Fascinating Volvo Ocean Race exhibition opens in Abu Dhabi

20 Nov 2014

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 20th November 2014 - Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad today officially opened an exhibition in Abu Dhabi that celebrates 40 years of the epic, round-the-world sailing race.


The Norwegian, 47, who has also sailed in the race four times, made the special trip to the UAE capital to open the expo, which is entitled 40 Years: 40 Faces and is being displayed for the first time outside of its home base in Alicante, Spain. It traces the changes in the race since its 1973 launch when it was known as the Whitbread Round-The-World Race.


The exhibition runs at the Manarat Al Saadiyat centre on Saadiyat Island until December 10. It then moves for a three-week stay to Abu Dhabi’s Corniche which will be a vantage point for the UAE capital’s celebrations as host of the race Leg 2 stopover in a purpose-built Destination Village on the Corniche Breakwater.  


“This is a great scene setter ahead of the race village opening,” said Frostad. “It will give people a great understanding of the race and the endurance needed by the sailors who take up the challenge.


 “Sailing fans here in Abu Dhabi, and visitors to the Destination Village next month, will be fascinated and thrilled in equal measure at the phenomenal images on show.


“The Volvo Ocean Race has always been about courage, commitment and the trust our sailors put in each other as they race around the world – the knowledge that without each other, they couldn't possibly prevail. The exhibition images are testament to that.”


The exhibition, which is free-to-enter and open daily from 9am until 8pm, is seen by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), which is behind the emirate’s Race campaign, as an exciting build-up to the stopover hosting programme, which runs from December 12 to January 3.


“This is a remarkable photographic record of a race which has now been running since 1973,” explained Mohamed Sultan Al Zaabi, Senior Stakeholder Professional, Events Bureau, TCA Abu Dhabi.


“Anyone visiting comes away with a sense of excitement for the race, which will also build anticipation for receiving the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in the middle of next month. When the seven competing teams sail into the UAE capital, the entire city will come alive with all things nautical to celebrate the race, our participation in it, our fabulous watersports offering and rich, maritime heritage.”


Abu Dhabi’s Volvo Ocean Race stopover hosting will centre around a Destination Village on the Corniche Breakwater and will run from December 12 – January 3. During the stopover, the free-to-enter village will be buzzing with water sports, entertainment, concerts and activities celebrating Abu Dhabi’s rich maritime heritage. The Abu Dhabi in-port race will be held on January 2 with the fleet leaving for Sanya in China on January 3.

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