AYRE Challenge moves from America's Cup to Volvo Ocean Race project

AYRE Challenge presents its firm intention to take part in the next 3 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. From left Ana Kringe (mayor of Denia), Knut Frostad (Volvo Ocean Race CEO), Arantxa Vallés (General Director of the Sociedad Gestora para la Imagen Estratégica y Promocional de la Comunitat Valenciana) and Pedro Perelló (AYRE Challenge CEO). Denia, 23 November 2009.

AYRE Challenge has presented in Denia its project to take part in the next three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, all of which will start in the Spanish port of Alicante.

The presentation of this 10-year-long project and milestone in Spanish yacht racing took place in Denia, a city that has strong ties with AYRE Challenge. Two years ago, the Spanish team presented its challenge for the 33rd America’s Cup representing the Real Club Náutico de Denia (Royal Yacht Club of Denia).

The city of Denia also belongs to the province of Alicante, starting point of the next three editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, highlighting AYRE’s firm commitment to participate in all of them.

AYRE Challenge presents its firm intention to take part in the next 3 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. From left Ana Kringe (mayor of Denia), Knut Frostad (Volvo Ocean Race CEO), Arantxa Vallés (General Director of the Sociedad Gestora para la Imagen Estratégica y Promocional de la Comunitat Valenciana) and Pedro Perelló (AYRE Challenge CEO). Denia, 23 November 2009. Photo copyright Pedro Martinez / AYRE Challenge

The speakers in the presentation were Ana Kringe, mayor of Denia, Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Pedro Perelló, General Manager of AYRE Challenge, Manuel González-Devesa, President of the Denia Royal Yacht Club, and Augusto Sanguinetti, Sports and Technical Director of AYRE Challenge. In addition, during the act were present, among others, Arantxa Vallés, General Director of the Sociedad Gestora para la Imagen Estratégica y Promocional de la Comunitat Valenciana –showing the institution’s support of the project-, Edouard Legendre, AYRE Challenge Commercial and Marketing Director, as well as José Juan Parets, AYRE Challenge Financial Director.

Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race CEO, expressed his satisfaction with the firm intention of AYRE Challenge: 'We are very happy that teams such as AYRE present their firm intention to take part in our competition, proving the sport and commercial appeal of the Volvo Ocean Race as a platform with international reach and impact' and pointed out that 'AYRE Challenge is a project with a long-term commitment that will guarantee its participation in at least 2 editions'.

Pedro Perelló, founder and CEO of AYRE Challenge, outlined the main lines of action of the team: 'AYRE Challenge was born as a new reference in yacht racing on a national and international level, based on 3 fundamental foundations. It will be a winning project, spanning various yacht classes and various aspects (sport, cultural and social).' Perelló wanted to highlight that the team opted for the VOR as the first important sailing event in which to kick off the AYRE project mainly because of 'its international reach, its international values and positioning, its prestige, and the solidity it provides to our sponsors'. Regarding AYRE Challenge’s participation, 'the key of the project is the ability to have continuity in time in order to break away from the usual cycles in yacht racing and for that reason the team commits to participate in the next 3 VOR editions that will start in Alicante in 2011, 2014 and 2017'.

Augusto Sanguinetti, gave a first brief overview of the project’s main technical and sports aspects: 'Our latest-generation VO70 boat will be built in the Region of Valencia in 2010 and according to our initial schedule the boatbuilder will be Richard Gillies'. As far as boat design is concerned, the team is currently studying proposals from 2 designers of the highest international caliber and a decision will be taken before the end of 2009.

Team AYRE Challenge will rely on 2 active bases during the preparation and actual competition of the next VOR: The base in the Valencia Region will be the Team’s permanent one, housing its headquarters and used for both logistics and maintenance operations as well as for the organization of various events by the Team. The sports base, on the Atlantic Ocean coast, will be where the most important tests for the new boat development will take place.

The aim is to have 3 key persons in the sailing crew: the skipper and 2 watch captains. They will be the ones to decide and ultimately select the sailing crew that will compete in the next Volvo Ocean Race and in addition they will actively take part in the buildup and evolution of the Team.

Sanguinetti concluded that, 'we have 24 months ahead of us from today before the start of the next VOR and our objective is to make the most of our time in order to build a great team with the best preparation possible.'

The countdown towards the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race has just started for Team AYRE Challenge.
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