Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 is due to start on the 29 October in Alicante, Spain and will finish in Galway, Ireland in July 2012.
The official Volvo Ocean Race website said bienvenu and bienvenido to fans on Friday, with the launch of French and Spanish language versions of the race’s online hub coming exactly three months before the regatta start.
The first phase of the multilingual site provides the latest news and team information, race overviews, host port pages and details of the Legends Regatta among much else. More and more information will be added as the start date nears. The pages can be accessed online: Volvo Ocean Race website in French
and Volvo Ocean Race website in Spanish
The Volvo Ocean Race headquarters are now in Alicante, which will also mark the start of the race for the next three editions, while Lorient in France is one of the Host Ports and CEO Knut Frostad spoke of the importance of the two countries to the race.
'We are a global race and I’m delighted to see our web presence extended into French and Spanish,' said Frostad. 'In 2008-09 our online properties, including our languages sites, TV channel and official Game, had 72 million visits combined and the top two countries were Spain and France. That shows the number of fans we have in these countries, and the potential for growth. Plus Alicante is our home and Lorient sees us return to France and our French heritage. All this combined with our strong teams from both countries should ignite interest and build our audience.
'We’re looking forward to welcoming millions more to what is an even better website this time.'
The race also has a strong and growing presence on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and fans will start to see more and more use of French and Spanish on social media.
'We’re serious about making the new language sites the go-to place for French and Spanish speaking fans,' said Volvo Ocean Race’s new Editor-in-Charge Kevin Fylan, who will take overall responsibility for the websites. 'This is not a case of just translating stories from English. Our plan is to give the new versions their own flavour, with stories that are written from scratch by native speaking journalists.'
The 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier offshore sailing regatta and a unique sporting challenge, begins in Alicante with the opening In-Port Race. The 2011-12 edition will be a formidable test for the teams, covering 39,000 nautical miles and taking in 10 host ports. Volvo Ocean Race website Volvo Ocean Race website in French Volvo Ocean Race website in Spanish