Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Recruits Young Aussie Sailor
Abu Dhabi, UAE - 21 December 2013 - Australian Luke Parkinson has been recruited by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. The 23-year-old Perth sailor is joining the team skippered by Ian Walker in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Parkinson will be one of Abu Dhabi’s Under-30s crew members*. Turning 24 in February, this 49er sailor was selected by skipper Ian Walker after coming highly recommended within sailing circles and passing a series of testing trials.
"I sailed with Luke on this year’s Hong Kong to Vietnam Race in very testing conditions," said Walker, Britain’s twice Olympic silver medalist. "I was very impressed with his attitude and his skills as both a bowman and offshore helmsman. He is a multi-tasker which will be essential in the next race sailing the new Volvo Ocean 65 with only nine crew members in total, including the onboard reporter.
"Everything is going to be harder on deck. I have a very good feeling about Luke who I believe is hugely committed to producing his best for the team."
For the young Aussie, who goes by the nick-name Parko and is qualified in sail making, first aid, sea survival and as a radio operator, this appointment is a "dream come true."
"This is quite simply the best Christmas present ever! I can’t remember being this excited going into a new year," he said. "The Volvo Ocean Race is the challenge I want to work hardest towards. To me, doing the race is the biggest all-round challenge that provides the best sense of achievement and enjoyment. I just want to thank Abu Dhabi for giving me this chance – I will not let them down.
"For as long as I can remember I‘ve had a passion for sailing. From racing as a young child, I decided to continue to base my lifestyle around trying to make the best go at it that I can. I love the different challenges sailing brings to people and I believe it brings out true personalities when life is at its toughest."
And life will certainly be tough for the young, single Aussie as he tackles the 39,379 nautical miles race starting in October 2014 from Alicante, Spain.
Parkinson will start teaming up with Walker in December. The two will sail the Sydney-Hobart race with legendary Aussie sailor Syd Fischer on board his 100-foot Ragamuffin. The race starts on Boxing Day and Walker says it’s not going to be a push over.
“It will be a great experience for Luke and good offshore training for me too. It will is another excellent training exercise towards our long-term goals. We’re in for a white knuckle ride but will give our best."
Next up for Parkinson will be a February trip to Abu Dhabi – which will host the Volvo Ocean Race fleet over Christmas 2014 and New Year 2015 - to get to know his crew mates and the destination he’ll now represent. He is looking forward to meet his fellow Under-30 Adil Khalid. In 2011-12, the 25-year-old Emirati became the only Arab sailor to complete the Volvo Ocean Race with Abu Dhabi.
"I’ve never been to Arabia before and I’m keen to learn more about it," said Parkinson. "I’m really looking forward to meeting Adil and swapping experiences. I’ve great admiration for him for setting role model standards for his fellow nationals – that’s the only way to build a sailing following – showing what can be done, the benefits it brings not only for the individual but for the community."
* According to the Notice of Race, each team will have to race with two sailors under the age of 30 at all times.
Volvo S80 Sedan Awarded 2014 IIHS Top Safety Pick+
ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (Dec. 19, 2013) – The Volvo S80 sedan has earned a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ accolade from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Previously, the Volvo S60, XC60 and XC90 received a 2013 Top Safety Pick+ award, when IIHS extended its scope by integrating the small overlap test in 2012.
The S80 Top Safety Pick+ results include good performance in the small overlap front test, which replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or object, such as a tree or utility pole – a very severe crash situation. In the test, 25 percent of the front end on the driver’s side strikes a five-foot-high rigid barrier at 40 mph.
Patented safety cage
“Our safety cage features a robust design with a blend of different steel qualities. The new IIHS test program confirms the exceptional crashworthiness of this patented solution. Similar mixes of steel qualities are used in all current Volvo models, and the technology will be further enhanced in the upcoming models developed on our Scalable Product Architecture,” says Thomas Broberg, senior safety advisor at Volvo Car Group.
“The IIHS Top Safety Pick+ emphasizes the sustainability of our safety leadership. We are moving closer to our aim that by 2020 no one should be injured or killed in a new Volvo. Our long-term vision is that cars should not crash,” adds Broberg.
2014 rating includes crash prevention
From 2014, IIHS will introduce a new test program that rates the performance of front crash-prevention systems. This evaluation is incorporated into the institute’s 2014 Top Safety Pick+ rating.
According to this extended scope, the Volvo S60, XC60 and S80, which are available with City Safety and Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, will be among the car models with a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ rating.
“We welcome that the major rating institutes are now beginning to integrate collision avoiding technologies into their test programs. This gives consumers a better insight into the advantages of auto brake systems. It will also drive the implementation of these technologies through the vehicle fleet,” says Broberg.
Volvo Cars and Golf – a long and proud history
For almost a quarter-of-a-century, Volvo has been a pioneer in men’s professional golf and holds the world record for a title sponsor, approaching 125 events. In 1995 Volvo became the first western brand to engage with golf in China – today world golf’s fastest growing territory. Volvo is now active in sponsorship in Europe, South Africa and in Asia.
Simultaneously, Volvo’s sales and market companies as well as dealers host local and national tournaments for customers and prospects all around the world. It is estimated that since 1988, almost 1 million amateur golfers from 30 different countries have played in Volvo corporate golf tournaments.
Volvo's sponsorship covers the golfing spectrum and includes sponsorship of the Volvo World Golf Challenge, Volvo World Match Play Championship and the Volvo China open.
Volvo is also the sponsor of the Volvo Order of Merit, the PGA European Tour money list and whichever golfer wins the Volvo Order of Merit each year can rightly call himself the best in Europe.
Since 1988, Volvo has been at the heart of the burgeoning success story that has been the PGA European Tour and amongst those great champions to have held one of the fine Volvo titles are Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Padraig Harrington, Seve Ballesteros, José Maria Olazábal and, arguably the champion of champions over the era, Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie who famously won seven-in-a-row Volvo Order of Merit crowns and shared the Volvo Masters Andalucia title in 2002 with another great Volvo master, Germany’s Bernhard Langer.
Current European Tour events:
Volvo Golf Champions – a Champions Only Tournament
Volvo China Open - the National Open Golf Championship of China
Volvo World Match Play Championship – the Unofficial World Championship in Match play
Customer facing events:
Volvo World Golf Challenge - one of the most inclusive global golf series in the world targeted to Volvo’s customers, with its World Final staged in conjunction with the Volvo Golf Champions. Volvo's customers are then offered the golf experience of a lifetime by 'Playing with the Pros' during one day of the professional tournament, a completely unique possibility.