THE HAGUE _ The 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier fully-crewed round the world race that ended here in June, was a significant multiplier of corporate and media outreach, say Dutch participants and sponsors.

AkzoNobel, maker of performance coatings, says it generated €65 million of “media value” through brand exposure in traditional and social media. The City of The Hague lured 88,000 spectators to its beaches to watch the VOR finish, plus 337,000 to its Race Village.

And the sight of 263 youngsters racing in the European Optimist Championships _ staged to coincide with the VOR finish _ cheered Dutch boating professionals who fear the graying of boaters is their industry’s death knell.

The VOR finish was an occasion for off-grid power specialist Mastervolt, to brief 50 clients and partners on the performance of its identical electrical systems and components on the One-design VOR yachts, it also showed off ‘The Boatyard,’ the VOR’s mobile maintenance facility. Packed with parts and gear, the 2 workshop containers were provided by Damen Shipyards.

The heart of the Mastervolt system (above)was the CZone, a digital control and monitoring network. It simplifies installation of electrical systems by replacing cumbersome wiring to switch-and-fuse panels. It has state-of-the-art interfaces and light NMEA 2000 network cable. CZone also provides a sophisticated solution via the automation of complicated control and monitoring issues associated with today’s onboard systems. The CZone is designed for 9-32 V systems. It features built-in timers, dimmers, alarms, voltage reducers and load shedding. Dual high-output Mastervolt alternators charge the LION batteries. Time to full charge: about an hour a day.

AkzoNobel briefed its clients and partners on the performance of its coatings. “All VOR yachts had the same coats,” says Technical Manager Richard Jennings. “First a primer, then a filler, a thicker primer, a sealing primer, a top coat and a few coats of clear coat. We used no antifouling.” AkzoNobel also provided each VOR entry with the right corporate color schemes.

Brunel, a global jobs provider, says it used its VOR participation to link highly educated professionals with market leaders worldwide. The 2021-22 VOR f. It will feature 2 boat classes _ the IMOCA 60 and VO65 class _ to attract more entries. Crews will race within their own classes and 2 trophies will be awarded. The IMOCA 60 is a design-driven, foiled monohull, used in short-handed races like the Vendée Globe. The VO65 is the one-design that has been used in the last 2 VORs.