terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2013

Grael backing for Recife in the Volvo Ocean Race

Dave Kneale / Volvo Ocean Race
The Recife stopover and Pernambuco team announced this week is a major honour for the city, the state and the entire country, according to the only Brazilian to have won the Race as skipper, Torben Grael.
'And one more thing – I believe Brazil should win this competition' - State Secretary Alberto Feltosa
Grael, who attended the announcement of the Recife team and Brazilian boat along with his brother Lars, is Brazil's most high-profile sailor, with five Olympic gold medals as well as his commanding victory with Ericsson 4 in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09.

He joined Pernambuco State Secretary for Tourism Alberto Feitosa at the announcement on Thursday and revealed the choice of Recife as the first stopover along the route, and the second Host City after the race's home and Start Port of Alicante, had originally come as a shock.

"We were taken a little by surprise, like everyone else, when we first heard that Recife was in line to be the first stop along the route," Grael said. "It's incredible, and very good for the whole of the north east of Brazil and indeed the whole of Brazil.

"Bringing an event as big as the Volvo Ocean Race is great for the sport, and for me it's even more of an honour, having participated in the event myself."

The team's backers are due to make an announcement about the team next month. As yet, they have not revealed their skipper or any other appointments.

Grael's brother Lars, who is also an Olympic medallist and now works to promote sailing, said the Volvo Ocean Race would be a perfect fit for Recife and the historical town of Olinda, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the city's neighbour.

"Recife is a city with a wonderful nautical heritage," he said. "This event will be a line in the sand, marking a past and a future, and it will bring benefits not only to Recife but also to Olinda, helping to strengthen that nautical tradition."

State Secretary Feitosa has given his full backing to the project and said the team would go into the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 with the highest possible ambition.

"We know the importance of bringing this great event to Recife," he said. "It's important for our region and the state.

"And one more thing – I believe Brazil should win this competition."  

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