Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

Volvo Ocean Race- Emirates Team NZ pulls out of Volvo consideration

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz on 2 May 2014
Volvo OR CEO Knut Frostad (right) remembers the good times in Auckland, with Emirates Team NZ CEO, Grant Dalton during the stopover for the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race © Richard Gladwell http://www.richardgladwell.com
Emirates Team New Zealand have issued a statement saying that they will not be competing in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, despite being linked to a Spanish sponsor.

The statement, issue late Friday afternoon in Auckland, reads:

Emirates Team New Zealand announced today that it would not be competing in the next Volvo Ocean Race.

In recent weeks, the team had explored a joint challenge with Spanish interests. The Volvo Ocean race starts at Alicante, Spain, on October 4 this year.

Grant Dalton said the team was not convinced it could mount a successful challenge in the time available and the team’s energies would be better directed towards the next America’s Cup.

Dalton said the team had worked hard with excellent people representing the Spanish interests and with the Volvo Ocean Race management to get an entry to the start line.

'In the end, time was against us. Every passing day magnified the impact that preparations for a round-the-world race would have on Emirates Team New Zealand’s other operations.

:


'The team exists to win the America’s Cup. With the imminent announcement of the Protocol for the 35th America’s Cup, it’s time for us to withdraw reluctantly from any consideration of participation in the Volvo Ocean race.'


The move is a big blow for the race which is trying to enter a new phase, but so far has only attracted Northern Hemisphere entries, and has five boats announced. None of the top three teams from the 2011/12 race have entered the 2014/15 race to provide a benchmark between the events.

The race begins in October 2014, and is due to have a stopover in Auckland.

Despite the comment by the team that an America's Cup Protocol announcement is imminent, it is believed that is not the case, although the AC62 draft class rule has been circulated to the potential teams for comment ahead of the issuance of the Protocol, in which there are believed to be significant areas of alternative view between the Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, and Oracle Team USA.


With the 34th America's Cup now long gone, Emirates Team NZ would appear to be cash short, and asset rich.

The team received a $5million injection of funds from NZ Government sources which is will see the team through to the end of June, after which they will be surviving on private funding and backing.

The team's Auckland base is a mass of high-technology sailing gear, for which there is no market - comprising two AC72s, and two AC72 wingsails and several sets of foils, plus an AC45.

Then there's a fleet of support boats which do have some value, but need to be replaced if the team commits to another America's Cup campaign. Then there is the spare parts for the same, plus the team has to move out of its Auckland base to make way for a new hotel.

Lying in Hamble, UK, is Camper, the team's Volvo 70 which placed second in the last Volvo Ocean Race. She is listed for sale by the team at around NZD1.5million.

Against that backdrop it is not hard to see why the team is reluctant to invest in more boats, even if the Volvo 65 is to be used for the next two Volvo Ocean Races. That pre-supposes that Emirates Team NZ would sail in the 2017/18 edition of the race given that the 35th America's Cup is also scheduled for 2017 - probably with a gap of one month between the end of the America's Cup and the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. Logistically that is a big split of focus.

Under the deal being discussed it was never clear who would own the boats. The partner deal was confirmed by both parties, with the Spanish group being led by Pedro Campos. His team had been sponsored by Spanish telco, Telefonica, who had been a Volvo Ocean Race backer for the previous three editions.


Other Spanish companies rumoured to be involved included Mapfre, a Madrid based insurance company that has been a long supporter of sailing but who started cutting back its sponsorships, including a long involvement in the ISAF Sailing World Cup event at Palma. A third player was tipped to be El Corte Ingles, Europe's largest department store chain.

For the current Volvo Ocean Race, a new concept of a one design boat, structurally very strongly engineered was conceived. That has worked for new teams in terms of no design component, equality of boat and shared support and parts. But for established teams such as Emirates Team NZ, with a lot of in-house capability the costs of competing has not dropped significantly, if at all. Having to purchase boats built between several yards in Europe is not as convenient or cost effective as having the boats built by Cooksons, sails by Norths and spars by Southern Spars - all within a few kilometres of the Team New Zealand base.

The only option for 2014/15 was to buy a boat built in Europe, have a work-up based in Europe and not see Auckland until halfway through the race. The only time that routine has been previously tried was when Grant Dalton skippered Amer Sports One to third place in the 2001-02 event, and the fleet stopped over in Sydney.


Currently there are five teams announced, being Turkish, Dutch, Emirati, Chinese and Swedish (Womens team) flagged entries. Organisers had provided for eight boats to be built - all underwritten by Volvo - however seven have actually been constructed. Five of those are taken by teams and are now sailing.

As the fleet currently stands, the 2014/15 race is expected to be a shoot-out between Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking - NED) and Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker - GBR).

There has been no official reaction from Volvo Ocean Race to the Emirates Team New Zealand announcement, which was issued late Friday afternoon (NZT) or in the early hours of Friday morning in Europe.

InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Floaters

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
The importance of being Alive
Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, Since buying the stunningly pretty Reichel-Pugh canting keel 66-footer, and re-naming her Alive, the team have lined up for a lot of things, won plenty and nabbed a record, as well. She’s presently in a yard in the Philippines having a minor refit in readiness for the Australian season. It will commence with the upcoming Brisbane to Keppel and then head sharply into this year’s Hobart.
Posted on 10 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May