It was announced today that the first stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race in October 2001 will be Cape Town.

It was announced today that the first stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race in October 2001 will be Cape Town. The Mother City is already looking forward not only to hosting the world’s Premier Ocean race, but also to significant economic and tourism benefits, which will accrue from the event.

The economic and tourism impact will spill over further into the Western Cape, focusing world attention on the region as a whole through exposure in the global media via television and the Internet.

To ensure that Cape Town derives maximum advantage from the event, a body representative of local authority and governmental bodies in sport, tourism and economic affairs is in the process of being formed to plan and co-ordinate the stopover and assist in the implementation of the selected strategies.

“High on our list of priorities is a youth development programme through which children can learn about the sea and be directly involved in the race,” said Bruce Parker-Forsyth, Managing Director of Parallel Media Group who has been appointed Project Managers of the stopover. “Special travel packages will be developed and marketed internationally and a boat builder/yachting conference to expose Cape Town’s yachting industry capability is being planned to focus on Cape Town’s business potential.” An international boat show is also among the scheduled activities.

At the press conference in Cape Town today, Helge Alten, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race commented: “We are very pleased to announce that the first stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race will be Cape Town. We are looking forward to bringing the race to such a beautiful location where the hospitality and friendliness of the locals is second to none.

“The sight of Table Mountain towering above the bay will be a very welcome sight for the competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race who, racing in the longest leg of the race, will have been at sea for up to a month before they reach Cape Town.”

“Cape Town is a city with huge commercial potential and we are particularly pleased that so many plans for promoting the stopover and South Africa in general have already been put in place. This stopover will give the city a wonderful opportunity to showcase itself and we are extremely pleased that we are able to build on the foundations laid during the previous stopover in 1997.”

The Volvo Ocean Race will start from Southampton, England, on September 23rd, 2001. It makes nine stops during the ten-month race around the world and finishes in Kiel, Germany in early June 2002. It attracts not only the world’s most intrepid, professional sailors racing boats which are specially designed and built to excel over the grueling 32, 000-mile course, but also large international corporate sponsors.

The race carries no purse but Volvo trophies are awarded to the first three boats at the end of each leg and the honour for which all teams and sponsors strive – the Volvo trophy for the overall winner.