Friday, October 17, 2008

A Story Worth Following

Sitting at the laptop all cozied up in a cashmere sweater, puppy at feet and just finished some fresh made tuna salad being washed down with some warm tea. The foliage here in Connecticut is lovely, sun out and the smell of holidays to come seeping in from the outside.

Taking a moment to appreciate the comfort. The VOR "boys", all 88 of them have not showered in a week, no cozy cashmere to wrap up in and pretty sure there is nothing fresh about their meals. Having settled back into the home office, processing the material from Alicante, no time to note local news when the inbox brims with Volvo reports and team emails direct from the Atlantic Ocean.

Photo: Gerd-Jan Poortman and Stu Molloy enjoying some freeze-dried fare, photo taken by Sander Pluijm, media crew of Team Delta Lloyd for Volvo Ocean Race

Frankly, what is more important than the Volvo right now...oh yes, there is a presidential election, crashing economy and the Red Sox pulled another miracle.

So maybe in America there are potentially more important things to follow than the story of 88 men from at least ten different countries, sailing on eight different boats, representing six unique teams who each represent one country but crew representing nations that have come together to achieve one very simple goal: be the first around the world.

Photo: Telefonica Blue after a 12 hour pit stop for repairs, taken by Dave Kneale for Volvo Ocean Race


What is the glory in sailing around the world?

What is the value in men from all over this world coming together?

Why do big named companies like Ericsson, Puma, Delta Lloyd, Telefonica/Movistar invest millions into a yacht race that will visit ten different countries over the course of nine months?

The Story.

It is the ultimate living tale of adventure and simply taking on the challenge speaks highly on the character of the sailors and the companies that back them. One can not invest into something which may have disastrous ending if the story of trying was not greater than the end result. This living tale is not for the faint of heart.

So we all sit at the comforts of heated offices or air conditioned homes with fresh food, a hot shower and clothes fresh from the laundry: sipping on "just ground" coffee and reading the latest presidential candidate poles and pondering if the Sox can pull this off again...take a break from the comfort.

A challenge: dive into a real story of real men taking on a real challenge that lacks all the comforts, but the story will inspire one to work more collaboratively with their neighbor, appreciate what luxuries they have in a time when having something new may await a better economic affair. Political views are simple and environmental appreciation at a high. Especially in a world where Mother Nature determines the day's success.

Follow the story of the Volvo Ocean's worth the break from the grim news of everyday struggles.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Future of Volvo Ocean Race Announced!

Fresh from the Press Conference:

Leif Johansson (President and CEO of Volvo Group) and Knut Frostad (CEO of Volvo Ocean Race) addressed current syndicates, skippers and members of the press with good news of Volvo's continued interest in the future growth of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Key Points:

The running of next race: Late summer - early Fall 2011.

The race will continue with the Open V70 and version three of the rule will be announced in July 2009.

Preliminary NOR will come out around August 2009

Final route/course in March of 2010

Final NOR April 2010

The timing of the announcement was to encourage forward movement in planning for race organization, current and potential new syndicates. The feedback from current syndicates and teams has been tremendously positive. This has lead to the organization and invitation of key people to witness the start this coming weekend, where the organizers have arranged a seminar on the Sunday following the start to further educate potential new participants.

As an avid fan of the event, extremely excited to already be thinking about the next event, even though this one has not left port!

More information on planning, budding new relationships and responses should trickle out through the day.

Full report from Volvo


Saturday, October 04, 2008

First In-port Race of Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09

It was a stellar day for the Volvo 2008-09's first in-port race, six to go. Telefonica Blue (Spanish Team) took home glass, winning both races of the day. The second race was fantastic with Puma taking an early lead, holding Telefonica Blue at bay, but the "home port" team prevailed. Was lovely racing by both teams!

The following is my best pics from the day. Scored a nice ride with the best Spanish captain...third time's a charm (last two outings were dreadful!)He had our boat well positioned, which was great for me: my little Canon G9 only has so much range. The pros on the boat where ear-to-ear with smiles.

Volvo Ocean Race Event Page

Sailing World Blog

Pro-Am races tomorrow and will stay ashore to work on a few pieces for next week. Sign up for Sailing World e-Newsletters to receive longer written reports from VOR 2008-09. This coming week there should be a feature from Jonathan McKee on the In-port race, my write from an interview with the creators of the VOR Virtual Game.

Of course, please stay tuned to the Volvo home site. The people behind this race are a fantastic bunch and really passionate about the event!

I start work with Team Delta Lloyd tomorrow and will begin posting some of tricks on getting a team ready nutritionally "on the fly"...totally on the in one week! It is really possible, not perfect, but possible to send them off a little bit better than if nothing at all. When we can, I'll add in physiotherapy and work with their coach to ensure Leg 1's meal program is as spot as as we can make it.

Nothing like a good challenge!

Stay tuned!