Rumours of an Australian stopover for the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race have gathered pace following a report in the Newcastle Herald of a visit to the city by VOR executives, including former Australian Sailing magazine contributor Jordan Spencer, a well-credentialled 505 sailor among his other accomplishments.
Mysailing's editor, Roger McMillan, has also heard that there is a strong chance of an Australian team entering the 2020/21 race, under the leadership of one of Australia's best sailors. In an effort to attract teams, Volvo Race management have always looked favourably at giving a country a stopover if they enter a team – which is why the boats must thread the needle of the Chinese fishing fleet.
Newcastle would be an excellent port for the race, offering very good facilities, as the Newcastle Herald's Michael Parris reports:
Newcastle is on the radar of Volvo Ocean Race organisers as a host port for the prestigious round-the-world yacht classic in 2021.
The eight-month race, which is held every three years, is regarded as one of the three major events on the world yachting calendar, with the America’s Cup and Olympic Games regatta.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the council had been working for six months on the “very early stages” of assembling a bid to host the race.
“We have been actively pursuing a collaboration with the Volvo Ocean Race for future opportunities to bid to become a significant stop on the race,” Cr Nelmes told the Newcastle Herald.
“We’ve spoken to Volvo Ocean Race and also engaged to work on all the elements we need to get a bid together that would hopefully be successful in having another major sporting event in Newcastle.”
The cruising yacht club’s chief executive officer, Paul O’Rourke, said hosting a leg of the race would be a coup for Newcastle.
“It would be great for the city. It’s massive. It’s huge overseas in America and Europe. It’s up there with formula one car racing,” he said.
Read the full story at the Herald.