has rarely happened in the past with a previous timespan of 2 races in 6 years being too long a commitment for most companies. That means more continuity for everyone, more sponsor activation and general ‘noise’ between races since the teams will not close down, and more effective long-term sailing team set-ups in both sporting and commercial terms.

    “Losing the long gap of over 2 years between the races helps solve many problems – including the sales process for teams, who today, since the switch to provide One Design boats, end up trying to sell sponsorship when there is no race on. Going forward that activity will happen during one edition, for the future ones – the best time to sell being during the action.

    “There will still be plenty of breathing space for this iconic event, though – between one finish and the start of the following race, there is still going to be 16 or so months, so we are not over-exposing it either.”

    The Volvo Ocean Race is relatively unique in sports business, being owned by its joint Title Partners, Volvo Group and Volvo Car Group. This continues to provide important long-term stability to the event, something extremely valuable to other stakeholders involved in the race on team, event and host venue side.

    The race has already announced that the 14th edition in 2019-20 will be contested in brand new foil-assisted monohull boats. The addition of ‘flying’ multihulls for use inshore means the race will provide the toughest all-round test in sailing.

    The switch in cycle could also help complete the alignment of sailing’s big race calendar. For the first time in history, the Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup, Olympics and Vendée Globe’s 2 and 4-year cycles should be in sync with no direct overlap of the actual events.

    The Volvo Ocean Race was originally run every four years from its first edition in 1973-74, when it was known as the Whitbread. Since 2005-06, it has been on a three-year cycle.

    The race is committed to two more starts – after the 2017-18 edition – from its established home in Alicante, Spain.

    In the future, newly imagined race routes are possible, including starts and/or finishes outside Europe and a non-stop leg around Antarctica.

    “The race will always go around the world and the Southern Ocean will always, always be at the core of the challenge we set for the world’s best professional sailors, with a new non-stop full lap of Antarctica likely to be included as a leg in most editions too,” said Turner.

    “We believe for the first time we are managing to increase the sporting equity and value, AND the commercial value at the same time. It’s no longer a compromise between the two.”







    Britain’s Dee Caffari will lead 'Turn the Tide on Plastic' – a mixed, youth focused team with a strong sustainability message in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Her campaign, already backed by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation, is dedicated to the issue of ocean health.

    The sixth confirmed team out of a possible eight for the upcoming edition will amplify United Nations Environment’s 'Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic' campaign throughout the eight months of the race, which covers 45,000 nautical miles of racing around the world, taking in 12 Host Cities on six continents.

    Caffari’s ambition is to build a multi-national, 50-50 male/female squad, with the majority under 30 years of age. As part of the sustainability focus, the messages around diversity in age and gender will be strong themes of a campaign that in sporting terms may not start as a favourite, but could easily surprise on the water.

    “I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to sail for a cause I am so passionate about,” said Caffari, whose UK-based company will also run the project. “The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate test of a team in sport, and with the ambition to race with a youth-orientated international mixed crew, we are looking to make an impact on and off the water.”

    Caffari’s team is already part-funded by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation (OFF), who join an increasing number of partners backing Volvo Ocean Race’s campaign on ocean health and sustainability.

    The Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up by Portuguese businessman and philanthropist Paulo Mirpuri with the aim of making the world a better place for future generations.

    In addition to raising awareness around the growing issue of ocean pollution, the partnership is part of the Mirpuri Foundation’s long-term ambition to build a new chapter in Portugal’s rich maritime history by creating a strong offshore legacy for future generations of Portuguese sailors. Caffari will include two Portuguese sailors in the team with a view to building a full Portuguese team in future editions of the iconic race.

    “We feel immense pride to be backing this incredible ocean health campaign which we are sure will provide a great contribution to the health of our wonderful blue planet,” said Mirpuri.

    “We must act immediately if the next generation is to inherit seas and oceans which resemble those that we knew as children.”

    He continued: “In Portugal, we have long held a rich maritime heritage, and this youth-orientated campaign is a major step towards shaping the world-class future of Portuguese offshore racing. The Mirpuri Foundation looks forward to working closely with the Volvo Ocean Race to achieve that objective over the coming years.”

    Alongside the Mirpuri Foundation, the aim of the Ocean Family Foundation is to promote awareness of the effects of pollution, the importance of bio diversity and the necessity for conservation of the world’s oceans.

    “The Ocean Family Foundation is delighted to be supporting this exceptional campaign to support ocean conservation and clean-up,” said Peter Dubens, on behalf of the Ocean Family Foundation.

    “Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing our globe, with plastic debris forecast to double over this decade, causing huge damage to our oceans as well as to humans.

    “With her public profile as a British world record-holding athlete, Dee Caffari is the perfect leader to raise awareness of the need for urgent action.”

    Caffari is an experienced round-the-world sailor who will return for a second consecutive edition, having competed on Team SCA in 2014-15. She is also notable for setting a landmark record in 2006, becoming the first woman to sail single-handed and non-stop the ‘wrong way’ around the world.

    Then in 2009, she completed the Vendée Globe race and set a new record to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in both directions.

    “It’s an honour to represent this landmark campaign, and to lead the team on such a prestigious platform is exciting,” said Caffari. “Seeing the amount of plastic in the ocean is heartbreaking. We’re abusing our planet – and this campaign is about pushing people to proactively do something about it.

    “We will be sailing with a youth-orientated team because the reality is, it’s going to be the next generations who inherit the mess that we’re making now. This is a major issue and we need to encourage this generation, and future generations, to step up.”

    The Turn the Tide on Plastic boat will amplify the Volvo Ocean Race’s larger sustainability focus for 2017-18, and joins team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont, Netherlands), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier, France), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández, Spain), Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright, USA) and Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt, Australia) in the fleet for the 2017-18 edition.

    The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante 22 October and will stop at Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg before a big finish in The Hague at the end of June 2018.

    -- NOTES --

    About The Mirpuri Foundation

    The Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up by Portuguese businessman Paulo Mirpuri with the aim of making the world a better place for future generations.

    Mirpuri himself is no stranger to life offshore, or the Volvo Ocean Race. To raise awareness of the Foundation’s ‘Save The Ocean’ marine conservation campaign, he recently skippered the former Green Dragon Volvo Open 70 yacht – renamed Mirpuri Foundation – on a 2,300-mile passage from Cape Verde to Bermuda.

    The six-day voyage was completed by an experienced 10-strong crew, sourced from seven European countries. Aside from marine conservation, the Mirpuri Foundation focuses its resources across many areas including aeronautical and medical education and research, wildlife conservation, social responsibility and performing arts.

    Mirpuri is a highly successful investor, philanthropist and a passionate sailor who is also a qualified medical doctor and Airbus-qualified airline pilot.

    For further information about the Mirpuri Foundation please email pr@mirpurifoundation.org

    About Ocean Family Foundation

    Ocean Family Foundation’s aim is to promote awareness of the effects of pollution, the importance of bio diversity and the necessity for conservation of the world’s oceans. Ocean Family Foundation is a group of likeminded families that have come together to support ocean conservation and clean up. For further information about Ocean Family Foundation please email hello@oceanfamilyfoundation.org or telephone +44 (0) 207 766 6900
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race started by PD Staff View original post