The boat leaves the shipyard
The first of two boats for the Volvo Ocean Race left the shipyard around 300 days before the start. It was brought from Lelystad to Rotterdam on floating pontoons and loaded onto a freighter in Rotterdam.
The hull is currently on its way to Portimao, Portugal, to the ABM Amro team camp, where it will be equipped and rigged. The team will build a second boat and take part in the race with both of them, one with professionals and the other with young sailors. Over 1000 applications have been received for this.
Four other teams are still working on the completion of their boats. Atlant Ocean Racing (Sweden), Brazil 1 (Brazil), Premier Challenge (Australia) and TelefónicMovistar (Spain).
Loading on floating pontoons
This means that six participating boats are as good as safe. However, organizer Glenn Bourke will struggle to achieve the goal of having nine starters on the line. Because a possible candidate, a Russian team, skipped by the Dane Stig Westergaard, has meanwhile withdrawn. This means that St. Petersburg is also out of the running as a possible destination port. Candidates are now Amsterdam and Rotterdam (because of ABN Amro) and Gothenburg (Volvo's headquarters).
The other possible participants: Great Britain with a boat drawn by John Kirby, because the British want to organize a stage stop (Southampton and Portsmouth), a New Zealand team, a second Spanish, an Italian and an American team.