GAC Pindar’s Volvo Ocean Race logistics challenge
All of the boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have now arrived into Khalifa Port and behind the scenes GAC Pindar’s logistics team ensured the original race village from Alicante was safely re-built in Abu Dhabi, 62 days and 11,672 nautical miles later, after leapfrogging the second race stop in Cape Town. As the official logistics provider for the Volvo Ocean Race, GAC Pindar’s role includes the logistics and customs clearance of each race village in each port.
Each stopover provides GAC Pindar with a host of unique logistics challenges and Abu Dhabi was no different. Lukas Jönsson, GAC, On Ground Team Manager, Volvo Ocean Race explains: “Between our travelling colleagues from GAC Pindar, our specialist yachting and sailing events division, and GAC Abu Dhabi we have eleven permanent staff working round the clock to make sure the whole operation is completed without a glitch and we’re proud that our efforts have meant that the Abu Dhabi race village opened on time.”
“It has been a busy period for large sporting events in the region and we’ve had to compete for time with the customs officials with the likes of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix, DP World Tour Championship golf and the ISAF Sailing World Cup. To further complicate matters the 112 race village containers arrived through Kahlifa Port, Abu Dhabi and will depart via Jebel Ali Port in Dubai to ensure two different sets of customs officials and two sets of paperwork.” Due to the sheer size of the race, 38,739 nautical miles across five continents and eleven ports including a pit-stop in The Hague in just nine months, two identical race villages are required and will leapfrog each other across the globe. Jönsson continues:
“While the race village is open our ongoing role includes the management of boatyard deliveries and material handling so that we are on call 24/7. We then have the responsibility of the all-important ‘bump out’ to make sure the race village is ready to be shipped onto Auckland, the fourth stopover of the race. The first air freight containers will depart immediately after the race boats and within three and a half days 60% of the race village will leave for Auckland.” The third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will depart Abu Dhabi on Saturday 3rd January.
About GAC Group GAC is a global provider of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services. Emphasizing world-class performance, a long-term approach, innovation, ethics and a strong human touch, GAC delivers a flexible and value-adding portfolio to help customers achieve their strategic goals. Established since 1956, GAC employs over 10,000 people in more than 300 offices worldwide. About GAC Pindar Launched in 2011, GAC Pindar is the go-to provider for marine and sport leisure logistics.
GAC Pindar combines the global strength and resources of the GAC Group with the inside understanding of the yachting world, represented by the Team Pindar professional sailing team. GAC Pindar is the official logistics provider for the Extreme Sailing Series and the Volvo Ocean Race.
GAC Pindar is also a familiar name on the international race circuit, frequently featuring in the winning line-up at premier sailing events.
by Neil Brotherston