With just six months left to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, CEO Knut Frostad is now facing his biggest challenge, because earlier today, Grant Dalton announced that the ETNZ mob will definitely not be competing in the 2014-15 edition of the race. This sets up a massive problem for Frostad and those, like us, who believed the move to One-Design was a prudent one, and those, like us, who believed a strictly manufactured boat could possible bring costs down enough to see a fully subscribed field of 8 teams.
It looks like both Knut and SA were wrong on this one, and we’re not sure why: Were the cost savings on the VOD65 simply not big enough over a VO70? Is the corporate world simply not interested in this kind of yacht race? Did the VOR staff simply not bring enough sponsor development and negotiating skills to the table? We just don’t know.
What we do know is this: If Pedro Campos and his Spanish VOR team didn’t have leverage before in their bargaining for the best price on a Volvo 65, they sure do have some now! Expect an announcement from them next week, and expect 6 boats on the line in Alicante.