Volvo Ocean Race 2014 – Producer’s Log #1

Posted by: Jo Rees on October 16th, 2014 IN Volvo Ocean Race Producer's Log

With 38,739 nautical miles to cover, the tri-annual Volvo Ocean Race is one of the world’s toughest yacht races circumnavigating the globe and spanning 9 months.  This year 7 teams, including an all women team, will compete for this prestigious trophy.

They’ll take in 11 cities in 11 countries and we’ll be there at all of them conjuring up a series of ‘sailabrations’ in the Race Village for Volvo and their VIP guests.  I’m Jo Rees, the show producer and over the next 9 months I’ll also be circumnavigating the globe, albeit in the warm and dry comfort of a plane, bringing you my producer’s log from each of the stop over ports.

1st stop: Alicante, 4th-11th October

We arrived in Alicante in late September to prep for the first week of in port racing and hospitality in the Race Village.  Glorious hot weather but a dramatic storm on 1st October reminded us all what the sailors will have to face.

Alicante Architecture lr

The Volvo Pavillion is situated in the middle of the Ocean Race Village, with a large sun terrace and great views of the competing boats moored directly in front.  It takes 3 weeks to construct and 5 days to take down in each port.  There is a fantastic atmosphere as the race village is free to enter for anybody visiting the port.  You can watch the teams working on their boats, it’s all very up-close-and-personal and feels incredibly inclusive and not at all elitist.

castle santa barbara

We are overlooked by the dramatic Castle of Santa Barbara which sits high above the city and a short walk away from the Explanada de Espana, paved with its 6.5 million marble floor tiles.

It’s a stunning backdrop but I can’t let myself get too distracted, I’m here to ensure that Volvo’s 6 ‘sailabration’ shows and 2 cabaret nights run smoothly and are met with huge appreciation from our audiences of up to 200 that will include royalty and VIPs from all over the world.

With a heavy rehearsal schedule, our live shows kicked off on 3rd October and ran for a week until the boats left Alicante on the 11th for the first leg of the race that will take them to Cape Town.  The team was thrilled to see the first few performances so well received.  It’s a 30 minute experience comprising music, film, dance and state-of-the-art projection mapping that evoke the emotional and physical challenges that the teams will experience.  We’ve created content for a bespoke 20 x 7 metre projection wall that extends 5 metres into the audience.  Coupled with 360° surround sound it takes the audiences on an exciting journey inspired by the thrills and challenges of the race.

Here’s me with some of the team and cast taking a rare break in the sun:

volvo ocean race

Follow us as we follow the teams and the excitement.  There’ll be more from Cape Town, including some images and footage of the show – in just 6,487 nautical miles – or a 10 hour hop on a plane for me.  See you there!

Jo Rees

Jo Rees

Jo Rees is an event producer at Line Up predominantly working with automotive and financial clients. She hails from Porthcawl in Wales but is currently to be found globe-trotting whilst she follows the Volvo Ocean Race around the world creating ‘sailabrations’ in every port.

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