Construction begins on Premier Challenge

Grant Wharington's VO70 on its way in Australia

Thursday November 18th 2004, Author: Lizzie Green, Location: Australasia
Premier Challenge, the name of Grant Wharington's Volvo Ocean Race campaign (click here to read more about this) began construction on their new Volvo Open 70 that is due for launch in June 2005.

The boat is being built in Wharington's native Mornington near Melbourne, at the Docklands Central Pier.

John Brumby, the Minister for Innovation, for the Victorian State Government in Australia, welcomed plans to design and build Premier Challenge's Volvo Open 70 in Victoria. He said that Premier Challenge would promote Victoria's advanced design capabilities across the globe and that the Victorian Government would provide $500,000 towards the $15 million project.

"Our funding from the Science, Technology and Innovation Initiative will be used to optimise the design of the yacht and support the showcasing of innovation in marine design, materials and construction," Mr Brumby said.

Premier Challenge's Volvo Open 70 will build on the success of the Victorian-designed and manufactured Skandia Wild Thing, Wharington super-maxi yacht and line honours winner of the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart race.

Facilities at Central Pier will enable the public to follow progress of the yacht's construction and to learn more about the Volvo Ocean Race and the race's Melbourne stopover.

Mr Brumby said that the Premier Challenge project reflects the Victorian Government's commitment to the marine industry, which pumps over $2 billion annually into the State economy.

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