Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced that the next edition of the race, the 10th, will start in 2011.
The decision has been welcomed by team principals who believe it gives certainty and continuity to the event and makes it easier for sponsors to commit.
“It’s essential to make this type of announcement now,” said Michael Woods, Team Russia’s CEO. “Certainty in any financial business environment is vital. For us to bring potential sponsors into the ports without knowing there is going to be a next race is a risk. Now we know there is another race it is worth the investment that we can bring potential sponsors to visit us later on.”
Jamie Boag, the CEO of Green Dragon, also believes the continuity will make the event more appealing to sponsors.
“One of the biggest problems that we have is the continuity, saying to somebody that ‘you have to put all these millions in and oh, by the way, if you hang around you can maybe do it in three years time’. Being able to go now and say they will be definitely something in three years time, makes life a lot easier.”
Tom Touber, the project manager of Team Delta Lloyd, was the director of shore operations at Team ABN AMRO in the last race hopes today’s news will help Delta Lloyd commit to the next race. He said: “This was a very, very positive announcement. This proves that Volvo is in very good cooperation with the syndicates.
Telefonica Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking hopes a new set-up will see extra assistance given in the search for sponsors. “We have been struggling always to find sponsors,” he said. “You have to get the right contacts so you need professional people in charge to find a sponsor for a sailing team.
“I’m not the right person to find a sponsor. I hope they can put the right people in place and then they can just hire a team manager or a complete team to race the boats.”
Sponsors might also be impressed with some of the numbers the event has already clocked up. The headline figure is the number of visitors to the race village to date from the opening of day of Friday 19th September which has reached 500,000.
The highest daily total was yesterday for the in-port race when 62,000 people went through the turnstiles.