Volvo Ocean Race: Lorient la Base, the race village inaugurated


Getting close… While the fleet tacks northwards to the SN1 buoy, penultimate marker before the island of Groix and the finish line, the Volvo Ocean Race village was inaugurated by Norbert Métairie, president of Lorient Agglomération and mayor of Lorient and Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.

At sea


It’s the last few miles for the Volvo Ocean Race crews who are now almost directly in line with the next route marker, the SN1 buoy marking the entry to the Saint-Nazaire channel. In accordance with the race instructions, the teams will then head directly for the island of Groix, left to starboard, before a final tack into the western approaches to Lorient. As the leaders would have been passing the “Morbihan” buoy in the bay of Quiberon at night, this type of route designed to show off the colours of the Volvo Ocean Race monohulls is of little interest. The race management have therefore opted for plan B, shunting this detour. ETA is between 6 and 8 am (local time). A little over 150 miles from the finish, the SCA Team girls are still holding their own. Their victory will be a fitting reward for a crew that have never given up. Sam Davies always said: the only women’s team felt closer and closer to the other boats in the fleet. Proof she was right.


On land


In the village, the first visitors have been making the most of the events in place. Outings on Mini VORs dressed in the colours of the race teams were especially lively given the stiff north-westerly winds hitting the Breton coast. Next to the SCA pavilion, those who wished took part in their first “pilates" class, physical fitness for the mind and body. The latest events open to the public: a visit of a Volvo Ocean 65 opened up to understand what life on board is like, remote-controlled boats, the race explained in the Dome, the wall of images of Maersk Line – the Volvo Ocean Race village has something for everyone.


Symbolic ribbon cutting


At 5.30 pm, Norbert Métairie and Knut Frostad, with Jean-Michel Le Boulanger, Vice-president of the region of Brittany and Ronan Loas, Vice-president of the Morbihan department, cut the ribbon at the entrance to the Volvo Ocean Race village - signalling that this time, the party has really started. At the same time, Armel Le Cléac’h was tying up his new IMOCA monohull Banque Populaire VIII, on which he will be preparing the next Vendée Globe. Proof, if proof were needed, that this week Lorient la Base is at the epicentre of offshore racing.






Norbert Métairie, President of Lorient Agglomération and Mayor of Lorient:

"In less than 15 years, Lorient la Base has become the largest European centre for boating and an ideal place to host major, popular sporting events.

 The infrastructures developed on the former Keroman submarine base make for a unique showcase for the world of offshore racing: some 200 companies working in boating or the sea, 10 permanent teams, 90 skippers including 50 professionals, 12 nationalities, gigantic infrastructures in the old refurbished blockhouses, more than 1 kilometre of pontoons and the capacity to host international nautical events, including the mythical Volvo Ocean Race (ex Whitbread).


The Eric Tabarly sailing museum is the flagship of this reconversion. It has enhanced the potential and attraction of the nautical and tourist sectors by giving the sector a boost of energy and serving as a base for a wide range of events linked to sailing.  The results testify:


 - A place which is now a real tourist destination

 - Quality waters for all nautical leisure activities

 - An internationally renowned nautical centre for successful companies.


In 2010, the association Lorient Grand Large was formed to strengthen this desire to federate nautical ambitions and the goal to assert and develop the offshore racing cluster and organise major nautical events.

 Already selected for the French stopover in 2012 of the largest crewed round-the-world yacht race, Lorient Agglomération was again chosen to host the Turkish-American, Franco-Chinese, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish and Abu-Dhabi teams from 9th to 16th June 2015.


 This is the real measure of what we are trying to achieve: putting our region on the map with its energy and dynamic well beyond its borders. The nautical sector is characteristic of this desire, this ambition.”


Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race


“It’s a real pleasure to return to Lorient. Here you have the whole history of offshore racing, from Pen Duick VI, Eric Tabarly’s boat to the latest ocean racing machines. I would like to thank the team who organised this stopover in Lorient. And I would say: get to bed early, as you will have to be up early tomorrow to perhaps witness a historical moment, the victory of a women’s team in a stage of the Volvo Ocean Race. Thank you and see you tomorrow early on the pontoons.”



Programme for Thursday 11th June:

Between 6 am and 8 am local time: arrival of the boats. Mooring at the pontoon 30 to 45 minutes after crossing the finish line. Press conference at the Bretagne Business Club about 1½ hours after the arrival of the boats on the pontoon.

12h Petite Scène:Pilates with SCA

3 pm:Petite Scène:demonstration of Kung Fu - Dongfeng

6 pm Eric Tabarly sailing museum auditorium:conference “medicine at sea”

6.30 pm Petite Scène:Zumba class - SCA

8.15 pm Grande Scène: concert St Lô + The Same Old Band

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Journal Lorient-La Base

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Émission animée tous les jours en direct à 18h par le journaliste-navigateur Pierre-Yves Lautrou

Institutional partners

Lorient Agglomération

Conseil Général du Morbihan

Région Bretagne

La Ville de Lorient

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