The Brazilian state of Pernambuco will enter a team in the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race and its capital city of Recife will provide the first stopover along the route of the race, which starts in Alicante in the second half of 2014.
“I’m delighted to see the Race strengthen our ties with Brazil, Recife and Pernambuco in this way" - Knut Frostad, Race CEO
The Recife team becomes the second publicly announced team for the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, sailing's greatest offshore challenge, following the SCA all-women's team announced in last year.
Details about the team, including the identity of the skipper, will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Today’s announcement of the Pernambuco team and Recife stopover are fantastic news for the Race,” said Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad. “I’m delighted to see the Race strengthen our ties with Brazil, Recife and Pernambuco in this way.
"Coming to Recife at the end of Leg 1 means there will be a lot of attention on this great city and having a Brazilian team in the Race will be fantastic for fans across the country."
The decision to make Leg 1 of the route from Alicante to Recife, capital of the Pernambuco state on the north east coast of Brazil, means sailing's great round-the-world challenge will be visiting Brazil in one of the biggest sporting years in the nation's history – just a few months after the country hosts the 2014 soccer World Cup. Recife is one of the Host Cities for the World Cup, staging five matches. The Volvo Ocean Race will be in Recife in mid to late October, with dates to be confirmed next month.
"The arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race will help make the 'year of Recife' even more of a celebration," said Volvo Ocean Race COO Tom Touber, who announced the stopover in Recife on Thursday.
"Brazil is the capital of world sport with the World Cup coming up in 2014 and the Rio Olympics to follow in 2016 and it's a real thrill to be bringing the Race to a country with such passion for sport."
Recife, a city with more than five million inhabitants, boasts palm trees and year-round sunshine and is famous for the sandy, wide Boa Viagem beach. It was one of over 80 ports to express an interest in hosting the race when the bid process was launched in 2012. The deal announced on Thursday will see Recife host the race for the next two editions.
The last Brazilian team to enter the Volvo Ocean Race was Brasil 1 in 2005-06. Torben Grael was the skipper and Knut Frostad, now the Volvo Ocean Race's CEO, featured as a crew member on some of the legs. The Brazilian campaign proved to be a big success and generated great interest worldwide and in the media. Grael went on to win the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Ericsson 4 in 2008-09.
The Volvo Ocean Race´s links with Brazil date back to 1973, when the first edition of what was then known as the Whitbread Round the World Race stopped at Rio de Janeiro.
The Race also visited Rio in the second edition in 1977-78 and again in 2001-02, 2005-06 and 2008-09. In 1997-98 the Race stopped at São Sebastião and in the last edition in 2011-12, Itajaí was a Host Port.
The remainder of the route will be announced over the next few weeks, with final details, including dates of stopovers and distances to be sailed, coming by mid-February.