Sailing around the world under the toughest conditions imaginable was a feat that stretched even pioneering Portuguese seafarers to their physical and mental limits. And it was no different for the crews in the VOLVO OCEAN RACE 2014-2015, the world’s toughest marine adventure. Before reaching the journey’s end in Gothenburg with 39,000 nautical miles behind them, they spent nine months on the high seas with wind speeds up to 100 kilometres per hour and waves up to 30 metres high. The mere achievement of finishing makes every participant a winner. So it makes us all the happier and prouder that the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, sponsored by IWC Schaffhausen and skippered by the experienced Ian Walker, emerged victorious from this maritime marathon. A great victory that deserves an equally great trophy: the Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph “Ocean Racer”. Thanks to its combination of precision technology and sporty elegance, this fabulous limited edition of 1,000 timepieces was practically made for intrepid adventures on the high seas. And, naturally, the glamour of the prize-giving ceremony that follows.
To sail around the world – the idea itself abounds with intrigue, peril and adventure. Circumnavigating the globe, mastering the untamed waters of a planet dominated by oceans, is a quest that has transfixed the human imagination since mankind discovered that the Earth is indeed round. Today, that spirit of adventure and exploration lives on in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Spanning every ocean, five continents and nine months, the Volvo Ocean Race is an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endurance. It is, quite simply, the “Everest” of sailing. Competitors risk their very lives on the world’s most turbulent seas. Success demands a combination of untiring focus, precision performance and extreme mental and physical fortitude.
The Volvo Ocean Race traces its origins to the achievements of the great seafarers of bygone eras – fearless men who sailed the world’s oceans aboard square-rigged clipper ships more than a century ago. Even without organized racing, trading and fishing vessels won pride and reputation by sailing from port to port faster than their rivals. The passion that drove sailors along the web of trade routes, deep into the bleak latitudes of the Southern Ocean and around the world’s most dangerous capes is alive and well in the Volvo Ocean Race, the pinnacle of achievement in sailing.
In the wake of the remarkable solo voyages of Sir Francis Chichester and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston in the 1960s, an enthusiasm grew in international sailing circles for a race around the world involving fully crewed yachts. This enthusiasm soon bore fruit. In 1972, the British Royal Naval Sailing Association agreed to sponsor just such a contest.
The first edition of this sporting adventure was staged in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race, the longest, most demanding and perilous sporting event the world had known. In fact, so dangerous was it, that the very first race claimed the lives of three competing sailors – unfortunately, this would not be the last time lives were lost during the race. While some called for the event to be abandoned, the race survived its detractors and came to be staged once every four years. It was run for the first time under its current banner, the Volvo Ocean Race, in 2001 and is now held once every three years.
It is, quite simply, the “Everest” of Sailing
—Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race
The first edition of this sporting adventure was staged in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race, the longest, most demanding and perilous sporting event the world had known
In January 2011, IWC Schaffhausen was proud to announce its partnership with Volvo Ocean Race as race sponsor and Official Timekeeper for the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, 2011–2012. In this role, IWC Schaffhausen also sponsored the race’s prestigious 24-hour Speed Record Challenge. “With its pioneering and innovative attitude, the celebrated watch brand IWC Schaffhausen is a perfect match for the Volvo Ocean Race,” commented Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The partnership between IWC Schaffhausen and the Volvo Ocean Race provides another opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in terms of engineering, technology and quality. Only a company able to set such high standards of precision, perfection and durability would have a chance of prevailing in arguably the toughest offshore race of them all. “IWC Schaffhausen and the Volvo Ocean Race share the same spirit: unique brands, known for inventiveness, technical excellence, outstanding craftsmanship, masculinity and adventure. The partnership evolved naturally, and IWC is very proud to participate in this global sporting event,” remarked Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, citing IWC’s commitment.
Additionally, IWC Schaffhausen forged a partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) to become the first major sponsor of its Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012 team, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
IWC Schaffhausen will continue as Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race for the 12th edition in 2014–15 after renewing its partnership with the world’s toughest sailing event. IWC is also renewing its partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race contesting outfit, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
“The Volvo Ocean Race is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular round-the-world sailing events. We are proud to be part of this exceptional test of sailing prowess, which attracts the very best teams on the planet,” says IWC CEO Georges Kern, visibly pleased at the announcement. “By continuing our partnership, we are underscoring our long-term commitment, and the Volvo Ocean Race 2014–15 will give us another opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in engineering, technology and innovation.” Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, is likewise delighted at the prospect of working with the Swiss watch manufacturer again: “IWC Schaffhausen and the Volvo Ocean Race are both globally active, and our successful cooperation is founded on a passion for sport and our everyday quest for perfection. It is an enormous pleasure for me to welcome IWC again as the Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014–15.”
This is a coming together of two organisations that have a great deal in common, including the pursuit of perfection, strong community responsibility, unwavering commitment to sustainable business practices and the environment, and a desire to excel beyond expectation
In the Volvo Ocean Race 2014–15, keen elite sailors from every corner of the globe will crew the brand new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats as they cover almost 40,000 nautical miles (almost 74,000 kilometres) in a race around the world. The competition, which lasts almost 9 months, has become known as the “Everest” of sailing. Participating teams contend with the forces of nature, battling their way from one stage to the next fuelled by an adrenaline high, courage, skill and mental resilience. In their quest for glory, the crews will get precious little sleep, have virtually no privacy and often face appalling weather conditions with house-high waves. As in 2011–12, IWC Schaffhausen will reward their extraordinary achievements by acting as sponsor of the highly prestigious IWC Schaffhausen 24-hour Speed Record Challenge. This prize goes to the team that covers the greatest distance in any period of 24 hours during each stage of the race. The teams do their utmost to get their hands on this much-coveted IWC trophy. After starting in Alicante in Spain on 11 October 2014, the round-the-world race makes stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport (Rhode Island, USA), Lisbon (Portugal), Lorient (France) and a 24-hour pit stop in The Hague (Netherlands) before the finish in Gothenburg (Sweden). In June 2015, at the end of the race in Gothenburg, the Swiss watch manufacturer will reward every member of the crew that sets the fastest 24-hour speed record in the course of the entire race with a watch. In the 2011–12 race, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand covered an impressive 566 nautical miles (1048 kilometres) in a single day. For this incredible achievement, IWC rewarded each member of the crew with the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012”.
Abu Dhabi and IWC Schaffhausen have forged a deep-rooted spirit based on the fundamentals of tradition, a desire for perfection and a winning mentality.
—Faisal Al Sheikh, Director – Events Bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)
Apart from its function as Official Timekeeper and presenter of the IWC Schaffhausen 24-hour Speed Record Challenge trophy, the Swiss watch manufacturer is also renewing its commitment as Official Sponsor of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which made history in the previous race as the first Arab-flagged entry. IWC CEO Georges Kern stresses the benefits of the partnership with the team: “Our cooperation gave us a profound insight into the actual race. In the host ports, IWC’s guests had a chance to get close to the crew and have a peek behind the scenes at this truly momentous sailing event. Apart from that, we shared the thrills and spills of the race with the crew. We witnessed their highs and lows and celebrated their triumphs, as when skipper Ian Walker and his crew won the In-Port Race at their home port of Abu Dhabi. The thoroughly positive balance of our cooperation and the fact that double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker will be back at the helm firmed our commitment and persuaded us to support the team’s ambitions once again.” Faisal Al Sheikh, Director – Events Bureau, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), and Team Principal of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing likewise welcomes the continuation of the partnership: “Abu Dhabi and IWC Schaffhausen have forged a deep-rooted spirit based on the fundamentals of tradition, a desire for perfection and a winning mentality. We saw these core values come to the fore during the last campaign, and they are the building blocks of our future cooperation.”
To learn more about the Volvo Ocean Race, simply visit: www.volvooceanrace.com
For more information on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, please visit: www.volvooceanraceabudhabi.com/
Follow the team’s race progress here: http://my.yb.tl/AbuDhabiOceanRacing