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Look Up! Volvo Ocean Race Trophy to Drop Out of Galway Sky

26th June 2012
Look Up! Volvo Ocean Race Trophy to Drop Out of Galway Sky

#VOR – Six of the world's fastest sailing boats will race from Lorient to Galway next week to compete the final dramatic leg of the 39,000 nautical mile round the world Volvo Ocean Race; the trophy they have battled across the globe to get their hands on will make an equally dramatic arrival in Galway.

The striking blue and silver Volvo Ocean Race trophy - which weighs 9 kilos and stands 70cms high - will drop from the skies during a spectacular parachute display to be staged by the Air Corp's Black Knights parachute team.

The five member team, carrying the flags of the ten countries that have participated in the race, will parachute from an Augusta Westland AW 139 helicopter to a to a waterfront landing zone close to the Global Village in South Park at 5pm on Thursday July 5th.

The national flags will be will be displayed in formation on the beach as the helicopter lands to deliver the trophy to Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knud Frostad and John Killeen, President of the local organisers "Let's do it Global" in the presence of Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Macnas drummers will add a dash of Galway street carnival atmosphere to the occasion.

As with the Olympic Games there is no financial reward for winning the Volvo round the world race and the beautifully designed trophy has been created to symbolize the glory of winning what is still one of the most extreme challenges in the world of sport.

According to the world's most famous yachtsmen and women just competing in the race represents an achievement with success meaning everything to those who have achieved it.

Mike Sanderson, skipper of ABN AMBRO ONE the winner of the 2005-06 race said after crossing the line in Gothenburg " This is my Olympic Gold, my Mount Everest, my childhood dream"

The Volvo Trophy will be handed to Knud Frostad by a member of the helicopter flight team . It comprises of 11 wave shaped rings - each ring representing one of the 11 races held so far. The 11th ring will be engraved when the boat which finally claim victory in the 2011-2012 race takes podium honours in Galway.

And the eventual winner of the gruelling round the world race will now be decided in the seas off the Irish west coast or perhaps in Galway Bay with four of the six participating boats still separated by just a handful of points.

The French entry Groupama, the current race favourite, is on 219 points, but only has a 23 point lead on the US challenger Puma on 196, New Zealand's "Camper" is on 191 with Spain's "Telefonica" also on 191 points. The other two boats Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is on 122 and the Chinese entry, Sanya, which is being part sponsored by Failte Ireland, is on 39.

The second last in port race will take place in Lorient on Saturday and the fleet then set out on the final 485 nautical dash to Galway battling for the vital 30 points a leg win carries. The Lorient in port race and the Galway in port race both carry 6 points

Race followers will have an opportunity to see another air display at Salthill as the final in port race takes place On Saturday July 7th. The race begins at 11am and is due to finish about 4pm. The air display is scheduled for 2.45pm weather permitting.

It will involve formation and solo flights by four Air Corp Pilatus PC-9M aircraft and by an Augusta Westland AW 139 helicopter that will take part in a maritime display and a winching operation in conjunction with the naval vessel L.E. Niamh. A number of coastguard helicopters are also expected to join in the display.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race Team

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