Friday, December 12, 2008

An overview: Volvo Ocean Race Cochin Stopover

The departure ceremony of Volvo Ocean Race is only six hours away. The 10-day long stopover (14 days for the first team, Ericsson 4 and Telefonica Blue; 13 days for Ericsson 3, Telefonica Black, Puma, Green Dragon and Delta Lyold & for Team Russia, exactly 10 days, who reached soon after the inauguration ceremony on December 3); will see its curtain fall as the teams will get an official flag off this noon.

The press release states a million people visited the stopover village - the kind of statistics, which alarms many others, and me though it's a fact there was a huge crowd in the past few days. It’s hard to believe the numbers touched a million! The projection was unrealistic even on the inauguration day, when it was announced 50,000 – 1,00,000 people attended the function. The queue to enter the ride, dome and Volvo Pavilion was long and the queue to the ride took as long as two hours to enter and experience the sailing effects.

Further, the press release states 100 stalls participated in the exhibition. The exhibition - Ocean Race Trade Fest was a major disappointment for the visitors as three-fourth of the pavilion was empty! And probably the total number of stalls must have been 25. The notable stall was of ISRO and the handicraft stall of Kudumbasree. There was a picture museum and to see the pictures kept inside, they charged Rs.5 per head.

The most crowded part was the food carnival, where people were flowing in to taste the dishes. Most of these food stalls offered expensive food, and a plate of fried rice or biriyani (the information was passed by many who attempted to buy a plate!) cost Rs.200. Though many backed out of because of the unrealistic pricing, the crowd was still high. Many others complained the area was so much packed that they couldn't even attempt to buy anything.

There's more to write, but it's time for me to head to the race village to witness the flag off and all the programmes planned for today.

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