Velux 5 Oceans Confirms La Rochelle Partnership

La Rochelle, France will host the start and finish of the 2010-11 edition of the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo ocean race around the world.

The news comes two years ahead of the official start date now confirmed as 17 October 2010, which will see The Ultimate Solo Challenge set off from La Rochelle before returning to the historic maritime city in May 2011.

The Race Management Clipper Ventures PLC is delighted to have secured a partnership with La Rochelle and the agglomeration community following a competitive selection process over the last 12 months since Velux re-signed as title sponsor.

Race Director David Adams commented, “La Rochelle was always our number one target to host the start and finish of the VELUX 5 OCEANS. We wanted to come here as the city and the team on the ground met all of our criteria. It is an historical port city with strong ties to the sea, professional ocean racing and has an ideal geographical position. The skippers of the VELUX 5 OCEANS will benefit from world class dock facilities in the heart of the city and local expertise in all services for preparing racing yachts for this classic event.”

Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, one of six inductees into the ISAF Sailing Hall of Fame, concluded, “Legendary skippers from France have shaped the amazing history of the VELUX 5 OCEANS race and yet the event has never started or even visited these shores. We want to establish a close link to France and La Rochelle boasts a number of leading Open 60 sailors. Not only is the city such a beautiful backdrop, but we are also confident that the people of the city and its surrounding community will embrace this event and celebrate the amazing achievements of the competitors of The Ultimate Solo Challenge.”

Michael K. Rasmussen, Chief Marketing Officer for Velux, added, “I am very pleased that this adventurous ocean racing event starts and ends in the port of La Rochelle, France. La Rochelle has hosted big sailing events in the past and VELUX 5 OCEANS adds to this heritage. I am sure that many Velux customers, employees and fans of The Ultimate Solo Challenge are thrilled with this news”

The VELUX 5 OCEANS expects to make further announcements over the coming months on the race route around the world, the fleet structure, registered competitors, the skipper support packages and the communications platform. The Race Management is pleased to confirm that they are in ongoing discussions with IMOCA.