Date — 9 December, 2011
Cape Town, 9 December 2011 – The first leg of the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012 came to a spectacular end in Cape Town.
As Official Timekeeper, Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen awarded the first trophy in its 24-hour Speed Record Challenge to the crew of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand. Laureus World Sports Academy Member Morné du Plessis and eight representatives of South African Laureus projects took up IWC’s invitation to join the activities of the race weekend.
All the boats are maintaining a cracking pace. Small wonder: the Volvo Open 70 class is the fastest monohull design ever. And the men on board are among the best sailors in the world. Watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen is Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012 and is presenting the 24-hour Speed Record Challenge. The team that covers the greatest distance within a period of 24 hours in each leg is awarded the much-coveted trophy. After racking up 554.16 nautical miles, the crew of the Camper yacht took the IWC trophy for the first leg. At a prize-giving ceremony held last Thursday, Hester de Klerk, Brand Manager of IWC’s South African agents, Vendôme Distributors SA (Pty) Ltd, awarded the trophy to the winning crew. The overall fastest time over the entire 8 months of the race will land each of the 11 members of the crew a Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012”. IWC Schaffhausen will present the watches to the winning crew at the end of the race in Galway, Ireland.
Telefónica team takes first leg
The Telefónica team emerged victorious from the first leg and entered Cape Town harbour on 26 November, securing 30 points for their success. Second to arrive were the Camper crew (25 points), followed by the Groupama sailing team in third (20 points). Fortune was less kind to the other three crews, who were forced to end the first leg prematurely. Among them was the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team aboard the Azzam, sponsored by IWC Schaffhausen. In the end, all the teams managed to get their boats back up to scratch and on the water again in time for the In-Port Race on Saturday and the start of the second leg on Sunday, which takes them from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi. For the first time in the history of the race, a port in the Middle East is acting as host.
IWC and Laureus take to the water together
As part of the stopover in Cape Town, IWC invited Laureus World Sports Academy Member and former South African Rugby Union player Morné du Plessis to participate in the activities over the race weekend. He was accompanied by eight children from Laureus projects in South Africa, who enjoyed a guided tour of the Volvo Ocean Race village before being shown around the Azzam and meeting the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team. They then took part in a grinding challenge with crew members, and the winner was able to sail on the Azzam during the Pro-Am Race on Friday. The children represented four Laureus projects in South Africa, namely Waves for Change, The Legends Cup Trust, Great Commission United and Indigo Youth Movement. The projects are typical of the way the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, with the invaluable help of sponsors like IWC, uses sport to tackle pressing social issues such as drug abuse and HIV/Aids while teaching vocational and life skills, helping children and adolescents in some of the world’s most underprivileged areas.
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