Abu Dhabi will host the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean race following on from hosting the 2011-12 edition of the race.
The city will host the finish of leg two, which will commence from Recife in Brazil. “Abu Dhabi presented a truly original and massively appealing stopover during the last edition, with its own unique feel, and this announcement will only strengthen the legacy of the race in the city and the country,” says Knut Frostad, chief executive officer of the Volvo Ocean race.
“The leg from Recife to Abu Dhabi will be one of the longest and most challenging in the 40-year history of this race. Heading into the Southern Ocean is never easy and this route will test the sailors to the limit.”
The emirate will also enter a team into the race, captained by twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, who skippered the Abu Dhabi team for the 2011-12 race.
The event should provide a major boost to Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector. More than 120,000 people visited the Abu Dhabi stopover during the 2011-12 race. “Our involvement with the Volvo Ocean Race captured the imagination of our people, who have strong maritime heritage links,” says Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon al-Nahyan, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. “The legacy of the last race is an increase in the breadth of sailing and watersport facilities available, which is something we will build on over this second outing.”
The 2013-14 race will start in Alicante, Spain, head to Recife, then Abu Dhabi, then later move to Auckland, New Zealand before heading to Newport, Rhode Island in the US. The race will finish in Gothenburg, Sweden.