Volvo Ocean Race ‘most connected sporting event in history’

10 September 2014: Yacht racing fans will be able to experience every aspect of life at sea during the world’s toughest race – thanks to Inmarsat’s robust, reliable global connectivity services.

Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 sets sail on 4 October from Alicante, Spain, with seven crews navigating 38,739 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports across six continents.

Inmarsat is the race’s official Satellite Communications Partner for a fourth consecutive edition, delivering cutting-edge safety services, vessel tracking capabilities, audio and video communications and social media access.

Remote regions

Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, said: “This is going to be the most connected sporting event in history, thanks to Inmarsat. No other globally-recognised sporting event covers so much of the world or takes place in regions as remote or challenging.

“Having Inmarsat onboard each vessel means that every crew remains connected, which is vital for safety, while Inmarsat’s broadband capabilities mean they can share their lives at sea with the rest of the world.”

Each of the seven vessels will be able to share pictures, videos and stories of their thrilling and gruelling journey via TV, websites and across all social media channels using the award-winning Inmarsat network.

Ensuring safety

Whether the crew demand life-saving medical assistance mid-leg or the skipper wants to send a message home to say ‘Happy birthday’, Inmarsat is making it possible.

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “This is undoubtedly the most challenging sporting event in the calendar and we’re pleased to play such a crucial role in ensuring the safety of the crews onboard each boat.

“With over 30 years of delivering the life-saving Global Maritime Distress Service (GMDSS), we are trusted to help keep each team safe as they compete in the race.

Shared updates

“Our involvement is also key to helping race organisers, sponsors, family and fans follow what’s happening on each boat as information and updates are constantly shared over Inmarsat’s global mobile satellite communications network.”

Each Volvo Ocean 65 race boat is equipped with Inmarsat’s flagship maritime services – FleetBroadband 500 (FB500), FleetBroadband 250 (FB250) and Inmarsat C for safety.

In addition, each boat will carry Inmarsat’s latest satellite phone, IsatPhone 2, in their liferaft packs.

Onboard Reporters

Every team has a trained Onboard Reporter (OBR) onboard who is  crucial in updating everyone on shore as to how each team is faring.

Using FleetBroadband, they will be sending 200 words, five to ten photos, and two minutes of video every day to the millions of followers.

The 20 OBRs, including reserves, were picked from 2,500 applicants.

Inmarsat award

The Onboard Reporter Award sponsored by Inmarsat will see one OBR win a prize for the most compelling content produced over each leg.

An overall prize will be awarded at the end of the race to the OBR who delivers the most engaging content throughout.

At every port a full-size cross section of the Volvo Ocean 65 boat, which each team is racing, will be on display, showcasing the work of the OBRs and the role of Inmarsat’s equipment in the race.

After setting off from Spain, the yachts will sail to Cape Town, South Africa; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sanya, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itajai, Brazil; Lisbon, Portugal; Lorient, France; Newport, USA; The Hague, the Netherlands, with a scheduled finish date in Gothenburg, Sweden of 27 June 2015.

Volvo Ocean Race: