Tuesday, 11 May 2010

VOR: Emirates Team New Zealand joins the Volvo Ocean Race

Camper, the Spanish footwear company, will sponsor the Emirates Team New Zealand entry in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Image copyright Chris Cameron.

by Warren Douglas

Camper, the Spanish-based international footwear manufacturer, has announced that it will compete in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2011-12. The campaign will be run by Emirates Team New Zealand. The yacht will be called Camper and will carry the burgees of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Real Club Náutico de Palma. The Emirates Team New Zealand design team, headed by principal designer Marcelino Botin, will design the yacht. It will be built by Cookson Yachts, Auckland, and launched in the first quarter of 2011 before been seatrialled and shipped to the Atlantic coast of Spain.

Camper is a family-owned company which started making shoes on the Spanish island of Majorca in 1877. Today Camper operates directly 320 stores and “shop-in-shop” locations in 42 countries and distributes its products through 2800 independent retailers.

The Volvo Ocean Race starts at Alicante, Spain, in October 2011 and will finish at Galway, Ireland, in June 2012. Stopover ports are Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajai (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France).

In announcing the Volvo Ocean Race project, Camper said:
“Competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011–12 provides Camper with the motivation to continue improving the quality of its products and its presence around the world.

“The history and the authenticity of the race, the human adventure, the effort, the desire to improve and the teamwork fully fit the Camper values.

“The Mediterranean as a territory and as a culture has always been at the centre of the Camper image. From Alicante this round-the-world race will be, without a doubt, a strong source of inspiration for the future of a brand that walks with imagination.

“For us it is a privilege to take our first steps in the Volvo Ocean Race together with Emirates Team New Zealand, undoubtedly one of the most prestigious professional sailing teams in the world. Despite New Zealand being in the antipodes of Majorca, we feel very close to them sharing their way of thinking and so Emirates Team New Zealand makes us feel confident when undertaking this project.”

Emirates Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton says:
“The team has no shortage of experience with the Volvo Ocean Race and the Whitbread Round-the-World race before it.

“The Volvo project instantly energises our team, allows our designers and engineers to get going and in Camper we have found a great partner. They are a family company with family values and a culture that fits very well with Emirates Team New Zealand and our family of sponsors.

“The team has the capacity to integrate a Volvo Ocean Race campaign to sit alongside its commitments to the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, the Audi MedCup 2010 and the next America’s Cup.

“There is some certainty in the America’s Cup following BMW Oracle Racing’s defeat of Alinghi. It’s apparent that with the timing of the America’s Cup, either 2013 or 2014, Emirates Team New Zealand can comfortably integrate a Volvo campaign into its operations."

Grant Dalton said a Volvo Ocean Race campaign was a natural fit for the team. “Our objective, once the team had re-established its credentials, was always to diversify as a means of keeping our people busy, focused and creative.

“With Louis Vuitton, the team started the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Dean Barker and the team campaigned successfully on the Audi MedCup TP52 circuit last year and now we have a Volvo Ocean Race campaign to organise from scratch.”

Emirates Airline said today it welcomed the participation of Emirates Team New Zealand in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2011-2012 with the Camper entry.

Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communication, Boutros Boutros, said:
“We are very pleased to continue our support of Emirates Team New Zealand through this venture.

“It will add a further dimension to the global reach of our sponsorship of the team, which has already been very successful for Emirates through the America’s Cup, the Louis Vuitton Trophy and the Audi MedCup.

“With this latest diversification, there are many benefits for the team, for New Zealand, and for Emirates, as well of course for Camper.

“It will be fantastic to see the team competing in the United Arab Emirates, the home country of Emirates, when the Volvo Ocean Race comes to the capital city of Abu Dhabi. It will be a good opportunity to showcase what the UAE can offer in terms of five-star infrastructure, tourism and business attractions.

Image copyright Chris Cameron.

“We are sure that this campaign will be run by Emirates Team New Zealand in the same thorough and competitive manner as all of its previous efforts, and we are only too happy to be associated with an initiative that meets the same professional standards that we continually strive to maintain as an airline.”

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said: “We are delighted to welcome Grant Dalton and Emirates Team New Zealand to the Volvo Ocean Race, which gives us our first proper New Zealand entry for many years.”

“Dalton, a former winner of this event, brings with him not only a wealth of experience, but a very charismatic and highly competitive team of sailors. The people of Auckland will surely be very proud to watch the progress of Emirates Team New Zealand as it takes on some of the world’s best.

“I would also like to welcome Camper to the Volvo Ocean Race family. We look forward to working with their strong international brand, elevating the profile of their new team and our race.”

Skipper and Watch Leader announced

Chris Nicholson will skipper the Camper Emirates Team New Zealand Volvo Ocean Race entry, and five-time round-the-world racer Stu Bannatyne has been announced as a watch leader on board the boat.

Emirates Team New Zealand
Volvo Ocean Race