09 Nov 2014

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 9th November 2014 - A new photographic exhibition celebrating the first 40 years of the epic, round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race is heading to Abu Dhabi from the Volvo Ocean Race Museum in Alicante, Spain – the first time the expo has moved out of its home base.


The exhibition – 40 Years:40 Faces – will go on show at the Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition centre on Saadiyat Island from November 20 to December 10 ahead of the UAE capital’s much anticipated hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet this December/January.


Following its Manarat Al Saadiyat showing, the exhibition will move to the East Plaza  on Abu Dhabi Corniche where it run from December 11 until January 3 to coincide with the city’s hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race.


“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, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) which is behind the emirate’s Volvo Ocean Race hosting.


“It will be part of an exciting build-up to our hosting of the VOR fleet when the entire UAE capital will come alive with all things nautical to celebrate the race, our participation in it, our fabulous watersports offering and rich, maritime heritage.”


The exhibition, which will be free-to-enter at Manarat Al Saadiyat where it will be open daily from 9am to 8pm, traces the changes in the race since its launch in 1973 when it was known as the Whitbread Round-The-World Race.


“The denim jeans and shirt have been replaced by high-tech survival gear, the boats are now made of sleek carbon fibre,” said Al Zaabi. “But the men and women who take part in this race still face the same dangers as ever, every time they leave the shore.”


Each of the 40 photographs to go on show highlight a single individual and use the “snapshot in time” to tell the race story.


 “Some of the sailors presented are true legends – iconic figures who left their mark on the racetrack – while others have been all but forgotten,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad. “Elsewhere the images focus on fans, family members and other figures connected with a race that has touched the lives of so many.


“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 40th photo in the exhibition came after Volvo Ocean Race launched a search for a hidden gem on Facebook and its own website –


“We asked for fans to send in any photos they had concentrating on faces connected with the race, on people rather than boats,” said Frostad. “We received some outstanding images but we were truly blown away to receive a picture taken by a former competitor in the race, Anders Odelberg. Anders competed on the Swedish entry in 1981-82 and his ‘Iceman’ photo fits perfectly with our theme – that while superficially so much has changed over the 40 years, the essence of the race remains exactly the same.”


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 3rd. During the stopover the free-to-enter village will be alive with watersports, entertainment and concerts and activities celebrating Abu Dhabi’s rich maritime heritage. The Abu Dhabi inport race will be held on January 2nd with the fleet leaving for Sanya in China on January 3.

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