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Finish Line: The Volvo Ocean Race and IWC

July 8, 2012

Last October I was invited to the kick-off of the Volvo Ocean Race in Spain, where I spent the weekend with IWC and their sponsored yacht, Azzam.  Now nine months later, the Volvo Ocean Race has come to a close as the fleet of six made their way across the finish line in the Port of Galway.

To describe this race as a challenge would be a joke.  For nine months and over 39,000 miles, each crew experiences some of the most worst conditions experienced by sailors.  Competing is admirable, completing puts you in a league of your own.  A challenge indeed.

Although the race dates back to 1973, IWC’s participation marked a year of firsts.  In what was probably the most fitting of partnerships, IWC stood as the official timekeeper of the race, in an arena where time couldn’t be more critical.  IWC was also the sponsor of the first Arab competitor with Team Abu Dhabi’s yacht, Azzam.  Despite catching a few bad breaks, Team Abu Dhabi remained competitive from start to finish.  After experiencing a broken mast in the first leg and trouble later in the race, Azzam sailed into fifth place last week in Galway.

Coinciding with the race, IWC also released the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph, Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 Edition.  Receiving some aesthetic updates, the VOR Edition packs the same punch as its predecessor.  For the full bill of good, stop by IWC.

Sitting at the starting line of such a great race kept it hot on my radar over the last nine months, and taking part in the event with one of the yacht’s sponsors gave me a team to support.  It’s one of the most impressing sporting events in the world and one I’m personally passionate about.  There isn’t another sporting event that matches the scale of this race.  And now in its completion, every sailor involved will get two more years to deem themselves insane enough to take on the race again.  [IWC & VOR]

Photos: Volvo Ocean Race/Getty Images North America and IWC

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