Date — 27 June, 2011

—Georges Kern & ADTA's Abdul Aziz Al Hamadi

Abu Dhabi, UAE. 27 June 2011:

IWC Schaffhausen has formed a partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) to become the first major sponsor of its Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12 team, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

The landmark deal, marking the luxury Swiss brand’s debut in top-tier global team sport sponsorship, will run throughout the entire Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12 campaign, which ends in Galway, Ireland in July 2012, after making nine stopovers, including the UAE capital on New Year’s Day.

Under the agreement, the partners will foster enhanced promotional and awareness initiatives around the team’s pursuit of top honours in this 39,000-nautical-mile round-the-world race, widely regarded as the ‘Everest of Sailing’, which begins this October in Alicante, Spain. The IWC Schaffhausen logo will also be featured on the team’s new Volvo Open 70 racing yacht, which launches next month.

“We share a pioneering spirit based on the fundamentals of tradition,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, ADTA – Team Principal for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

“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. Together we will chart a course of mutual and steadfast success.”

The Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing deal is the second Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12-associated partnership for IWC Schaffhausen, after it signed on as the event’s Official Timekeeper in January.

“For over 140 years, IWC has epitomised values such as engineering excellence, perfection, pioneering spirit, quality and passion. We are proud to put these attributes to the test as the Official Timekeeper for the forthcoming Volvo Ocean Race and to share them with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team,” said Georges Kern, CEO, IWC Schaffhausen.

The crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the first Arabian challenger in the 38-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race, is undergoing final training, having spent the winter in the UAE capital.

Over the last few months, the team has been spread all over the globe with weather training in the USA, wind-tunnel sail testing in New Zealand, race practice in the UK and Hong Kong, as well as mast construction in Spain and yacht build in Italy.

The 11-strong outfit – which is skippered by double-Olympic medallist, Ian Walker of Great Britain – will take delivery of its new state-of-the-art racing yacht at the end of this month. It was designed by Farr in the USA and is being built in Northern Italy by Persico S.p.A.

Once delivered, the team will follow a rigorous Atlantic Ocean sailing program, before heading to the race start in Spain this October.

The 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race will be held on six continents and across four oceans before ending in Galway, Ireland, in July 2012. Abu Dhabi will welcome teams from 1-14 January 2012 after they complete a gruelling leg from Cape Town.

ADTA has committed to staging a fortnight-long, emirate-wide celebration to mark the Volvo Ocean Race arrival – from headline concerts and interactive race villages for the whole family to great holiday packages across Abu Dhabi’s plethora of 4- and 5-star resorts.

The Volvo Open 70 racing yacht is sailed by professional athletes, who race around the world with the prevailing winds.

About ADTA:

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has wide ranging responsibilities for managing and assisting the development of the emirate’s tourism industry and the marketing and promotion of the emirate as a world-class destination of distinction. Its responsibilities include: destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification. A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate’s hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.


About the Volvo Ocean race:

The Volvo Ocean Race traces its origins back to 1973 and is the world’s premier offshore sailing race. The Volvo Open 70 racing boat is sailed by professional athletes, who race around the world with the prevailing winds.
For media information on the Volvo Ocean Race, please visit

Further information

IWC Schaffhausen
Nicole Bänninger
Department Manager Public Relations
Tel. +41 (0)52 635 69 29

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
Sam Dulka
Senior Marketing Communication Executive, ADTA
Phone: +971 50 5507053

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