Volvo Event Management UK (VEMUK), event organiser of the Volvo Ocean Race, has announced that 71 cities from 37 different countries have made formal expressions of interest to host one of 8 “Stopovers” in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
Hosting a Volvo Ocean Race stopover has been described by Deloitte as amongst “the sports world’s highest impact short duration major sports events” with Stopover’s ranking alongside the UEFA Cup Final and Open Golf Championship in terms of economic impact.
All ports submitting an Expression of Interest will progress to Phase 1 of the bidding process following which a shortlist of a maximum of 32 Candidate Ports will be announced on 22 June 2009 to go through to the final bidding stage.
Commenting on the bidding process, VEMUK CEO, Knut Frostad said:
“It is hugely satisfying to see such strong support from potential Host Ports for the Volvo Ocean Race as we build on the success of the current edition of the race.
Whilst the route in yet to be confirmed, I can say that the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 will start and finish in Europe, should have two or three fewer stopovers compared to the current race, and the total time for the race should be about one month shorter.”
Angus Buchanan, Director of The Sports Consultancy, added:
“I think this level of interest from potential host ports is a real endorsement for the continuing improvements being made to the Volvo Ocean Race and its growing appeal. When planning the new route it is essential that we balance the heritage of ocean racing and this great event whilst ensuring we visit new territories in order to bring sailing to a new audience. On the basis of the quality and regional spread of host cities submitting Expressions of Interest, I am very confident we will be putting together a great event for 2011-12.”