Kochi to be a stopover port for Volvo Ocean Race


Kochi : Kochi will be one of the stopover ports for the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. This is the first time that any port in the country has been selected as a stopover for the world famous yacht race.

Support TwoCircles

The Kochi Stopover Port Agreement was signed Friday here by Andy Hindley, race director, Volvo Ocean Race, N. Ramachandran, chairman, Cochin Port Trust, and K.G. Mohanlal, managing director, Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, in the presence of state Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.

The other stopover ports for the race include Cape Town, Singapore, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Gothenborg and Stockholm.

Scheduled to start in Alicante, Spain, Oct 4, the race will cover a total of 39,325 nautical miles before finishing nine months later in July 2009 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The seven yachts participating in the race will arrive in Kochi in December this year and will stay berthed for 10 days, before starting the next leg to Sentosa Island in Singapore.

A race village on 2.5 acres of land will be set up near the BTP berth at Willingdon Island.

Referred to as the “Everest of Sailing”, the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the world’s most demanding and daring team sporting events. This edition of the race will feature 11 ocean legs, seven inshore races and shorter stopovers in a route that touches the hitherto uncharted territories of Asia.

“India not only presents huge opportunities for the development of the event, but this coupled with the daunting challenges the competitors will face when racing their grand prix yachts in unfamiliar waters, will make the visit to India even more exciting for everyone involved,” said Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.

“It is a matter of great pride that Kochi is a stopover port for the Volvo Ocean Race’s entry to Asia. Proximity to the international shipping route has already made Kochi a preferred destination for yachts and cruise ships travelling to South-East Asia and Australia, and this will further add a new dimension to Kochi’s maritime prospects,” said V. Venu, secretary, Kerala Tourism.