Kochi all set to host Volvo Ocean Race

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Bangalore, Jul 24 (UNI) Cochin, India's only sea port located closest to international routes, is all set to host the '10-day India Stop Over' for the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, the world-class water sporting competition which hits the Indian port on December three.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Cochin Port Trust Chairman N Ramachandran said Cochin Port was the only sea port in the entire South Asia to be chosen to host the event which is considered as the ultimate in ocean racing competition.

He said the event, which was being jointly hosted by the Cochin Port Trust and the Department of Tourism, Kerala Government, will also signify the confidence in Cochin Port which had been witnessing enormous expansion and modernisation.

The race will commence its round-the-world marathon sailing in October this year and cover more than 39,000 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports across the world.

Starting from Alicante in Spain, it would stop at Cape Town, cochin, Singapore, Qingdao (China), Rio De Janerio, Boston, Galway (Ireland), Gotebord and Stockholm before reaching the finishing line at St Peterburg after over ten months of strenuous voyage.

By getting an opportunity to host the most prestigious and ultimate water sports event in the world, the city of Kochi will witness a ten-day visual extravaganza of the most exciting water sport action India had ever experienced, he claimed.

Mr Ramachandran said apart from the world's faster ocean racing yachts with state-of-the-art technology backup, the event would also attract hundreds of other luxury yachts and sailing vessels of different depiction, making the event truly spectacular.

During the ten-day stopover, the event would also throw open an unique business opportunity as several high profile global corporate leaders as well as some of the world's topmost brands and business houses that sponsor the competition boats and teams would gather to cheer their respective teams.

The event would attract the focus of world media apart from live telecast of race events at stopover ports.

''It would also be extensively covered in electronic, print and news media across the world ranging from newspapers to lifestyle and glamorous magazines,'' he said.

To make the stopover experience memorable, the infrastructure facilities at the Willingdon Island at Kochi is being upgraded for the smooth conduct of the event.

The works which were being undertaken at fast pace includes Race Village, which will be a special feature for the Ocean Race Stopover, by spending over Rs 52 crore.

''Extensive areas in the port including public spaces around the Race Village and the roads in the Willingdon Island, where the port is located are being beautified and given a facelift to match global standards,'' he added.

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