The Youth Academy aims to drive excitement and interest around the race by encouraging more children to experience and enjoy sailing and appreciate the value of winning together. AkzoNobel's involvement will also enable the company to connect and engage with communities along the race route.
For the more experienced young sailors, a series of races in Optimist dinghies will take place at ten of the 12 scheduled stopovers. Various workshops, training sessions and other activities will also be provided, such as educating and inspiring people to tackle the problem of plastic in our oceans.
"Connecting with young people and possibly helping to nurture the next generation of Volvo Ocean Race sailors is an exciting opportunity and we are delighted that the Youth Academy will be powered by International," said Alberto Slikta, Managing Director of AkzoNobel Specialty Coatings.
"Building on team AkzoNobel's participation in the next edition, it's a unique chance for us to support young sailors across the globe and broaden our involvement in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race by making a meaningful and lasting contribution."
The Youth Academy events will take place in the following cities: Alicante, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Cape Town, South Africa; Hong Kong, China; Auckland, New Zealand; Itajaí, Brazil; Newport, US; Cardiff, Wales; Gothenburg, Sweden and The Hague, the Netherlands. The Optimist races will feature eight competing teams, with each team in the main Volvo Ocean Race being represented by a team in the Youth Academy.
"We have already announced our commitment to creating Volvo Ocean Race Academies designed to help young high performance sailors gain the necessary offshore experience to compete for places on participating teams. That is one major stepping stone and the continuation of the Youth Academy is another important one, as this is about inspiring young people, getting them out on the water, educating them about the importance of ocean health and giving them the chance to dream," commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner.
Thousands of local youngsters were inspired, coached and entertained by the Youth Academy during the last edition of the race. International's support will now enable the Volvo Ocean Race to continue its long-established commitment to youth sailing worldwide.
AkzoNobel's International brand is the world leader in high performance marine and yacht coatings, as well as industrial protective coatings. The broad product range includes antifoulings, foul release systems, fire protection coatings and above and below the waterline yacht coatings and paints.
International's yacht business has been creating the most innovative coating solutions to protect, beautify and improve the performance of all types of boats for more than 160 years.