Leap frogging around the world

Published on December 17th, 2014

All of the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have now arrived into Khalifa Port, the second stop of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. Working behind the scenes has been GAC Pindar’s logistics team which delivered the original race village from Alicante, Spain and re-built it in Abu Dhabi, 62 days and 11,672 nautical miles later, after leapfrogging the second race stop in Cape Town.

As the official logistics provider for the Volvo Ocean Race, GAC Pindar’s role includes the logistics and customs clearance of each race village in each port. Each stopover provides GAC Pindar with a host of unique logistics challenges and Abu Dhabi was no different.

Lukas Jönsson, GAC, On Ground Team Manager, Volvo Ocean Race explains: “Between our travelling colleagues from GAC Pindar, our specialist yachting and sailing events division, and GAC Abu Dhabi we have eleven permanent staff working round the clock to make sure the whole operation is completed without a glitch and we’re proud that our efforts have meant that the Abu Dhabi race village opened on time.”

“It has been a busy period for large sporting events in the region and we’ve had to compete for time with the customs officials with the likes of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, DP World Tour Championship golf and the ISAF Sailing World Cup. To further complicate matters the 112 race village containers arrived through Kahlifa Port, Abu Dhabi and will depart via Jebel Ali Port in Dubai to ensure two different sets of customs officials and two sets of paperwork.”

Due to the sheer size of the race, 38,739 nautical miles across five continents and eleven ports including a pit-stop in The Hague in just nine months, two identical race villages are required which leapfrog each other across the globe. The race village for the next port in Sanya, China will be coming from Cape Town.

Jönsson continues: “While the race village is open our ongoing role includes the management of boatyard deliveries and material handling so that we are on call 24/7. We then have the responsibility of the all-important ‘bump out’ to make sure the race village is ready to be shipped onto Auckland, the fourth stopover of the race. The first air freight containers will depart immediately after the race boats and within three and a half days 60% of the race village will leave for Auckland.”

The third offshore leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya is 4,670 nm, with the start on Jan. 3 and the ETA on Jan. 23-31.


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