Date — 29 October, 2011
Alicante, 28 October 2011
To coincide with the official start of the high calibre Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012, IWC Schaffhausen, Official Timekeeper of this “Everest” of sailing, pays tribute to the courage and team spirit of six participating crews with a special edition: the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012”. As the Official Sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, IWC also makes its debut in team sport.
“This uncompromising round-the-world race is one of the most demanding team sporting events of them all and promises a competition full of drama and adventure,” is the way Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, summarises the company’s commitment as a partner to the Volvo Ocean Race. “The professionals taking part will be pushing themselves to the limit every day, and IWC Schaffhausen is dedicating a watch to their extraordinary team spirit and sports manship that is virtually ideal for rough conditions on the high seas.” Only the world’s most intrepid sailors embark on the Volvo Ocean Race, an adventure that takes them around the world in nine race legs.
Probably the toughest and most spectacular of all offshore races, The Volvo Ocean Race gets under way with the In-Port Race at the Spanish port of Alicante and takes in six continents and four oceans before the crews tie up for the last time in the summer of 2012 in Galway, Ireland. In the course of the voyage of 39,270 nautical miles (72,728 km) through some of the world’s most treacherous waters, the crews can look forward to extreme challenges and adrenaline rushes in their battle against ice-cold storms, 15-metre-high waves and seemingly endless calms. In their bid to beat records, the 11-strong crews will be living on minimal sleep, with virtually no privacy and on nothing but freeze-dried meals. In honour of this unparalleled race and the crews’ outstanding achievements over a period of no less than 9 months, watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen is launching a special edition: the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012”.
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A watch designed to pay tribute to the “Everest” of sailing and the achievements of the extreme sportsmen taking part calls for technical qualities that will withstand immense stresses and strains. The Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012” from IWC Schaffhausen is a functional, highly reliable and elegant sports watch made of titanium that has all the precision of nautical instruments in its make-up and has been created to perfection, even to the tiniest detail. With water-resistance to 6 bar and a screw-in crown with crown protection, the watch is rugged enough to take anything in its stride. It is equipped with the IWC-manufactured 89361-calibre movement, one of the most robust and advanced chronograph movements, and features a fly back function as well as an analogue display with two hands in a sub dial for long stop times. The watch is secured to the wearer’s wrist with a black rubber strap with a folding clasp. The sapphire-glass back provides a clear view of IWC’s double-pawl winding, while the engraving “Edition Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012” leaves no doubt as to whom this masterpiece is dedicated. Luminescent hands and indices combined with the large, well-organized dial, contemporary design and forward-looking mechanics make this timepiece the perfect chronograph.
“The partnership between IWC Schaffhausen and the Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012 will provide another opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in terms of engineering, technology and quality,” says Georges Kern enthusiastically. “Only a company able to set such high standards of precision, perfection and durability can meet the exacting demands of this unique offshore race.” IWC is not only the Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012, but will also be awarding a prize at the end of each race leg as part of the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge. The IWC trophy will go to the team that travels the furthest distance over a 24-hour period during the leg in question. The race includes stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). At the end of the race in Galway, Ireland, the Swiss watch manufacturer will present the 11 crew members of the boat that has set the fastest of all the 24-hour records throughout the duration of the event with a Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition “Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012”. The record currently stands at an impressive 596.6 nautical miles (1,105 km) in one day and was set by Ericsson 4, the overall winner of the most recent Volvo Ocean Race 2008–2009. Each team will stretch themselves to the limit every day of the race to break this record. It is not without good reason that the ultra-high-tech Volvo Open 70 monohull yachts are built to state-of-the-art engineering standards and enable the crews to maintain incredibly high speeds even in the most difficult conditions.
Apart from its function as Official Timekeeper of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011–2012, IWC Schaffhausen is also the Official Sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team. The team, owned by Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA), is the first ever Arabian challenger and is sailing under skipper and two-time Olympic silver medal winner Ian Walker of Great Britain. For Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, sponsorship of this high-calibre team also heralds a new era. “This partnership has brought together two organisations that are dedicated to perfection and are passionate about exceeding the goals they set themselves,” says Georges Kern in summary. “Together, we are firmly on course for success.”
The gleaming black yacht which sails under the name Azzam (Arabian: de termination) bears the IWC logo emblazoned across its mainsail together with a soaring falcon, the national emblem of the United Arab Emirates. Among the top international sailors who make up the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team are also two UAE nationals, 22-year-old Olympic sailor Adil Khalid and 27-year-old Butti Al Muhairi, who triumphed over more than 120 other hopefuls in a tough competition to earn their places on the team.
When the race pulls into Abu Dhabi for a stopover lasting from1 to 14 January 2012 after the extremely demanding leg from Cape Town, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) will be waiting to greet them with emirate-wide celebrations. One of the biggest attractions will undoubtedly be the Azzam, a revolutionary, state-of-the-art racing yacht whose creation required no fewer than 49,000 construction hours.
Developed by Farr Yacht Design in the USA and built by Persico SpA in Italy, this 14-tonne masterpiece made of carbon fibre is the distillation of the very best in yacht design and the most advanced technologies. The mast is 31 metres high and the top speed around 72 km/h. With this first-class yacht and its undaunted sportsmanship, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is upholding the maritime heritage that rests on a centuries old tradition of Arabian seafaring. Further information about the Volvo Ocean Race and the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team can be found at volvooceanrace.com and volvooceanraceabudhabi.com
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