Carolijn Brouwer, right, of Team SCA studies the weather map as they cross the Atlantic Ocean from Lanzarote Spain to Newport Rhode Island last month during training for the Volvo Ocean Race which begins later this year. Organisers hope the technology used for this year’s race will humanise the experience for those following onshore. Corinna Halloran / Getty Images
Carolijn Brouwer, right, of Team SCA studies the weather map as they cross the Atlantic Ocean from Lanzarote Spain to Newport Rhode Island last month during training for the Volvo Ocean Race which begShow more

Volvo Ocean Race aims to be follower-friendly

Radical changes to this year’s Volvo Ocean Race have made it more attractive for potential entrants and also promise to enhance the experience for its followers, according to the race chief Knut Frostad.

The biggest change for the 12th edition of the round-the-world race centres on boat design. All teams will now use the same, one-design Volvo Ocean 65, adding a levelling effect to an often-uneven field.

That has also meant that more teams have been interested in entering. Though the race currently has five confirmed teams, Frostad anticipates having seven, which would mean an increase from the last race.

“We have two more teams that are soon to come – not announced yet, but soon to come,” Frostad said. “We are very confident about that.”

Frostad said the race has attracted more potential teams this time around because of the design, but that is also why they were limited to seven boats.

“It has been better, we have had more companies interested,” he said. “The challenge we had this time was that because we went to the one-design class – and that was primarily a reaction to the current economic climate, we had to make some adjustments and brought the budget significantly down – we had some very positive reactions.

“But we could only build eight boats between the two races, that was the limit we had time-wise, because the boats had to be built by the same manufacturer. A lot of the teams felt that the [manufacture of the] eighth boat was too close to the start.

“But we are very happy with seven teams. It is two more than we had last time. In the last race, we had five new boats, now we have seven new boats.”

One of the two incoming teams has previous experience, having competed in the last race in 2011/12. That brings the number of repeat entries to two; the other is Azzam, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's boat, which sailed last time as well.

The five new teams include one all-female boat, as well as one with an entire crew under age 30. That variety has excited organisers, but the change in how the race will interact with followers around the world, and how it is broadcast, is one that excites Frostad the most.

All boats will have wireless connectivity on board and crew equipped with tablets and other tools, in theory providing a constant stream of updates. Biometric data of the crew will be captured, as well as heart rates. The idea, Frostad said, is to humanise the experience and take it closer to the follower.

“We are going to see a completely new level of broadcasting from the boat,” he said.

“The equipment we have on the new boat, that’s a big step up from the past, so we can cover the race much better.

“In particular, the sound is where I have a really high expectation. Now we have designed the boat around the sound and TV equipment instead of the opposite, where we had to retrofit equipment in the past.

“We have a much better ability to capture voice from the sailors, which was always difficult in the past because of wind and water. We are doing a lot of cool, new things.

“We will broadcast the biometrics and broadcast some of the human data on board. We’re going to have a much stronger focus on the people, because it will be much more about them.”


Mr Kandhari is legally authorised to conduct marriages in the gurdwara

He has officiated weddings of Sikhs and people of different faiths from Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, the US and Canada

Father of two sons, grandfather of six

Plays golf once a week

Enjoys trying new holiday destinations with his wife and family

Walks for an hour every morning

Completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Loyola College, Chennai, India

2019 is a milestone because he completes 50 years in business



Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Stars: Gerard Butler, Navid Negahban, Ali Fazal

Rating: 2.5/5

The specs

Engine: 6.2-litre V8

Power: 502hp at 7,600rpm

Torque: 637Nm at 5,150rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Price: from Dh317,671

On sale: now

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Amitav Ghosh, University of Chicago Press

Hot Seat

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Stars: Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, Shannen Doherty, Sam Asghari

Rating: 1/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Match info

Athletic Bilbao 0

Real Madrid 1 (Ramos 73' pen)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat


Director: Andrés Baiz

Starring: Sofía Vergara, Alberto Guerra, Juliana Aiden Martinez

Rating: 4/5

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder and 3.6-litre 6-cylinder

Power: 220 and 280 horsepower

Torque: 350 and 360Nm

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Price: from Dh136,521 + VAT and Dh166,464 + VAT 

On sale: now

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed

Power: 620bhp

Torque: 760Nm

Price: Dh898,000

On sale: now


Name: Telr
Based: Dubai, UAE
Launch year: 2014
Number of employees: 65
Sector: FinTech and payments
Funding: nearly $30 million so far

Most Read
Top Videos