Sanya, the southernmost city on the golden coast of Hainan Province, China, has won the bid to host the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
Building on the success of the Qingdao stopover during the 2008-09 event, the resort city of Sanya will be the finish of leg three, which starts from Abu Dhabi.
As the 2011-12 route takes shape, the port of Sanya is now confirmed as the only stopover in Asia. Other ports on the course include the start in Alicante, where the Volvo Ocean Race now has its base, stopovers in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Lisbon, Lorient and the finish in Galway. The entire route for this classic round the world race will be revealed by the end of March, when details on scoring, leg lengths and other details will be confirmed.
Speaking of the selection of Sanya as Asia's only port of call, Mr Liu Gang, Deputy Director of the China Water Sports Administration Centre said, "The wonderful memories from the last edition of the race when it visited Qingdao remain fresh in our minds and I would like to congratulate Sanya for being chosen as the new stopover".
The Vice Mayor of Sanya, Li Baiqing, echoed Mr Liu Gang's comments and said, "Sanya is honoured to be the only stopover in Asia for the next race. The city will relish the chance to show its charm to the Volvo Ocean Race visitors from around the world". He also confirmed that Hainan would showcase its achievements and development potential and try to capture the world's attention during the event.
"The race was held very successfully in Qingdao and has inspired a passion among many Chinese people. It is with great pleasure that we are able to confirm that China will once again be part of the route for 2011-12 and it will be an honour to take the event to Sanya," commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad.
Sanya on the southern tip of Hainan, the only tropical island province in China, features golden sandy beaches and enjoys a good year-round climate. The Sanya Municipal Government will use the Volvo Ocean Race as part of its plans to develop the city into a top international tourism destination. It already has an excellent transport system, which will be integral to the building of a new high-level marina.
The remaining ports yet to be revealed will be unveiled throughout March.
The Volvo Ocean Race traces its origins back to 1973 and is the world's premier offshore sailing race. The Volvo Open 70 racing boat is sailed by professional athletes, who race around the world with the prevailing winds.
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