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Volvo Ocean Race, Omega unveiled as official timekeeper

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Omega unveiled as official timekeeper of Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18
Omega unveiled as official timekeeper of Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18

One month before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, event organisers have announced that Swiss watchmaker Omega will be Official Timekeeper of the 2017-18 edition.

The prestigious Swiss watchmaker is the world leader in sports timekeeping and boasts a long history in top-level competition.

Prior to becoming a Race Partner of the Volvo Ocean Race, Omega has taken the role of Official Timekeeper at the Olympic Games on 27 occasions since 1932, and has partnered with Emirates Team New Zealand on many America’s Cup campaigns, including the inspiring Cup win earlier this year.

Speaking about the new partnership, Raynald Aeschlimann, OMEGA President and CEO said: “It is very exciting for OMEGA and it’s a great privilege. We know sailing very well, but the Volvo Ocean Race truly speaks to our pioneering brand spirit, our love of exploration and our pursuit of excellence. It really is a unique opportunity and we can’t wait to support the sailors with our renowned timekeeping.”

Burling and Grael nominated as World Sailors of the Year

As the race start draws closer, two Volvo Ocean Race debutants have been recognised for their recent achievements in the sport, with Team Brunel’s Peter Burling and team AkzoNobel’s Martine Grael both nominated for the 2017 World Sailor of the Year award.

Burling’s nomination comes after 12 whirlwind months in which he scored a gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and followed up by helming Emirates Team New Zealand to America’s Cup victory earlier this summer. Alongside his long-time sailing partner, MAPFRE’s Blair Tuke, he could become the first sailor in history to win the Triple Crown of events in the sport.

Brazilian Grael’s nomination comes on the back of a home Olympic victory in Rio, in which she took first place alongside partner Kahena Kunze in the 49erFX class. The daughter of Volvo Ocean Race legend Torben Grael, she is preparing for her first round-the-world after growing up around the event.

Final push ahead of Prologue leg

As we enter the final countdown to the 2017-18 edition of the race, the sailors have been undergoing mandatory sea survival training in Newcastle, UK, whilst the boats are given a final tune up at the Boatyard in Lisbon.

The fleet has been lifted out of the water as part of the Assembly Period, which runs until the end of September, and the teams will all complete the Prologue leg from Lisbon to Alicante on 8 October, ready for the opening of the Alicante Race Village on 11 October.

The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race officially begins on 22 October 2017. The fleet will depart Alicante, Spain, and visit 11 iconic Host Cities over eight months including Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg, before a big finish in The Hague in summer 2018.