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Velux 5 Oceans

May 25, 2006 15:06 0 comments

Velux 5 Oceans

Norfolk, Virginia, in the USA has been announced as the second stopover port for the forthcoming singlehanded around the world yacht race, the Velux 5 Oceans. The announcement completes the race route that will circumnavigate the globe, starting and finishing in Bilbao and making two stops in Fremantle, Australia and now Norfolk, USA.

Norfolk, which is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the largest military station in the world, can host hundreds of vessels at one time including cruise ships, destroyers and submarines and once made history when it berthed five nuclear aircraft carriers at the same time. The port will provide the skippers and ground crews of the Velux 5 Oceans with a number of world class facilities.

The City is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay and the Hampton Roads Harbour, one of the most famous sailing areas in the USA which attracts hundreds of thousands of yachts and sailing fanatics to the area every year and has played host to some of the world’s major sailing events including the Volvo Ocean Race and the Mount Gay Rum Sailing Week. The situation of the City also makes it an idea venue for the Velux 5 Oceans providing unique opportunities to watch the fleet arrive from vantage points on the coast and on the water.

Velux 5 Oceans Race Director David Adams said, “We are delighted to announce Norfolk as the second stopover port of the race. This really is the final part of the jigsaw and we now have the prospect of a fantastic event on our hands. Norfolk has a great history of running first class events and the skippers will benefit from some of the best facilities in the world. With the number of competitors increasing all the time and especially the announcement of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston competing in the race we expect this edition of the race to be the best yet.”

Karen Scherberger, Executive Director of Norfolk Festevents said, “The Velux 5 Oceans will be one of the highlights on our 2007 calendar. Norfolk has a strong sailing heritage and I expect a lot of interest from the people of Norfolk and the region to watch the boats arrive and depart. There are several major names in the race and I’m sure they will attract quite a crowd. We can offer the sailors fantastic facilities and have everything in place to help them prepare their boats for the final leg. We also have great facilities for visitors with a wide range of entertainment, clubs and restaurants and the city is well equipped to host the tourists who we expect will arrive with the race.”

American sailor Brad van Liew who won the Open 50 class of the Velux 5 Oceans (formerly the Around Alone) 2002/3 said of the port, “Norfolk is a special American seaport and will prove to be one of the most enjoyed stopovers for the fleet of Velux 5 Oceans race boats. Norfolk have invested their hearts and resources into creating incredible waterfront facilities and energy and the love of the sea is infectious in this area. Norfolk puts on many incredible maritime related festivities and has the facilities and resources to do so. The hosting of the Velux 5 Oceans will be another rewarding and cherished use for their downtown waterfront. I have made a lot of single-handed landfalls in my career as a solo sailor and I always look forward to coming along side at a city like Norfolk.”

The Velux 5 Oceans fleet will arrive in Norfolk in early February 2007 where they will spend four weeks repairing and preparing their boats before setting off on the final leg of the race across the Atlantic to Bilbao on 15th April 2007.

The finalised dates for the route are:
First Leg Start, Bilbao, Spain: 22 October 2006
First Leg Finish, Fremantle Australia: Early December
Second Leg Start, Fremantle Australia: 7th January 2007
Second Leg Finish, Norfolk, USA: Early March 2007
Third Leg Start, Norfolk, USA: 15th April 2007
Race Finish, Bilbao, Spain: Late April 2007

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