17 Jan 2023 / Alicante, Spain

The Ocean Race sets sail with GAC Pindar

Official Logistics Provider for 14th edition of the world’s greatest competitive sailing challenge

The starting pistol for The Ocean Race fired in Alicante on 15 January, sending five IMOCA and six VO65 yachts away to Cabo Verde on the first leg of their races, with the support of GAC Pindar as Official Logistics Provider. The marine leisure, sports and events arm of GAC Group is the only logistics services partner to take on the role three times, following its successful collaboration in the 2014-15 and 2017-18 editions of the race.

“It is an honour to play an important part in this great event for an unprecedented third consecutive term,” says GAC Pindar’s General Manager Jeremy Troughton. “The Ocean Race never stops evolving and always raises the bar for us as a service provider. It empowers and tests us, both as a global team and as individuals, to deliver the best possible logistics solutions.”

Phil Lawrence, Race Director of The Ocean Race, adds: “The Ocean Race has many logistical challenges that must be overcome to deliver a successful, professional event. This is the third edition that GAC Pindar has been our logistics partner and they have consistently delivered a high level of service and reliability. The global reach of the GAC Group and high level of commitment from their team to find solutions makes this an ideal partnership for us.”

The IMOCA fleet is now en route on Leg One of their epic 32,000 NM race, which will circumnavigate the globe visiting a total of nine cities and finishing in Genoa, Italy, in June. In a new event, The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint, the VO65 fleet is also racing to Cabo Verde, off the coast of northwest Africa, and will resume the competition in May when the IMOCAs return to Europe.

The Ocean Race is often described as sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup. As such, the demands on the competition’s logistics services provider presents a global challenge, especially as the leg starts and in port races for each leg of this edition will be covered live by the race’s broadcast partner, Warner Bros. Discovery.

Since its appointment as an official partner to the Race 18 months ago, GAC Pindar has worked tirelessly to ensure everything was in place for the official opening of the Ocean Live Park next to The Ocean Race’s headquarters in Alicante, Spain. As the Race progresses over the next six months, GAC Pindar will be responsible for tracking and monitoring each and every shipment to ensure the Race’s time-critical needs are met. In addition to the transportation of Ocean Live Park infrastructure, they will also move broadcast and other support equipment between host cities, manage customs clearance, storage and relocation services for urgent spares, site management, on-the-ground staff and provision of site materials handling equipment. To do so, they will work closely with logistics experts from GAC’s global network of offices to ensure fast and efficient on-the-ground responses to the demands of the world-class event.

GAC Pindar teams working in the host cities and at its headquarters in Southampton, UK, will be on standby throughout, ready to coordinate recovery logistics services if needed. That standby role is a familiar one for them, as they have provided urgent yacht and mast transport solutions for four teams during the previous two editions of the Race.

Focus on sustainability
In collaboration with the founding partner of its sustainability programme, 11th Hour Racing, The Ocean Race features an ambitious and comprehensive science programme that will see its teams collect more environmental data than any other sporting event in the world, measuring microplastic pollution and gathering information about the impact of climate change on the ocean, as well as gathering data to improve global weather forecasting.

Both The Ocean Race and GAC Pindar are committed to reducing shipping-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through the use of more locally provided services.

Troughton says the core mission for this edition is to reduce the impact on the environment by taking action to eliminate single-use plastics involved in logistics operations.

“Not only does that reflect our own corporate commitment, it is a must when working for The Ocean Race, which proved itself as a sustainable event leader with its award-wining efforts in the 2017-18 edition,” he noted.

GAC Pindar will also provide detailed data on GHG emissions produced through all transport and logistics arranged on behalf of The Ocean Race, its partners and teams.

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