The right to host the start includes a Spanish entry in the race and mirrors the proven model of the 2005-06 race where the start port of Vigo, Spain was coupled with the movistar entry in the event supported by the region of Galicia.
The announcement was made by Glenn Bourke, the CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race at a press conference in the Palau de la Generalitat. Bourke was joined in making the announcement by President of the region of Valencia Francisco Camps.
‘We are delighted to be taking the race start back to Spain,’ Bourke said. ‘The Spanish have proven that they know how to put on a show. We had massive crowds for the in-port race in November 2005 in Sanxenxo and for the start in Vigo as a prelude to the 2005-06 race and we are relishing the prospect of the start of the 2008-09 race in Alicante.
‘Spain has emerged as a hotbed for world class sailing events. Having done an excellent job in hosting the America’s Cup we are confident that the hosting of the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be a resounding success
‘We fully expect the region of Valencia to throw its support behind the Spanish entry in the same way as the people of Galicia supported movistar in 2005-06. The energy and organisational skills illustrated by the Alicante authorities made it an easy decision to award the start of the race to a Spanish port this time round.’
As outlined at the ground-breaking announcement in Gothenburg last week, the route for the 2008-09 race is likely to include port stopovers in Asia, the Middle East and the west coast of the United States. Further details of the route will be revealed over the next few months.
Further entries for the 2008-09 event will also be announced once negotiations with ports and sponsors are complete.
Further information can be found at www.volvooceanrace.org