The Ocean Race brings in 11th Hour Racing as premier partner
11th Hour Racing, a company focused on sustainable sailing, has signed up as a top-tier premier partner of the Ocean Race, formerly the Volvo Ocean Race, and a founding partner of the series' sustainability programme.
The company will work closely with Ocean Race on a broad range of initiatives to promote the restoration of ocean health, embedding sustainability in all event operations.
On an initial basis, the pair have agreed to:
- organise 11 Ocean Race Summits and Innovation Workshops, focused on ocean health, with the first being held in Europe in September;
- work with experts and sailing teams to explore the use of state-of-the-art renewable energy systems onboard the IMOCA 60 and VO65 classes of boats to be used during the next edition of the Ocean Race in 2021;
- inspire school children around the world to take action for the ocean through a multi-lingual, curriculum-based, education programme, to be released next month;
- continue the science programme developed in the last Ocean Race, which gathered critical oceanographic and microplastics data, and examine ways that all teams are able to participate in this groundbreaking research; and
- organise interactive experiences at each stopover to educate race village visitors.
Johan Salen, managing director of the Ocean Race, said: “Through this partnership with 11th Hour Racing, and by harnessing the power of sport, we are using our collective global influence and extensive networks to reach millions of people to affect meaningful, long-term change for ocean health.
“The sailing community has a deep connection with the sea so it’s natural that we would work together to safeguard its future. The integration of our collective vision within every area of our operations will engage and inspire the wider sailing community, teams, our stakeholders and suppliers, future host cities, schoolchildren and, of course, the race fans to take decisive action on this urgent issue.”
11th Hour Racing was the founding principal partner of the Sustainability Programme when the event was known as the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18.
Wendy Schmidt, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing, added: “During the last edition of this iconic race around the planet, we raised visibility with the race crews, fans and students all over the world about the breadth of issues threatening the oceans and innovative solutions to address them, some that we already can put into practice. These efforts were a powerful catalyst for positive action.
“This is a unique opportunity to create a coalition between sport, business, and policymakers. Together, we have the power to deliver science and sustainability through the platform of sport.”
Last month, the Ocean Race unveiled its new identity in Alicante, Spain ahead of the next edition of the race in 2021.
Although now under new ownership, the Ocean Race has retained Volvo as a premier race partner.
The 2021-22 edition of the race will feature up to nine stopover ports, with the host city procurement process now under way with site visits to candidate cities. These include Newport, Rhode Island, USA, a host city for the last two editions of the race.
Last year, ownership of the race was taken on by Altant Ocean Racing Spain, a group headed up by former Volvo Ocean Race president Richard Brisius, co-president Salén, and their associate Jan Litborn.
Brisius and Salén founded parent company Atlant Ocean Racing, and have a near 30-year association with the global event