The city of Itajaí, in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina, will be the South American stopover for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. This is the first time that the port of Itajaí will play host to the event, which has visited Brazil on six prior occasions.
"It's an honour for our city to host such a glorious sailing event in our waters and represent Santa Catarina and Brazil in the Volvo Ocean Race, the most important ocean sailing competition in the world," said mayor Jandir Bellini.
The Volvo Ocean Race crews will have faced major challenges in the Southern Ocean, where icebergs, whales, huge waves and fiercely cold temperatures are common-place, Itajaí will be a great place for them to regain their strength before heading offshore once more.
"Itajaí is a nautical Garden of Eden and one of the reasons it was chosen as a stopover," explained State Governor Luiz Henrique da Silveira. "We are very proud to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race," he added.
Santa Catarina, is a State that has received a clutch of national awards for the best tourist destination in Brazil, will use the Volvo Ocean Race to demonstrate its ability to organise large-scale events. The Race Village will be situated in the port area, which is located on the mouth of the Itajaí-Acu River, near a large metropolitan area and close to the beach resort of Camboriú.
In 2005-06, Brazil's debut entry in the Volvo Ocean Race finished a creditable third place, crewed predominantly by Brazilian athletes. This was followed by success for Brazilian multiple Olympic medallist, Torben Grael, who drove Ericsson 4 to victory in 2008-09.
Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, and team member of the 2005-06 Brasil 1 project, said, "We are pleased to confirm Itajaí's inclusion in our race around the world. After rounding Cape Horn, our racing teams will truly appreciate the warm welcome that Brazil is famous for, and it will be the perfect place for the crews to regain their strength after such a testing leg in the Southern Ocean."
The remaining host ports will be revealed before the end of March.
For media information on the Volvo Ocean Race, please contact:
Lizzie (Green) Ward - Press Officer (in UK)
Mob +44 7801 185 320
Sophie Luther - International Press Officer (in Itajai)
Tel + 34 966 011 152 Mob +34 606 894 940
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Tim Stonton, Picture Desk Manager (in Spain)
Tel +34 966 011 151 Mob +34 606 905 497
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Editors' Notes: The Volvo Ocean Race
- The next Volvo Ocean Race will start in the Spanish port of Alicante in the autumn of 2011 and finish in Galway, Ireland during the summer of 2012
- Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Lisbon and Lorient have already been confirmed as stopover ports
- The 2011-12 race will be the 11th edition of the event
- The design of the Volvo Open 70 boat is regulated and the boat is built for speed
- Brazil's sole entry in the event was in 2005-06. Skippered by Torben Grael, Brasil 1 finished in third place
- Eight athletes from Brazil have completed the Volvo Ocean Race
- Torben Grael has two Olympic gold medals (Starboat - 1996 Atlanta and 2004 Athens), one Olympic silver medal (Soling - 1984 Los Angeles) and two Olympic bronze medals (Starboat 1988 Seoul and 2000 Sydney)
- The Brazilian city of Itajaí is 90 kilometers (56 miles) north of Florianópolis
- The port lies only seven kilometers (four miles) from Navegantes Airport, 81 kilometers (50 miles) from Joinville Airport and 106 kilometers (66 miles) from Florianópolis Airport
- The first 31,250 nautical-mile race first took place over 37 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements that man can encounter