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From Miami to Baltimore on the Volvo Land Sail

Jan 1, 2003

The boats taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race around the world will be calling on Miami in April and, following a brief stopover for re-supply and media feeding frenzy, will continue to Baltimore for more of the same. Those not sailing in the race between Miami and Baltimore have a chance to race a different sort of vessel between these cities, courtesy of the Race's sponsor, Volvo. Selected journalists covering the Volvo Race will take part in a rally between Miami, Savannah, Ga., and Baltimore, using brand-new Volvo automobiles instead of sailboats.

Invitations to join the rally -- the event is not called a race, apparently for safety and legal reasons -- were sent to members of the sailing industry press, inviting them to take part in the Volvo Land Sail on April 12.

The Volvo Ocean 60s are stripped-down race machines with what can optimistically described as Spartan living accommodations. The boats are described in a Volvo press release, thus: "You want to eat, and there is no larder or kitchen. You want a shower, and there is no bathroom. You want to sleep, and you are offered something like a coffin on a horse-drawn cart running over cobbles. Even life's simple things, taken for granted by those living ashore, take on a whole new dimension aboard a racing yacht like a Volvo Ocean 60." All Volvo automobiles that come out the shop these days, on the other hand, are climate-controlled, leather-upholstered cells of culture and refinement. Yet the sailors don't have to contend with rush-hour traffic.

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