Saturday, October 04, 2008

Changing Volvo for a changing world

The Volvo Ocean Race is back again. Today we had the first in-port race and next week the fleet of eight will be heading off on the first leg to Cape Town.

And that town is one of the only one that is unchanged from previous races. Gone are stop overs, starts and finishes in Portsmouth, New York, Melbourne and the like - indeed there is no representation from either Britain or Australia.

As we keep reading in the Economist the pendulum of power is moving and the growing economies are the famous BRICs - Brazil, Russia, India, and China, the economic power houses of the 21st Century.

And they are all represented in the course for the 2008 - 2009 Volvo, with Brazil's Rio, Russia's St. Petersburg, India's Cochin, and China's Qingdao.

Things are going to be different in the future, so we better get used to it.

But it needn't all be bad. I read about economist lecturer who made a joke that though the UK had had a hundred years of relative decline, London is still a pretty good place to live so maybe the US shouldn't worry too much. After the talk a member of the audience approached him and said he was from the Netherlands, and they had had three hundred years of relative decline and they still felt things were pretty good.

There's something in that, so rather than muttering and complaining I'm going to sit back in my armchair and over the next 9 months enjoy some classic offshore racing - even if it doesn't come back home to Britain even once.


tillerman said...

You will know that the world has really changed when the race becomes the Hindustan Motors Race.

Meanwhile I hear that Rome and Athens are still perfectly pleasant places to live...

JP said...

They are - now.

Wasn't so fun in Rome when the Vandals came visiting in 455 AD.

tillerman said...

Sounds like London has its problems too these days. Those Visigoths get everywhere.

JP said...

Yes there is a lot of concern about violent crime at the moment in London.

Even though South Norwood has a bad reputation pretty shocking story.