100 DAYS UNTIL VOLVO OCEAN RACE REACHES ABU DHABI
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – 3 September 2014: With 100 days until the daring, round-the-world 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race fleet arrives in Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, plans are being finalised for the expansive Destination Village on the destination’s Corniche Breakwater, which will come alive over the December/New Year festive season with concerts, entertainment, activities, education and sailing for the entire family. Dhow races and an Emirati Festival are the latest activities to join the three-week-long maritime celebration.
The 40,000 square metres Destination Village will be hosted by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club (ADSYC) - the Official Host Yacht Club and key partner in the roll-out of the UAE capital’s Volvo Ocean Race stopover and junior sailing initiatives.
“We are fully behind the Volvo Ocean Race hosting programme and are joining forces with TCA to make it as successful as possible,” said Majed Ateeq Al Mehairi, CEO of ADSYC. “By hosting the Destination Village again we are demonstrating our commitment and we are working on a programme of sailing activity for the hosting period which will engage all with the sport – experienced sailors and newcomers”.
BBC Worldwide’s highly acclaimed Blue Planet in Concert conducted by famous composer, George Fenton, has been confirmed as opening the event on 12th and 13th December. The boats are then expected to arrive in Abu Dhabi sometime over the 14th and 15th December having raced hard from Cape Town, South Africa across the Indian Ocean and up into the Arabian Gulf. By the time they make shore in Abu Dhabi, they will have been at sea for almost a month enduring some of the world’s toughest racing conditions.
A series of Volvo Ocean Race-related activities include public viewing platforms built into the village boatyard where visitors will be able to meet the crews – including Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the emirate’s very own Volvo Ocean Race contesting squad which features Arab sailing role model Adil Khalid – the only Arab sailor in the race.
In a ‘Life At The Extreme’ dome theatre, visitors will find out just how punishing and harsh daily survival is for the race crews, with sailors losing as much as 10 kgs each leg. Visitors can also sample the adrenalin rush of the Volvo Ocean 65 yacht in a simulator or take to the water in 40-knot speedboat tours.
The activity continues for three weeks culminating in a pro-am race on 1st January, followed by the hotly contested in-port race on 2nd January before the racing yachts leave for the next leg of the race to Sanya in China.
Local heritage and culture will be brought to the fore with a 60ft dhow race on 27th December and an Emirati Festival two days later on 29th December. Local sailors will also get the chance to show off their skills with a series of events both on and off the water. Huge screens will be dotted around the village to ensure all spectators and visitors can follow the sailing activity via live content feeds.
“We have a great opportunity to open up our maritime heritage to the world,” added Al Mehairi. “This heritage is very rich indeed – we have been a sailing nation for generations with the traditional dhow at the heart of this. We will have dhows out on the water during the hosting for people to experience their prowess and marvel at a vessel, which was crafted with the precision of the eye and the hand minus plans. It’s a tradition worth celebrating.”
This year’s VOR Abu Dhabi Stopover is being sponsored by Etihad, Rotana Hotels, Xerox. A full schedule can be found online at www.volvooceanraceabudhabi.com or on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/AbuDhabiOceanRacing and @ADORlog.