Stage 2 of our global tour with the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Capetown.

Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 – Producers Log #2

Posted by: Jo Rees on December 2nd, 2014 IN General news

If you are a regular follower of Crane’s Eye View, you’ll know that we set off in October with the intrepid crews of the Volvo Ocean Race on the first leg of their 9 month ordeal. Well, we saw them off from Alicante with a series of Volvo ‘sailabrations’ and then hopped on to a safe, dry plane whilst they battled with the elements.

Our not-so-tough job is to meet the teams in 9 of the stopover ports as they circumnavigate the globe and to entertain Volvo’s VIP guests who have come to soak up the truly great Race Village atmosphere and watch the in-port racing. I’m Jo Rees, the show producer and I’ve just returned from Cape Town where the 7 teams regrouped after the 1st leg of the race.


2nd stop: Cape Town, 1st-19th November

V&A Waterfront

The port of Cape Town is a stunning and thriving area of the city dominated by the incredible V&A Waterfront, South Africa’s most popular shopping destination with over 450 shops, bars and restaurants and overlooked by the unmistakable silhouette of Table Mountain.

Table Mountain

The mountain forms a dramatic backdrop with its 3 kilometre plateau, often covered in what locals call a ‘table cloth’ of cloud formed by the south-easterly winds. Legend attributes this phenomenon to a smoking contest between the Devil and an infamous local pirate called Van Hunks. I’ll let you decide!

It’s also worth mentioning Nobel Square where you’ll find four larger-than-life bronze sculptures of South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela.

Nobel Square

The area positively buzzed at night. The Race Village closed at 9pm but there was so much to do and see. I loved Mitchell’s Scottish Ale House, a firm favourite with the crews – I spotted Ian Walker, the Abu Dhabi skipper there relaxing on the eve of Leg 2.

Our shows were incredibly well received by the customers and dealers of Volvo Trucks, Bus, Construction, Cars and Penta. On the last night, dinner was hosted by the President of Volvo Southern Africa, Torbjörn Christensson and the audience were in great spirits, giving our performers an incredible reception and even dancing themselves.

The in-port racing on November 15th was fantastic and could be watched by visitors to the Racing Village on big screens which really added to the atmosphere.

big screen

A huge reminder of the perils that the crews face as soon as they leave the port was the announcement from the event’s security team about piracy in the Indian Ocean. In the 2011/12 edition of the race, boats were shipped from the Maldives to Sharjah due to the very real threat of pirate attack. Happily, the problem has been greatly reduced since then and boats will race the entirety of Leg 2 albeit avoiding certain exclusion zones that are deemed too dangerous. Once again, I am reminded how safe I feel in the Race Village.

Our biggest ordeal was an incredible rainstorm that struck just as our performers were due to go on stage one night. The back stage area of the Volvo Pavilion is relatively exposed and is not only where performers assemble but is used by the catering crew and is the main access from the kitchen. We had an hilarious time sheltering talent and food from driving, sideways rain with our umbrellas. The audience wouldn’t have known a thing as we danced around outside getting very wet in the process – all in a day’s work for an event producer!

Jo at the top

Join me in Abu Dhabi later this month as we celebrate with Volvo at the end of Leg 2 whilst the crews relax a little for Christmas and prepare for their onward journey to China.

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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