Andreas HANAKAMP (AUT), Team Russia's skipper, has been an active supporter of WDCS for many years. He explains, "The Volvo Ocean Race is the premier round the world yacht race across the oceans of the planet. However, there is another race and that's the race against time. Action is needed now to protect whales and dolphins, the ambassadors of the world's oceans, and their habitats."
Whales and dolphins are the key visible indicators of the status of the marine environment. In 2007 the first dolphin species was officially declared extinct: the Yangtze River dolphin, also called the Baiji. A number of other whales and dolphin species will face the same fate in the coming years without global cooperation to ensure their survival.
"Crossing the world's oceans, the Volvo Ocean Race provides an amazing opportunity to raise awareness and worldwide support to protect whales and dolphins," says WDCS expert Erich HOYT. "We are excited about the cooperation with Team Russia and their full commitment and dedication to this cause. We now have the potential to make the race a true success story for these amazing marine mammals."
While HANAKAMP was at Boot Tulln in Austria this weekend (8 March 2008), he also unveiled Team Russia's new name and identity. Team Russia's logo is visually represented using letters from the Russian Cyrillic alphabet to share the true essence of Russia on the international sailing stage.
Alongside this new name and identity, Team Russia has also launched a dedicated website with Team's latest news and images available to view and download www.teamrussia.org.
HANAKAMP had just returned from Great Britain where he was checking on the progress of the team's Rob HUMPHREY designed Volvo 70, being built by Green Marine in Lymington. The boat is now out of its mould; the deck has been fixed to the hull and fitting out and fairing has begun. It is on schedule for launch in May. A full programme of testing and racing is then planned for the summer in preparation for the October start from Alicante in southern Spain.
Volvo Ocean Race - www.volvoceanrace.org