Dock Talk: Newport comes out in force to welcome Team Alvimedica
Welcome to our new weekly round-up of Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 news and gossip – Dock Talk – which we will be running all the way up to the start of the event on October 4 in Alicante.
ALICANTE, Spain, June 12 – The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 won’t be visiting the sailing-crazy town of Newport, Rhode Island for nearly a year but anticipation is already sky-high after Team Alvimedica sailed in this week.
Despite the miserable weather, the town came out in force with a flotilla of vessels on Monday to welcome their “home boys” led by resident Charlie Enright, who is skipper, and fellow American Mark Towill.
Team Alvimedica’s young crew of trialists had just crossed the Atlantic from Portugal in a 10-day trip with a bunch of experienced Volvo Ocean Race old hands on board including Stu Bannatyne who has competed on no less than six occasions.
“It’s everything I could have hoped it to be on a rainy night, it was really nice for ever one to come out,” Enright said of the welcome. “After 10 days on the open ocean coming into Newport is an amazing thing.”
Newport will be hosting the race in May next year. The 12th edition starts with the Alicante In-Port Race on October 4 before setting sail the following week for the first leg from southern Spain to Cape Town.
The ocean crossing was an important milestone for the crew. “It was a big step for Team Alvimedica,” Enright said. “We had good weather all the way across. We’re excited about what we achieved and what’s to come. We’re here doing some more training before we head back across the Atlantic in July.”
Enright, 29, and Mark Towill, 25, and the rest of the crew, replicated “race mode” on board throughout the transatlantic as they tested the rookie sailors and immersed themselves in ocean racing technique.
Another team with an experience gap to bridge are Dongfeng Race Team who are planning to blood three new Chinese rookies – if they shape up – in their crew which is due to be announced in Lorient, France on June 26.
They certainly don’t lack race know-how from their French skipper Charles Caudrelier who helped French compatriot Franck Cammas win the last edition on board Groupama.
After sailing 10,000 nautical miles so far including a transatlantic crossing, Caudrelier believes his crew is shaping up nicely including the Chinese wannabes.
Caudrelier reported this week that the crew had passed “a key stage” with flying colours and found “real talent in both the western and Chinese crew”.
Meanwhile, Team SCA are enjoying a breather from on-board training after ticking off two transats.
The 12 women left Lanzarote for a break with a fitness plan in their bags to “to get them moving, loosen them up, get them back into a normal routine and functioning on a normal body clock”, according to the team's fitness coach and physio Santi Casanova.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are also taking a mid-summer breather from their training base in Cascais near Lisbon. Next on their schedule is a transatlantic from Portugal to Newport at the end of June.
They will be back in Europe for Cowes Week where their boat Azzam will be officially launched on August 6 and race during the regatta.
The buzz for the Volvo Ocean Race continues to grow in the Netherlands, meanwhile, with Dutch boat Team Brunel continuing to do their bit to build the future of sailing in a country where the sport ranks high as a national pastimes.
With skipper Bouwe Bekking’s men back home for a couple of weeks, 4,000 Dutch kids received a miniature version of their Volvo Ocean 65 as part of a school project to get children involved in sailing. They will have to do their homework though.
A magazine will be distributed to every kid for every leg of the race. They´ll be finding out about biology, geography, life onboard and technology.
Volvo Cars teams up with Bowers & Wilkins to create an exceptional audio system for the all-new Volvo XC90
- New system is one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world
- Volvo XC90 delivers fully integrated air-ventilated subwoofer
The all-new Volvo XC90, which will be revealed later this year, will offer one of the top audio systems available in the automotive world after engineers at the Swedish car company joined forces with their counterparts at the renowned British audio equipment company Bowers & Wilkins.
The Bowers & Wilkins system for the all-new XC90 uses bespoke acoustic technology developed over its five decades of pioneering research into loudspeaker design. The XC90 system is derived directly from acoustic technology developed for reference speakers used in some of the world’s most demanding acoustic environments, including London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios.
The result of the collaboration uses a combination of high-performance, low-distortion speaker designs, including extended range aluminum tweeters and Kevlar® midrange units, reflecting components found in Bowers & Wilkins award-winning premium loudspeakers. It also features a center speaker with Bowers & Wilkins tweeter-on-top technology for the first time in a car, providing a more open, spacious sound.
“The XC90 uses our tweeter-on-top technology, which has a number of advantages in the automotive environment. Fundamentally it increases the ratio of direct to reflected sound, as more of the signal reaches the listener directly from the tweeter, rather than reflecting off the windscreen first. All of this means that the Bowers & Wilkins audio system in the XC90 sounds incredibly tangible and lifelike,” said Stuart Nevill, Head of Engineering, Bowers & Wilkins.
The system is comprised of a 12-channel HARMAN 1,400 watts Class D amplifier serving a total of 19 Bowers & Wilkins speakers – 7 Nautilus tweeters (25 mm) with the latest treble technology, 7 midrange speakers (5x100 mm and 2x80 mm) with the characteristic yellow Bowers & Wilkins Kevlar cone clearly visible behind the cover, 4 cone woofers (200/165 mm) and the new, ground-breaking air-ventilated subwoofer (250 mm).
The engineers at Volvo Cars’ audio department and Bowers & Wilkins share a commitment to the highest standards of audio quality, and they were driven to make the sound system in the XC90 stand shoulder to shoulder with the best currently available in the automotive market. This is also clear from a design integration perspective with a uniquely sculpted tweeter placed prominently on the dashboard.
“In my book the Premium Sound in the all-new XC90 is one of the top three audio systems in the automotive world,” said Michael Adenauer, former music producer and audio expert at Volvo Cars.
Volvo Cars decided that Bowers & Wilkins was its ideal partner. The UK firm was established in 1966 by two friends who shared an obsession to build the perfect loud speaker. This heritage has created a globally-respected high-end audio company, renowned for its technological innovations, many of which have been incorporated into the XC90.
The audio innovations in the XC90 include one of the first automotive applications of an air-ventilated subwoofer integrated into the body of the car rather than being a freestanding box that is simply bolted to it.
“The subwoofer design is integrated into our new Scalable Product Architecture and is possibly a world first in the automotive industry,” said Adenauer. “This increases the subwoofer’s capacity to pulse more air, which enables extremely low bass tones all the way down to 20 Hz. In principle, it turns the whole interior space in the car into a giant subwoofer.”
New software enhances listening experience
The XC90’s new audio system also uses the latest and most advanced sound processing software from the specialist Swedish audio company Dirac Research, which manages the timing of the sound and cooperation between the speakers to optimize the sound for a specific, or all seating positions, and can also create individual acoustics from certain music venues or concert halls.
In the XC90, the software has been used to re-create the exact acoustic qualities of Gothenburg Concert Hall, located in Volvo’s home town and home to the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Sweden. A simple change in the center touch screen that controls all the car’s features and the system will immediately alter its settings to mirror this concert hall, a recording studio or a stage environment.
The top-of-the-line Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound is one of the system levels available for the XC90. The audio range also includes the High Performance system with a 224W amplifier, 12 speakers and the possibility to add the fresh air subwoofer.
“Great music and sound are among the most important factors for a truly enjoyable drive. This makes the choice of audio systems a vital part of our designed-around-you philosophy. We are very happy to be able to offer the music aficionados among the XC90 buyers one of the most desirable audio systems on the market,” said Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President, Research and Development of Volvo Car Group.
Volvo Cars receives prestigious Telematics Update Award
Following an intensive period of product development, Volvo Cars is delighted to receive the Global OEM Infotainment Solutions Award from Telematics Update in conjunction with the 14th Annual Telematics Conference held on June 3rd in Detroit.
This year’s awards received over 400 nominations, with Volvo Cars appearing in two separate categories: Global OEM Infotainment Solutions Award and Best Automotive Application Award.
“We are delighted to receive this award following several years of intensive work bringing our in-car infotainment systems up to a world class standard. The results of our consumer-focused innovations are plain to see with the introduction of our uniquely integrated applications – providing Volvo car drivers with an easy-to-use interface and a rewarding driving experience,” says Dr. Thomas M. Müller, Vice President Electrics/Electronics & E-propulsion engineering at Volvo Cars.
Global OEM Infotainment Solutions Award
The Global OEM Infotainment Solutions Award was presented to Volvo based on the development of the all-new connected infotainment solution Sensus Connect, available in every new Volvo from 2014.
Sensus Connect comes with several key customer benefits, including cloud-based integrated applications that can be easily updated without need for downloads or workshop visits, and robust, reliable mobile and secure Internet connection that protects both personal and car-related data.
Applications delivered by Sensus Connect include the world’s first in-car integration of the Pandora music streaming service in applicable markets, along with the first solution for finding and paying for parking from the car. Other services include location-based service finding, Glympse location sharing, Wikipedia POI information and Connected Service Booking, which will remind you and book at time for you when the car needs to be serviced, TuneIn, Rdio, Stitcher and more.
“Thanks to robust relationships with application developers and close partnerships with Volvo Cloud supplier Ericsson, our Navigation supplier, HERE (a Nokia company), and our telematics supplier Wireless Car, we have the best possible mix of solutions to deliver what is required from our growing customer base,” Dr. Müller added.