Welcome to Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 Guangzhou Stopover-Nansha Marina

For the 1st time in its 45-year history, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race dropped its anchor in the southern city of Guangzhou, China from Jan 31st to Feb 5th 2018. The Race Village, located at Nansha Marina, opened its doors to the public on Jan 31st, and the fleet arrived a day later, on Feb 1st, 2018. The only mainland Stopover, this was the 1st time for Guangzhou to host such an important international sailing race. And it won’t be an exaggeration to say that the Volvo Ocean Race became the biggest international sailing event Guangzhou hosted so far.

This edition is really special for China, as the VOR 2017-18 for the 1st time took in 2 Chinese Stopovers: Guangzhou (mainland China) and Hong Kong (China SAR). As well as those were the only Asian Stopovers in the 2017-18 route.

The race also visited Qingdao and Sanya during the previous editions, but this was the 1st time ever for the Race to enter the 1st-tier city of China. So the VOR 13th edition can boast a number of the “1st time ever”.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18—China Guangzhou Stopover has become a big success. More than 12 000 guests visited the Race Village during the Stopover’s 6 days even despite of the untypically cold weather. Volvo Cars Pavilion, Volvo Cars display, Dongfeng Motor Group impressive display and interaction area, the Globe, Volvo 60 concept, Cloggy boat from Netherlands, Marine Environmental Museum, remote-control sailing, and other remarkable elements could be found in the RV , while the Race Village guest experience was also enriched by a range of Sponsors and Exhibitors displays (more than 70 companies supported the event with their exhibits).

The Stopover brought in the spirit of the local Lingnan culture, and in a special Lingnan Culture experience area, the guests of the Race Village could see the masters of local handicrafts (sugar-figure blowing, dough figurines, straw weaving, etc) performing their arts right in front of their eyes. The luckiest ones could even take home small souvenirs. A range of local performances (from music band performances to martial arts performance) were arranged daily on the pontoon main stage as well as at the Olympic Square stage. So the atmosphere in the RV was fantastic. Not mentioning what was happening on water: fleet arrival, Volvo 65 fleet on display in the basin, exciting in-port race, M32 and Volvo 65 guest experience sailing, V 65 pro-am races, FE 26 experiential sailing for public, fleet departure, etc—all these have become truly unforgettable experience for the guests of the Stopover.

The Guangzhou Stopover received an incredibly strong Media attention and support: more than 300 reports locally and internationally were dedicated to the Volvo Ocean Race—Guangzhou Stopover and its major activations. As the one to mention was the Dongfeng In-port race live-commented by the sailing Olympic Champion of London 2012 Xu Lijia. A “Kenneth Fok--Guo Jingjing” pro-am race on the 4th Feb has also become one of the most discussed events of the Stopover: the live broadcast of the race between Mr. Kenneth Fok, member of the Olympic Council of Asia & Vice-President of Fok Ying Tung Group, and his wife Ms. Guo Jingjing, also known as the Diving Queen, a multiple Olympic Champion in diving, was watched by more than 2, 560,000 viewers (live broadcast viewers).

The VOR GZ Stopover Media coverage exceeded 41 million 660 thousand people, with the total value of approx RMB 12 million 607 thousand. So from the commercial point of view, the event has far exceeded the Organizer’s expectations.

A range of high-ranked government officials, including the Vice-Mayor of Guangzhou Mr. Wang Dong, Their Royal Highnesses Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Michael of Kent, foreign Consulates representatives etc, graced the key events of the Stopover, including the Stopover Opening and Closing.

The Stopover results and organization were highly estimated by Volvo Ocean Race Organizing Committee, teams and sponsors. VOR Managing Director Mr. Antonio Lopez, on behalf of the VOR, expressed his gratitude to the Stopover Organizing Committee for a well-organized event, as well as extended their sincere thank you to the people of Guangzhou and China for their warm hospitality and support.

Hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race has become a mile stone in the development of China sailing. It raised a massive interest among the local public, and played a big role in popularizing of sailing in the region. Volvo Ocean Race also “put Guangzhou on the map” of the international sailing, let the world know the best of what the city could offer. Guangzhou showed that the city is ready to host the major international sailing events, as well as the local people are eager to learn more about the sport of sailing. China has a huge potential that will show itself in the future, but hosting of the Volvo Ocean Race from Jan 31st to Feb 5th 2018 has become an important step to reveal this potential and speed up the development of sailing in China.

By Nansha Marina


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