Dock Talk: Spanish entry begins catch-up campaign with under 100 days to go
ALICANTE, Spain, July 4 – Spain’s new entry for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 arrived in its home country this week as offshore sailing’s biggest event began its 100-day countdown to the start on October 4.
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernández, who spearheaded Spain’s Team Telefónica challenge in 2011-12, sailed the new Volvo Ocean 65 the 650 nautical miles down the English Channel and through the Bay of Biscay to their training base in Galicia, Spain earlier this week.
The Spanish challenge was only announced last month and is now playing catch-up with the rest of the six-strong fleet preparing for the Alicante in-port race on October 4, which marks the start of the event.
“We are going to try as hard as we can,” said Martínez. “A lot of work still lays ahead and it won’t be easy. We have a lot of catch-up to do but we are going to try as hard as we can.” Martínez and Fernández, former Olympic champions and Sailors of the Year, now have the task of assembling the crew for a boat that has yet to confirm its skipper or its main title sponsor.
Team Alvimedica, meanwhile, will be announcing their line-up next week (July 7) in their home port of Newport, Rhode Island, but successfully completed their naming ceremony there at the weekend when former U.S. surgeon general Dr Regina Benjamin did the honours.
Three days after their crew announcement, Team Alvimedica will join Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing on a transatlantic trip from Newport. The Emirates-backed team headed by British skipper Ian Walker are already in competition shape following a very successful trip across the Atlantic in 10 days. The crew revealed they worked in full race mode with freeze-dried food, dishes rinsed with saltwater and the sailors only brought one change of clothes. As 24-year-old Australian crewmember Luke Parkinson pointed out: “We’re here to win, not shave.”
After publicly announcing their race crew squad of 10 in Lorient, France last Thursday, Dongfeng Race Team’s mix of four Chinese, five French and a Swede went back to the gym and inshore training this week. The Chinese quartet has extra classes – English lessons – to add to their preparations for the race start and ensure communication goes smoothly when the real competition commences.
Team SCA’s all-women crew have finally been given a break from training in Lanzarote but with the fitness schedule and instructions they received before leaving, it is not much of a holiday. Their onboard reporter Corinna Halloran explained: “We are on a conveyor belt – a very exciting one. When we get back in 10 days we’ll go through all sorts of tests including a blood one. So if you’ve been on a bender for the past week, they know it immediately. After all, you’ve got 100 days to be your ultimate you.”
Team Brunel are, meantime, preparing to return to Lanzarote. The Dutch team have been spending the last month in the North Sea where they have visited Dutch, German and Danish ports. They depart The Netherlands on Saturday and should arrive in their training base at the Marina Rubicon around July 13 or 14. “I can feel in my stomach that the race is getting closer,” said crewmember Gerd-Jan Poortman. “We are ready to go back to Lanzarote with a new energy.”
Volvo Cars adds Android Auto to its next generation of cars
Volvo Car Group joins the Open Automotive Alliance
Volvo Car Group (Volvo Cars) has joined the Open Automotive Alliance to make the Android smartphone platform available to drivers through its new ground-breaking user interface. This move brings together one of the world’s most progressive car companies and the world’s most popular smartphone platform, developed by Google.
The integration of Android Auto™ promises to add yet another dimension to the Volvo in-car experience. Android Auto brings features and services familiar to Android smartphone and tablet users directly into the car via Volvo Cars' large center console touch screen display.
“Google’s approach to user-centricity and the application of technology to improve peoples’ everyday lives makes Android Auto a perfect addition to the Volvo experience,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.
The interaction between Android Auto and Volvo Cars' brand new user interface transforms the look and feel of a car’s interior. Volvo Cars' interiors will be characterized by their high-tech simplicity and functionality.
“We have worked hard to ensure an enjoyable user experience with Android Auto. This will offer our customers a new degree of fluidity and accessibility in the usage of their mobile devices, and bring the digital ecosystem our customers already enjoy into the car, complementing Volvo Cars’ existing connected car services and applications,” said Samuelsson.
Android Auto will provide access to Google Search, Google Maps, Google Play Music and specially adapted third party applications, such as Spotify. All phone-based applications can be controlled via voice or steering wheel controls or the car’s touch screen ensuring the entire interaction with Android Auto content is both safe and easy.
Volvo Cars' portrait touch screen provides users with the benefit of having both Volvo Cars and Android Auto content on the screen simultaneously, removing the need to switch between car and Android phone screens.
“Android smartphone users will feel completely at home in a new Volvo. We have created a wholly-integrated user experience in our large portrait-oriented touch screen that takes the in-car mobile device experience to a new level. That, coupled with the obvious driver safety benefits of an advanced voice control system offered by Google, made Android Auto a perfect match for Volvo,” said Samuelsson.
Android Auto will be available on all new Volvo cars based on the new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), starting with the all-new XC90, due to be publically revealed at this year’s Paris Motor Show.
Volvo Cars will also include Apple CarPlay™ interoperability in all new models based on the new Scalable Product Architecture. This will make it possible for Volvo car drivers to connect the most widely used smartphone platforms directly to their car’s touch screen display.
The Open Automotive Alliance is a global alliance of technology and auto industry leaders committed to bringing the Android platform to cars.
Volvo Cars starts production of the new Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar
The first Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar cars have left the Volvo Torslanda factory plant on their way to customers around the world as production has begun.
”We are very happy to see the first ever complete production cars from Polestar be built in the Volvo factory. It is a satisfying result of many hours of work by the people of Polestar and Volvo behind this,” said Henrik Fries, S/V60 Polestar Technical Project Manager.
The Volvo factory in Torslanda celebrated 50 years recently with a total of over 6.8 million cars having been produced, starting with the Amazon model in 1964 and all the way to the new S60 and V60 Polestar today. The Polestar model also marks the first ever independent partner being introduced to the production process.
”We are delighted to see the first cars leave the factory and it has been an exciting journey together with Polestar to see these cars from the drawing board until the actual finalized product being produced with us on the factory line,” said Magnus Hellsten, Vice President Car Manufacturing Europe at Volvo Cars.
A total of 750 cars will be produced of the S60 and V60 Polestar model this year, heading to customers in Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA.
”It is an exciting process as there are many new and unique Polestar components that needs to work seamlessly in the Volvo factory without interrupting the production of other models. It was a truly proud moment to see the first Polestar blue cars on the production line together with the XCV70, S80 and other models. The cooperation with Volvo works really well and we are looking forward to an exciting future together,” said Fries.
The new Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar features a thoroughly developed chassis with high performance dampers and brakes which in combination with four-wheel drive and 350 hp from a turbo charged 6-cylinder engine creates a driver’s car for all year.
Visit www.nextpolestar.com for more information.