During the week of the Volvo Ocean Race Conference, representatives from all 10 host ports, the racing teams, local authorities and race sponsors gathered at Race Headquarters in Alicante, for the unveiling of the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy that will honour the winning team of the 2011-12 edition of the race.
The new trophy, a result of a highly contested bidding process, was designed by Spanish company Proximma Comunicación and represents the history of a legendary race with a 37-year heritage.
Made of aluminum and silver plate, this beautifully designed trophy stands 70cm high and weighs nine kilos. Its silver masts support 11 wave-shaped rings that surround the depths of a hidden blue ocean inside.
It symbolises the glory of winning what is still one of the most extreme challenges in the world of sport, its rings representing the 10 past editions of the race and the upcoming event in 2011. The year and the route of each past race are engraved on a ring, together with the name of the winning boat and her skipper.
“We think that the new Volvo Ocean Race Trophy encapsulates all facets of the Race,” emphasises Knut Frostad, CEO Volvo Ocean Race. “It is a distinctive trophy and with its modern feel, it shows how forward-thinking the race is. Yet the rings representing the past editions depict our pride in our legacy and heritage. ”
The eleventh ring will be engraved at the end of the next race when it finishes in Galway in the summer of 2012. A new ring will be added after every future edition.
As with the Olympic Games, there is no financial reward for winning this 37,000 nautical-mile race around the world. Just competing in the race represents an achievement, with success meaning everything to those who have attained it.
Mike Sanderson, winning skipper of ABN AMRO ONE in 2005-06 summarised this ideal when, after crossing the final finish line in Gothenburg, he said, “This is my Olympic Gold, my Mount Everest, my childhood dream.”
The trophy will be based in the Volvo Ocean Race Museum in Alicante once the complex is completed, but over the next six months it will be on display around the world at some of the host cities of the next race.
When it is held aloft by the winning crew in Galway in July 2012, it will be the result of an amazing adventure. The crew will keep a perpetual trophy which will then be handed to the winners of the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.