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Premium team bases to enhance the ‘pit lane’ experience for Volvo Ocean Race fans

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Volvo Ocean Race fans
Volvo Ocean Race fans

Combined with the large scale Boatyard facility introduced in Host Cities in the last edition, where repairs are carried out on the boats in full view of the public, they will form the ultimate ‘pit lane’ where the public will be able to see what before has gone on ‘behind closed doors’ and interact with crews in a casual environment.

“We’re trying to bring the fans into our living rooms so they can get a feel for what really goes on there,” said Richard Mason, Operations Director and a four-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran. “They are for the teams, and their partners, but are also much more of an open interface for the public.”

The development is the fourth in a series of 10 announcements from the Volvo Ocean Race, and is just one of a number of turnkey solutions from the Race organisation designed to limit the costs and operational complexities for teams – the new team bases will be both built and dismantled by the Race organisation – allowing race teams more time to focus on winning the race on the water.

“That face to face contact with the heroes is key,” Mason added. “I remember when I was a kid and the Race visited Auckland, my home town. I went to meet Sir Peter Blake who lifted me up onto the helm of his boat, Ceramco. I instantly knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life.”

The new team bases will be open to the public on the ground floor. They will not only form a base for the sailing teams within the Race Villages where the teams work on a day to day basis as they get ready for the next leg, but also provide an additional space for intimate sponsor activation to complement the sponsors larger scale activation operations on site with bespoke pavilions for product display and hospitality.

Aside from the advantage of bringing the fans closer to the shore action, the efficient design of the bases means that they fold down more easily into shipping containers, saving valuable space and time as the event travels around the globe.

“In the Volvo Ocean Race, timing is everything and the ability to build up and dismantle these Race Villages quickly is vital,” said Quérine van Osch, Volvo Ocean Race Village Experience Manager.

“We’re always striving for innovation in everything we do, and this solution is amazing. The container actually becomes part of the structure, so it’s super efficient, and will reduce the number of containers we ship around the planet by up to 60%.”