Miami, Florida, will host the start of the transatlantic leg to Lisbon, Portugal, for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Florida has a long association with the event, as this will be the fifth time the sunshine state has welcomed the world's premier offshore race.
Miami has successfully fought off tough competition from other North American ports, in its bid to win back the event it previously hosted in the 2001-02 edition of the race. Miami will see the boats arrive after their charge north from the Brazilian port of Itajai.
"The Volvo Ocean Race is by far the world's premier global race. It's a great honour to have Miami selected as a featured stopover," said Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff.
Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad, said, "We are very confident Miami will deliver a first class event for us in the spring of 2012 and the people of Florida will welcome us to their shores once again."
The race village will be located at Bicentennial Park, on the Biscayne Bay, in the heart of Downtown Miami. It is a 29-acre, open park which is suited for major events and has been used in the past for shows such as the Cirque Du Soleil.
American sailors have a victorious history in the race, with two winners of the US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award, John Kostecki and Paul Cayard, also winning the Volvo Ocean Race (2001-02) and Whitbread Round the World (1997-98). The 2008-09 race also saw fellow US Yachtsman of the Year, Ken Read snatch second place overall on PUMA on the penultimate leg of the race.
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 Miami)
Tel + 34 966 011 152 Mob +34 606 894 940
High resolution images can be downloaded from http://images.volvooceanrace.org
Tim Stonton, Picture Desk Manager (in Spain)
Tel +34 966 011 151 Mob +34 606 905 497
Full press information can be read and downloaded from http://press.volvooceanrace.org
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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
- Florida has hosted the event four times previously: Ft Lauderdale 1989-90, 1993-94,1997-98, Miami 2001-02
- America has fielded 10 entries in the race and 94 athletes from the USA have competed in this race
- The race has twice been won by an American: Paul Cayard in 1997-98 skipper of EF Language and John Kostecki in 2001-02 skipper of illbruck
- PUMA, skippered by Ken Read, was second in 2008-09 and Pirates of the Caribbean was second in 2005-06 skippered by Paul Cayard
- Famous America's Cup skipper, Dennis Conner, was the co-skipper of Winston in 1993-94 and Toshiba in 1997-98
- Miami is a major gateway city with a population of over 2.3 in Miami-Dade County
- Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Lisbon, Lorient and Itajai in Brazil have already been confirmed as stopover ports
- 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
- The 2011-12 race will be the 11th edition of the event
- The design of the boat is regulated and the boat is built for speed