Seven-year Volvo Ocean Race dream comes true for Team Alvimedica crew
Istanbul, Turkey – Seven years ago, a couple of young American sailing addicts met on the set of a Disney movie and dreamed of the day that they would launch a campaign in the world’s toughest offshore team test, the Volvo Ocean Race.
Today that apparently long-shot ambition became a reality when Team Alvimedica’s challenge for the 2014-15 edition was announced in Istanbul, home of the company.
Mark Towill was just 18 when he met Charlie Enright, four years older, as a fellow young star in the Disney sailing movie, Morning Light. The reality film followed a cross-Pacific boat voyage and made use of some of the biggest names in offshore sailing.
Enright, now 29, picks up the story: “We met during the trials for that – we both considered that project to be the beginning of our dream, which is the Volvo Ocean Race.
“We’ve had a lot of Volvo veterans as our coaches on the Morning Light shoot – Stan Honey, Mike Sanderson, Jerry Kirby – and they set up the foundations for us in terms of high-level ocean racing.”
“That vision has been quite clear for a while and has served as motivation for all that we’ve been doing,” added Towill, who together with Enright set up their own company, All-American Ocean Racing out of Newport, Rhode Island where the Race will be stopping in May, 2015.
“It’s not been easy by any means despite the great start we had with the Disney movie. We’ve spent long hours treading the sidewalks trying to get a break and it’s been all about making our own opportunities. We’ve also had a lot of help from many, many people making this become a reality.”
Slowly their dream began to take concrete shape and in 2011, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad invited the pair to Alicante for the start of the 11th edition in October that year.
After dropping most other commitments in the search for a title sponsor, Enright and Towill found an ambitious, young company – Alvimedica – to take their project from a dream to the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante on October 4, 2014.
Alvimedica, a medical devices company from Turkey, is the perfect match for a team that aims to have a crew predominantly drawn from a pool of sailors under 30.
Its accent on being agile, innovative and not afraid to take bold business calls like taking on the huge U.S. market has helped it become one of Turkey’s fastest growing young companies and now management want to broaden its horizons by conquering new territories abroad topped by the United States.
The Volvo Ocean Race and the young American crew are the perfect vehicles to do just that.
Enright, who will be skipper, and Towill are the only crew confirmed for Team Alvimedica so far and the next step will be trials for as many of the best young offshore sailors as they can find.
“The plan is that we’ll look at people in the States first but expand that to take in young sailors from around the world too, including Turkey and Italy,” said Mark.
Frostad was delighted to welcome both team and title sponsor as the Race’s fifth confirmed team for the 12th edition.
“This is one of the most exciting new teams I've seen since I’ve started this job,” he said. “Team Alvimedica is everything I have dreamed of since 2008 when I joined the race management: young people taking the initiative to start a project.
“We also welcome a new sponsor coming from Turkey. There has been a lot of interest from Turkey in the last race and it’s a country where sailing is growing. This is a medical technology company focused on the heart. I reckon the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the toughest physical and cardiac challenges in the world, so that will make for an interesting study!”
The team can also anticipate a warm welcome in Newport given its connections there when the fleet arrives in port next year.
The team’s CEO will be Bill Erkelens, a well known name in U.S. sailing who played a leading role in the management of several America’s Cup teams.
Alvimedica CEO Dr Cem Bozkurt added: "As a young company we have a tremendous ambition in the global market. We have the same targets in sailing as well.
“Volvo Ocean Race is a rapid and dynamic event which utilizes the latest technology, just like Alvimedica. We are proud to have the Turkish flag for the first time on an entry of the most challenging sailing event in the world."
Team Alvimedica will be joining Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel in the 2014-15 race which will be contested over 38,739 nautical miles and nine months, finishing in Gothenburg on June 27, 2015.
Alvimedica is a young, agile company devoted to developing minimally-invasive medical technologies for medical professionals looking for the next level of innovation in the operating room. Alvimedica firmly believes that working closely with physicians is the best way to improve their product solutions and services in the interest of patients around the globe. Medical professionals are invited to visit the Alvimedica Centers of Excellence in R&D in Turkey, Italy and the Netherlands to present and discuss new treatment options, resulting in a growing and innovative product portfolio for endovascular and interventional cardiology. For more information, please visit www.alvimedica.com
Ulduz Gokser - Grup 7 Communication Consultancy
Tel +90212 2921313
About All-American Ocean Racing
All-American Ocean Racing are a team of young, qualified and driven sailors who met on the set of the Disney sailing movie, Morning Light. Led by Charlie Enright from Rhode Island and Mark Towill from Hawaii, they aim to recruit mainly from a pool of sailors under 30. All-American Ocean Racing are dedicated to winning the race, taking American sailing to the next level, delivering a robust return on their sponsor and supporter’s investments – and living their teenager dream. For more information, please visit www.allamericanoceanracing.org
Mark Towill – Team Manager
Tel +1 (808) 223-5947
24-hour pit-stop in The Hague offers exciting twist to Volvo Ocean Race
The Hague, The Netherlands - An exciting 24-hour pit-stop which will bring fans to within touching distance of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 boats has been introduced for the final leg in the iconic Dutch port of The Hague.
The news will delight fans in The Netherlands who were already celebrating last month the entrance of Team Brunel for the 12th edition starting on October 4 this year and the follow-up revelation that the professional training company Schouten Global are planning their own Dutch campaign in 2017-18.
The boats are due to arrive on Friday, June 19, 2015 after sailing from the French port of Lorient and then continue racing the following day with a resumption with the same time gaps between them as when they arrived.
The public can get close to the boats and the sailors as they watch the clock tick and get ready to hoist the sails again and complete the final leg of the nine-month marathon in Gothenburg, Sweden.
For Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, the choice about where to stage the pit-stop was easy.
Millions around the world follow offshore racing’s leading crewed event but there are few places where that support is greater than in The Netherlands.
That passion was unleashed to full effect last month when the Dutch-backed Team Brunel campaign, skippered by six-time race legend Bouwe Bekking, was launched to a major media fanfare in Amsterdam.
A few weeks later, Schouten Global announced they would be a sponsor of that boat and were working on having their own for the 13th edition.
“The Netherlands is, like New Zealand, a place where sailing in general and the Volvo Ocean Race in particular has a high awareness and a long history. We want to support that,” said Frostad.
The event organisers still have fresh memories of the last time the race sailed close to Dutch shores and that was also an influence in taking the decision.
“In 2008-09, the fleet did a loop close to The Hague for the Dutch fans and it was a success. This time it will be even bigger because the boats will actually come to shore and they can actually touch them and meet the sailors,” said Race COO Tom Touber.
Karsten Klein, City Council Member of Sports, Youth and Welfare for The Hague, shares Touber’s view: "I am very proud that the Volvo Ocean Race chose our city as the only pit-stop in the 2014-15 edition.
“The Hague has a long sailing and watersports tradition and the pit-stop fits perfectly. It is not only a sportive highlight, but also a top sporting event for the whole city and its inhabitants."
The harbour and the breakwaters in The Hague could not offer a better viewing spot for the crowds. It is close to the sea and the resumption on June 20 will be from the famous port to offer a ringside view for a city that boasts a total population of over a million.
The city hosts many international institutions including the International Court of Justice and it also is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament.
The Hague is a very popular sea-front resort that attracts more than a million visitors from around the world every year and is the country’s second most visited destination after the capital Amsterdam.
Additionally, organisers are expecting people from throughout the country and also nearby Germany to welcome the boats in and wave them out.
The Hague and the Race are planning major public events including music concerts, festivals and many other attractions, some of which will feature the Team Brunel crew and their international rivals.
History of The Netherlands in the race
- The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race will be the second time The Netherlands is included on the official race route. The 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race featured a stopover in Rotterdam. In the 2008-09 edition, there were 2 waypoints on the Dutch coast during the Leg from Galway to Marstrand.
- Bouwe Bekking was the last Dutch skipper in the race in 2008-09 with Telefónica Blue. The 2014-15 edition with Team Brunel will be his 7th participation.
- ABN AMRO ONE skippered by Mike Sanderson (NZL) was the winning team in the 2005-06 edition of the race – the third victory for the Netherlands in the history of the race.
- Cornelis (Conny) van Rietschoten was skipper and winner of both the 1977-78 and 1981-82 editions of the Whitbread onboard Flyer and Flyer II and is the only skipper to have won the race twice.
- Hans Bouscholte (1997-98 on BrunelSunergy) and Roy Heiner (1997-98 on BrunelSunergy) were the last Dutch skippers with a Dutch entry to participate in the race.
- The last Dutch campaign in the race was Team Delta Lloyd in 2008-09.The first Dutch sailor in the race was Tjerk M. Romke de Vries. He sailed onboard Sayula II, winner of the first edition of the race in 1973-74.
Swedish icons Volvo Cars, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Max Martin celebrate Sweden together
Volvo Cars, world-renowned Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimović and leading pop music producer Max Martin now join forces to celebrate Sweden in an exciting new marketing campaign. The cooperation between the three Swedish icons is based on a shared will to highlight Sweden’s nature and people.
“Sweden means a lot to Volvo. With this campaign we want to celebrate Sweden and spirit that is the reason why we are able to lead in areas like safety, design and environment. And we are extremely proud to do this together with Zlatan and Max Martin”, said Åsa Borg, Marketing Director at Volvo Cars Sweden and coordinator for the campaign.
Zlatan Ibrahimović, better known by his fans as simply ‘Zlatan’, is the biggest football star that Sweden has ever known and one of the best players currently in the game. He won league titles with world-class teams like Barcelona, Juventus, Internazionale, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax and was chosen as Swedish footballer of the year no less than eight times. He is also the captain of the Swedish national football team.
Meanwhile, Max Martin is a giant in the music industry. He has produced and written hit songs for world famous artists like Backstreet Boys, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Christina Aguilera, Bryan Adams and Celine Dion.
The campaign that brings together Volvo Cars, Zlatan and Max Martin was inspired by the earlier Volvo Cars/Swedish House Mafia cooperation. But this time the film for the campaign has been shot in the northern part of Sweden, together with Zlatan, his wife and their two sons.
The Volvo XC70 features prominently in the film, while the music is written and produced by Max Martin as a modern interpretation of the Swedish national anthem, performed by Zlatan who is reciting the lyrics.
The campaign with the XC70 is primarily aimed at the Swedish market, but Volvo Cars will also produce an additional film featuring the Volvo XC60 for international use. The campaign will be rolled out into additional markets over the coming weeks and months.
“This project is something I have joined with all my heart. I always loved cars, and when you have a family Volvo is the perfect choice. This celebration to Sweden is going to be a memory for life. And the end result, with this new version of Sweden’s national anthem, is just magic,” said Zlatan Ibrahimović.
“Volvo, Zlatan and Max Martin are all part of a modern global society. But we all find our inspiration, peace at mind and recharge our batteries in Sweden. That’s why we have created this celebration to Sweden’s nature and people,” said Åsa Borg.
View the film here: