The competing yachts - including team AkzoNobel's brand new Volvo Ocean 65 - have already been through an extensive refit process and have been coated with Awlgrip products, while the keel on each boat is protected with International coatings.
AkzoNobel has also developed unique custom colors for every team in the race, which will showcase its expertise to a huge global audience. Once the race starts in October, the company will supply all the coatings required for repairs and maintenance at each of the stopovers.
"As the world's leading supplier of marine and yacht coatings, we're delighted to be partnering with the Volvo Ocean Race as official Boatyard supplier," said Alberto Slikta, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Specialty Coatings business. "The race is the ultimate test of performance and, given our long association with the sea, it's the perfect showcase for the company's market-leading products."
AkzoNobel's International yacht business will also provide technical expertise and, when required, will supervise the application process during pit stops between races.
Extensive preparations for the race have been taking place for several months at the permanent Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal. When the race begins later this year, a massive logistical operation will see the Boatyard travel to all stopovers around the world.
Regarded as the pinnacle of professional, fully-crewed ocean racing, the route for the 2017-18 race will visit some of the most remote and inhospitable areas of the world's oceans. The boats will have to deal with extreme weather conditions, from freezing cold and raging gales to sweltering heat, so the coatings need to be as tough and durable as the sailors.
"We're excited to be part of such a thrilling and captivating sporting event," continued Slikta. "It's the kind of extreme test of high performance that our products are made for."
Due to start in Alicante, Spain, on Oct. 22, the race is scheduled to finish in The Hague, the Netherlands, in June 2018.