Volvo Ocean Race to stop in Cochin Dec 3

July 23rd, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, July 23 (IANS) Plans for the Volvo Ocean Race’s - a yacht race around the world - India stopover in Kerala’s Cochin Port were finalised Wednesday by Volvo Event Management (UK) and the port authorities here. The Volvo Ocean Race, which is also called the “Everest of Sailing”, is one of the most demanding and daring team sporting events held every four years. The 2008 edition will feature around nine teams, 11 ocean legs, seven inshore races and shorter stopovers, and Cochin port is the only destination chosen in India.

The race starts in Alicante, Spain, Oct 4 and will cover a total of 39,325 nautical miles over nine months and end in July 2009 at St. Petersburg, Russia.

The teams arrive at the Cochin Port from Cape Town Dec 3 and leave for Singapore Dec 13.

The Cochin Port has been chosen as one of the stopovers for the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race and Kerala plans to showcase the state’s tourism potential to thousands of foreigners arriving to witness the race.

This is the first time that any port in the country has been selected as a stopover for the world famous yacht race.

A race village on 2.5 acres of land will be set up at Willingdon Island at Kochi. It would have 10,000 sq metres of covered space and 200,000 sq metres of open space.

Kerala tourism department and Cochin Port Trust (CPT) will spend a whopping Rs.300 million for the event’s arrangement that will take place between Dec 3 and Dec 13.

Kerala tourism is likely to be a big beneficiary, as already the organisers have sought close to 1,500 high quality rooms and another 3,500 rooms for the people who would come from various parts of the globe to be with the race teams.

A team comprising Jack Lloyd Race Director, Jeremy Troughton, director planning and operations, Allison Crook, the events manager and Rosie Julian, operations manager currently here held discussions with the Cochin Port Trust officials and reviewed the ongoing development activities in this connection.

Lloyd told reporters here Wednesday that they visited the different areas of the Cochin Port.

Troughton said that they have bene hugely impressed with the arrangements being made and are hopeful that this stopover would be a memorable and wonderful experience for all those who come.

The other stopover ports include Singapore, Qingdao, Rio de Janeiro, Boston, Galway, Gothenborg and Stockholm.

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