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James Boyd speaks to some of the Volvo skippers about their thoughts for the next Volvo Ocean Race
While it is most welcome news that Volvo will be running their race again over 2005-6, the hardest choices about the next event have yet to be made. The general concensus is in wanting to reduce campaign costs next time round, but how to do this and keep the event at the Grand Prix cutting edge, the Formula One of ocean racing? There is added pressure on Volvo from some quarters where it is felt that the longer the delay, the less time there is to take to the sponsor hunting trail. "I wasn't at all surprised," Neal McDonald told madfor sailing of the delay. "They [Volvo] are in a tricky situation. If cost wasn't an issue, bigger faster boats would be the obvious thing. I feel for them. It is a critical decision and I'm not surprised they haven't been able to make up their minds over the type of yachts. I would have gone to big multihulls. Clearly that's not the case. Personally I'd stick to what we've got. Any rule change has got to be more expensive..." So one vote for sticking with the Volvo Ocean 60. At present it is believed Volvo campaign budgets weigh in at $12-22 million according to how long prior to the start the campaign began testing and training and whether or not this figure includes the amount sponsors have spent on marketing extras such as big corporate tents for hospitality and shipping in guests. McDonald believes that campaign budgets have doubled and in some cases tripled just since the last race. Djuice's Knut Frostad thinks budget slashing is most definitely in order. "I think Volvo is on the right track when it comes to reducing costs for the syndicates. I hope they can manage to get the price below $10 million,"