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31 August 2005, 03:32 pm
BOURKE Announces Programme Of Volvo Extreme 40 Series
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
IJmuiden, Netherlands

On Monday 29 August 2005, Dutch television presenter and former hockey international Elsmieke HAVENGA christened the Holmatro II at the Hiswa in-water Boat Show in IJmuiden, the Netherlands. In the presence of a large audience, the champaign bottle exploded against the beam of the first Volvo Extreme 40 catamaran. Glenn BOURKE, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, came over for this special moment and announced the programme of the Grand Prix series.

'I am very proud of these two Dutch Olympic sailors, who realized their idea', said Jaap MEIJER, Chairman of Holmatro, while watching the 40 feet catamaran, 'This project is a great opportunity for Holmatro to show its marine products worldwide to the public.'

According to Herbert DERCKSEN (NED), Olympic Tornado sailor, it was the desire to change the world of sailing that inspired him and Mitch BOOTH (NED), 'Everything happens far away on the ocean. We wanted to compete in-harbour, visible for the audience. But there is less wind, so we needed a spectacular boat with a lot of sail. In addition, it had to fit into a container, because we wanted to go overseas. That was our dream and here she is.'

'Mitch and I have a long history in Olympic sailing,' said BOURKE, who was a successful Laser sailor. 'When Mitch came with his plan, I thought, 'This might be exactly what we want.' We want to bring the public to the Volvo Ocean Race and the VX40-class has a pulling power. The grand prix series will be sailed in Vigo [Spain], prior to the start. And during the stopovers of Rio de Janeiro [Brazil], Baltimore [USA], Portsmouth [Great Britain] and Rotterdam [the Netherlands]. We are looking forward to having them with us around the world.'

After the christening, the Holmatro II sailed out with BOOTH on the helm. Guests and press were invited to experience the feeling of speed and fun themselves. They enjoyed their short trip under sail. People watching the catamaran from ashore were astonished by its speed.

'In 2002, we bought a Grand Soleil 44 race in order to test our products,' explained Rinus REEFMAN, Commercial Director Holmatro. 'In several yachting magazines we invited young, talented sailors to subscribe for the selection. We formed a group and skipper Hans HORREVOETS and Gidean MESSINK made a team of it. The last two seasons they competed very successfully in the international IMS1- circuit.'

Event Media. Image, Elsmieke HAVENGA christens the Holmatro II:© Richrad Langdon
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