Team Alvimedica racing at the 2013 American Express Bosphorus Cup, Istanbul
Well connected European sailing website www.vsail.info is reporting that an announcement is expected soon on the entry of a Turkish sponsored boat in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, which gets underway in October.
The team will have a US origin crew all aged under 30 years old.
It is not clear if Istanbul, Turkey, will be incorporated in the 40,000nm race route.
The news coming from Istanbul since about a week is excellent for the Volvo Ocean Race in particular and the sport of sailing in general. Although the project was very secretive, there were strong rumors circulating in the sailing circles of Istanbul that the announcement of a Turkish entry in the round-the-world race was imminent.
It has now been confirmed that Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, will make an announcement on Thursday, January 30th, making the entry official. There are some facts that have been corroborated and others that still aren’t clear.
Firstly, it is nearly certain the team is sponsored by Alvimedica, a Turkish medical group in the Cardiovascular and Endovascular sectors. Although the name might not sound familiar, Alvimedica Sailing Team has been active since 2011 and are currently taking part in the country’s races with an ILC 30 and a Farr 40.
Turkish sailors, still, lacking any serious offshore sailing expertise, Team Alvimedica will be crewed by All-American Ocean Racing, a team of young American sailors, all of them under 30 years old that has been trying for some time now to mount a Volvo Ocean Race campaign. There will probably be one Turkish sailor onboard but it isn’t clear yet who it will be and what position he will have.
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For a backgrounder on the US team click here
The announcement will bring the number of teams confirmed entered to five, with a sixth believed to be close to being announced. So far, organisers have ordered seven of the one design, Volvo Ocean 65's to be built - which are supplied by the organisers to the teams.