Date — 17 September, 2013
Schaffhausen/Alicante, 17 September 2013 – Swiss watch manufacturer 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 longterm 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.”
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 4 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) and Lorient (France) 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”.
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 of 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.”
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