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'True North' Volvo Open 70 Yachts Visits The Bahamas as Part of Dubai's Bid to Host World EXPO 2020

Photo: Robert Dunkley

'True North' is a Volvo Open 70 that competed in the 2008 - 2009 edition of the Volvo Open Race which Expo2020 Dubai has chartered and re-branded to promote Dubai as a candidate city to host the World Expo in 2020. The yacht visited The Bahamas from 7 to 14 February 2013 and connected with The Bahamas Sailing Association where young Bahamian sailors were treated to an hour and half sail out to sea, where they were invited to take turns 'trimming' and 'helming.'

Robert Dunkley of the BSA arranged for forty-six of their members to participate in order to give them the chance to gain a full sailing experience that diversifies from the smaller craft the sailors are used to.  A further trip was organised exclusively for his best and brightest young sailors to ensure they have more time on the water and exposure to the sailing conditions a boat of that size can offer.  Robert expressed his gratitude to the welcoming crew of 'True North' and their commitment to allow Bahamian sailors of all ages to share in this wonderful experience.

"True North is sailing around the Caribbean to increase awareness of Dubai's bid to host the World Expo in 2020, amongst the Member Countries of the International Bureau of Exhibitions (BIE).  Every five years World Expos attract millions of visitors who explore and discover pavilions, exhibitions and cultural events staged by hundreds of participants including nations, international organisations and businesses," advises Anna Lynch, True North Project Manager.  "Our aim while in The Bahamas is to get as many people as possible out sailing on this incredible yacht!"

The Bahamas is a Member State of the BIE which is the intergovernmental organization charged with regulating World and International Exhibitions.  Five countries have submitted bids to host World Expo 2020 - the candidate cities being: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Ayutthaya, Thailand; Izmir, Turkey; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Yekaterinburg, Russia.  The vote to decide the host city of EXPO 2020 will take place in Paris in November 2013.

H.E. Eldred Bethel, Ambassador of The Bahamas to France and Delegate to the BIE, expressed his gratitude for the visit by 'True North' to The Bahamas and the experience offered to its young sailors; and expressed his interest in continued dialogue with the Dubai Bid Committee in advance of the November vote.

The Bahamas Sailing Association (BSA) is the governing authority of the sport of sailing in The Bahamas, operating under the guidance of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).  The BSA is a non-profit organization and relies on corporate and government sponsorship to fund its junior sailing program which takes kids off the streets and into a productive and healthy life-style.  Further details on the BSA can be found online at: http://www.bahsailing.org 

'True North' in Nassau Harbour during the visit by the Volvo Open 70 yacht and crew in The Bahamas from 7 to 14 February 2013.  Photo credit: Robert Dunkley