The Volvo Ocean Race teams were treated to a rare breather in their race around the world at the penultimate stopover in Lorient, France, where they attended a construction equipment demonstration – and had the opportunity to operate the machines.
This week the Volvo Ocean Race teams arrived in Lorient, France for the penultimate stopover before the dash to the finish line in Galway, Ireland. Despite having covered a distance of 38,500 nautical miles over a grueling nine months, there are still four teams in the running to win – making it the closest round-the-world race in history. So it was no surprise the crew were looking forward to a moment’s respite before tomorrow’s in-port race…
Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) took the opportunity to invite its customers, journalists and the sailing teams to demonstration events at a nearby site where 20 machines performed a theatrical nautical-themed show that culminated in hoisting the sail. The 30-minute spectacular involved Volvo excavators, wheel loaders, backhoe loaders, road machinery and even the brand new PL3005 pipe layer – which launches to press today (Friday 29th June).
Skippers, sailors and shore crew from the world’s leading racing teams were invited alongside other visitors to test drive the machines. Elin Svanström, sponsorship and events coordinator at Volvo CE, explains: “The Volvo Ocean Race is an excellent reflection of our core values of quality, safety and environmental care – and a lot of comparisons can be drawn between the conditions the teams and boats have to endure and what our machinery endures every day.”
One of the few truly global sporting events requires teams to battle the relentless strong winds of the high seas – and to win requires impeccable teamwork. “Our machines are used in the extreme heat of the desert and the bitter cold in Siberia – and everywhere in between,” says Elin. “Volvo CE delivers a first class support team and customer solutions to keep the machines up and running no matter where they are in the world – just like these dedicated sailing teams have to.”
During the course of this week, over 300 customers, journalists and crew members visited the demonstration site to catch a glimpse of Volvo CE’s latest equipment. What started out as a dirt track took just over a week to transform into an elaborate show area, just 10 minutes from the Volvo Pavilion in Race Village.
Today more than 30 journalists from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa attended the launch of the PL3005 – Volvo’s latest pipe layer. President of the company’s newly formed sales region EMEA, Tomas Kuta, said: “Volvo CE has a long and strong tradition of developing fuel efficient, reliable machines that do more with less. The pipe layer that we unveil today is the perfect illustration of the innovative nature of the company. Volvo CE has torn-up the rules of the traditional side boom, tractor type, pipe layers and come up with a completely novel solution for this expanding market – one that is more effective, more efficient and safer. This typifies the Volvo approach to innovation.”
Groupama Sailing Team is currently topping the leaderboard but there are just 18 points between the top four. PUMA Ocean Racing, CAMPER with Emirates and Team Telefónica will all be vying for that gold medal in the last 450 mile stretch to Galway in Ireland where the winner will finally be crowned.
Caption 1: The Volvo Ocean Race teams attend a demonstration construction site in Lorient
Caption 2: Testing out the machines
Caption 3: Volvo Ocean Race visitors watch the construction equipment in action