by Kevin Fylan
To celebrate the Volvo Ocean Race's 40th birthday in 2013, the race presents a photo exhibition with a spectacular new take on sailing’s premier round-the-world adventure. The exhibition is running at the Volvo Ocean Race Museum in Alicante, Spain from Friday, June 14 until Feb 28, 2014 and uses 40 images to tell the story of a race that began life as the Whitbread on September 8, 1973, and remains sport’s greatest test of teamwork, skill and stamina. Images have come from many sources including Onboard Reporters, former competitors and race photographers, while one stunning image was unearthed via a Facebook campaign (see below for details).
Casey Smith examines the right rudder of il Mostro, as they undertake the transatlantic crossing from Newport, Rhode Island USA, to the race start port of Alicante, Spain - Volvo Ocean Race
As the pictures show, a lot has changed in the 40 years of the race. Denim jeans and shirts have been replaced by high-tech survival gear, the roomy wooden interiors are now austere carbon fibre shells and nude sailors no longer navigate by sextant and dead reckoning. But the images also make it clear that the essence of the race has not changed at all. The farewells and reunions are still as emotional and the effort and exhaustion are just as complete. Some of the sailors presented are true Legends – iconic figures like Conny van Rietschoten, Sir Peter Blake, Skip Novak and Eric Tabarly – while others have been all but forgotten. Elsewhere, we focus on fans, family members and other figures connected with a race that has touched the lives of so many. While not every great Volvo Ocean Race sailor is featured here, and it is far from being a chronological history of the race, the universal themes are all covered. 'The Volvo Ocean Race has always been about courage, commitment and the trust our sailors put in each other as they race around the world – the knowledge that without each other, they couldn't possibly prevail,' said Race CEO Knut Frostad. 'The images here are testament to that.' The 40th photo came after the race launched a search for a hidden gem on Facebook and our website. Organisers asked fans to send in any photos they had concentrating on faces connected with the race, on people rather than boats. Some outstanding images came in but it was particularly gratifying to receive a picture taken by a former competitor in the race, Anders Odelberg.
Michael Fortenbaugh, Commodore Manhattan Yacht Club; Deputy Mayor or Barcelona Maite Fandos and Sir Keith Mills, OSM Chairman. - IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race 2014
Anders competed on Swedish Entry in 1981-82 and his ‘Iceman’ photo fits perfectly with the theme – that while superficially so much has changed over the 40 years, the essence of the race remains exactly the same. Volvo Ocean Race website
All activity of the port pilots is being coordinated and monitored from the control tower. - Genoa Pilot Corps installs FLIR thermal imaging camera on board of its vessels.