Alicante Race Village Prepares for Grand Opening

The Alicante Race Village throws open its doors to the public on Friday October 14 and will be a three-week festival that ensures the race starts with a bang.

Visit any of the 10 Volvo Ocean Race Host Ports and you will be transported into the heart of this unique sporting event. Nowhere is that more true than in the Spanish city of Alicante, the start port for the 2011-12 edition of the race.

Like something from a Formula 1 grand prix, the Alicante Race Village is 40,000 square metres dedicated to entertainment with a programme brimming with concerts, shows, exhibitions, sailing clinics, rides, fireworks and restaurants.

It is also home to the Volvo Ocean Race Experience, an interactive attraction designed to suck landlubbers into the world of a Volvo Ocean Race sailor through its 3D cinema, simulator and winch grinding challenge.

The centrepiece of the Race Village will be the stars of the Volvo Ocean Race – the six 70ft Volvo Open 70 racing yachts and the crews that will race them 39,000 nautical miles through the world’s toughest oceans. For the first time ever the team zones will be open to the public allowing fans to watch master boat builders and design experts do their thing.

The Volvo Ocean Race’s Director of Operations Heather Sherer told the Alicante Race Village will boast something for everyone.

“What other major sporting event can you have access to for free?” she said. “Plus there are so many entertainment opportunities that bring the feeling of being at sea to the shore.

“There truly is something that will appeal to all members of the family from the 3D cinema that is state-of-the-art that will give you a new perspective of life on board to the bouncing castle for the little ones.

“For the first time ever we are offering the opportunity to get up close with a Volvo Open 70, with a limited number of the public to be given dockside access to the fleet.”

The Race Village will also provide the perfect place to watch the yachts race — on October 29 when they lock horns in close-quarter combat metres from the shore and again on November 5 when the teams start their sprint to 6,500 nautical mile Cape Town, South Africa.

An estimated four million people will visit the race villages in the 10 Volvo Ocean Race Host Ports – make sure you’re one of them.

The Alicante Race Village is free to enter and opens from 10am to midnight from Sunday to Thursday, with a later closing time of 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Photo and text via Volvo Ocean Race. Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race. Copyright 2011 Volvo Ocean Race