From the end of June through to the beginning of July, the spectacular V.O.60s, which participated in the Volvo Ocean Race, will compete in the Volvo Baltic Race.
The competition is sure to be one of the highlights of this summer's sailing calendar, starting on June 21 during the Kieler Woche, arriving in Sandhamn on June 26 and finishing in Marstrand during the Swedish Match Cup on July 5. The boats will also participate in the Accenture Gotland Runt as well as other inshore races.
During the Volvo Ocean Race, the fast V.O.60s could only be watched at the start and at the finish. This time, the sailing enthusiasts will be able to see them racing side by side from a close distance.
The purpose of the Volvo Baltic Race is two-fold; it will bring off-shore racing closer to the general public and it will give the sailors the chance to compete even during the years between two Volvo Ocean Races, which start every fourth year.
"By combining the Kieler Woche, Accenture Gotland Runt and Swedish Match - Northern Europe's biggest regattas, we can create something even bigger"
says Hans Mellström, Viamare, who, together with sailor and skipper Matthew Humphries (who took part in four Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races), took the initiative to create this race.
AB Volvo and Volvo Car Corporation are title sponsors of the race and see their involvement as yet another step in their global commitment to sailing. SEB is trophy sponsor to the event and see their sponsorship as an important part in the company's relationship marketing and brand exposure activities. KSSS is responsible for the actual competition.
The next Volvo Ocean Race will be organised in 2005-2006 and full details will be unveiled in Auckland, New Zealand on February 10.