Volvo Ocean Race has lost credibility
organisation, which has subsequently “shook credibility of the event”, according to Ehman.
“It’s getting harder and harder to take this race seriously. With each edition, it’s more like a bunch of hired guns paid to sail moving billboards around the world, one stop at a time,” Ehman wrote in a Sailing Illustrated article.
The America’s Cup veteran believes the Volvo fleet sailed into Hong Kong “because Volvo Motor Car Corporation is Chinese-owned and they’ve got two teams”.
“Coincidentally those two teams ended up finishing first and second into Hong Kong,” he told Radio Sport.
During the fourth leg from Melbourne to Hong Kong, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag chose a route that would have consequently seen them hit a reef, but avoided the potential incident after race control broke protocol and notified crew members.
Scallywag then won the fourth leg of the race to which Ehman opined “made many people believe that the race had been match-fixed”.
“It raised eyebrows for a whole lot of us who are close in that the boat got outside assistance and then they ended up winning the race.
“There’s a bit of a conspiracy theory . . . Team Brunel has Peter Burling aboard and is leading right now, and many people think that Team Brunel will end up winning this leg into Auckland just because they have got Peter Burling aboard.
“The other notable Kiwi sailor is Blair Tuke, he’s on MAPFRE, and I’ll bet you anything one of those two boats wins.”
Ehman alleges the race had consequently lost validity among the sailing world and “needed to act quickly in order to regain its credibility”.
“It’s shaken my respect for the Volvo Ocean Race which is said [to be] one of the big three in our sport and it’s shaken the respect of the sailing world for the credibility of this entire event,” Ehman claimed.
At the time of going to print, Volvo Ocean Race organisers had not responded to Herald on Sunday requests for comment.