Sanya, the southernmost city on the golden coast of Hainan province, will host the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Provided to China Daily
Hainan resort city to stage finish of classic race's third leg
BEIJING - Sanya, the southernmost city on the golden coast of Hainan province, will host the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12; following on the success of the Qingdao stopover of the 2008-09 event.
The resort city of Sanya will stage the finish of leg three, during the nine-month of race, which starts in Alicante, Spain, in October and concludes in Galway, Ireland, in early July 2012. The teams will sail more than 39,000 nautical miles.
Li Quanhai, deputy director of the China Water Sports Administrative Center said at the launch ceremony in Beijing on Friday: "We still cherish the fresh memories in our minds from the last edition of the race when it visited Qingdao. We thank the Sanya government and the Serenity Marina for their support to the event. It will definitely help promote the development of the sport in China.
"Sanya is honored to be the only stopover in Asia for the race. The city will relish the chance to show its charm to the Volvo Ocean Race visitors from around the world and we are ready for the stopover," said Wang Junyang, deputy secretary-general of the Hainan provincial government.
Sanya features golden sandy beaches and enjoys a good year-round climate.
The Sanya municipal government will use the Volvo Ocean Race as part of its plans to develop the city into a top international tourism destination.
The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) is held every three years. It is named after its current sponsor, Volvo. At this moment, the Netherlands hold the record with three wins, and Dutchman Conny van Rietschoten is the only skipper to win the race twice.
Though the route has been changed to accommodate various ports of call, the race typically departs Europe in October and in recent editions has had either 9 or 10 legs, with in-port races at many of the stopover cities.
The last edition of the race started in Alicante, Spain, on Oct 11, 2008. The route for the 2008-2009 race was altered to include stopovers in India and Asia for the first time. The 2008-09 route covered nearly 39,000 nautical miles, took more than nine months to complete, and reached a cumulative TV audience of 2 billion worldwide.
Each of the entries has a sailing team of 11 professional crew and the race requires their utmost skills, physical endurance and competitive spirit as they race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs.
They each take on different jobs onboard the boat and on top of those sailing roles, there will be two sailors that have had medical training, as well as a sailmaker, an engineer and a dedicated media crew member.
During the race the crews experience tough conditions: no fresh food is taken onboard, so they live off freeze-dried fare, they experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and only take one change of clothes.
(China Daily 05/25/2011 page23)