Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team’s state-of-the-art Volvo Open 70 racing yacht marked its international debut in Portofino, Northern Italy, as it charts a historic course to contest for top honours in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12.
The yacht - which was developed by the USA’s Farr Yacht Design and built by Italy’s Persico S.p.A, in Bergamo – is one of the most sophisticated ever constructed. Conceived in March 2010, it is the combination of more than 7,000 design and 49,000 build hours.
Emblazoned with a striking falcon, the national emblem of the United Arab Emirates of which Abu Dhabi city is the capital, soaring across its bow and main sails, the brilliant black yacht is tasked with carrying the 11-strong Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing through the nine-month, 39,000 nautical mile ‘Everest of Sailing’, which begins in Alicante, Spain this October.
The yacht’s international debut, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Italian Riviera, was attended by VIPs from Volvo Ocean Race, the Mayor of Portofino and Official Team Partner, the luxury Swiss brand IWC Schaffhausen.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which boasts one of the most international crews ever assembled since the Volvo Ocean Race began in 1973, will now undergo final training in Europe, having spent the winter in the UAE capital.