Though the Race Village and certain areas (like Volvo Pavilion, Media center etc) were functioning since the first yacht arrived on November 30th; the official inauguration ceremony of the race village, as pre-planned was held this evening (December 3rd, 2008).
On 3rd Dec 2008, Honorable union Minister of parliamentary affairs, Sri.Vayalar Ravi inaugurated the Volvo Ocean Race, India Stopover, Cochin. The statement says, Honorable Minister for Vigilance and Tourism Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Sri.Chandran Plllai MP, Sri.Sebastian Paul M.P,Sri.K.V Thomas M L A, Sri.Thomas Chandy M.L.A, Mr. Knut Frostad, CEO Volvo Ocean Race ,officials and public participated in the public function held at Race Village at Willingdon island.
The release from the Volvo Ocean Race states, "Thousands of people, most without any prior knowledge of the race, packed the village in their droves. When the doors are closed and the last visitor has left later tonight, N Ramachandran, chairman of Cochin Port Trust, predicts between 50,000 and 100,000 people will have been in attendance." (50,000 - 100,000 ???? An unbelievable statement for those who were present during the ceremony and considering there isn't enough space to accommodate the said number of people in the race village!)