Ladies and gentlemen,
You are very welcome to the Royal palace. It is fantastic to see you all here in Stockholm.
The journey you have made around the world is a tremendous achievement. Your challenges have shown a great leadership and commitment in an extreme competitive event. Your efforts and skills are an inspiring road model for all of us.
Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to come and sail together with you in Boston. I remember, we had a marvellous sailing day in good wind.
Now I am happy that the Palace and the Royal garden here - Logården - could be one of the stops during the race. It is a great commission for Stockholm to host one of the stops on the world-round Volvo Ocean Race. The event links Stockholm with other wonderful cities and places around the world. But it is you, the sailors, who link us and unite us.
Last week I visited Marstrand on the Swedish west coast. You had not arrived there yet, so I was not able to meet with you - and that was a pity! But I could easily experience the exciting atmosphere before all the sailing boats entered the harbor. Sailors bring an exotic feeling from other countries abroad.
And now, you are a bit closer to the final goal in St.Petersburg. Before your set off for the next stop, I would like to wish you a couple of nice days here during your short stay in Stockholm. I hope you will have time to walk around and see our beautiful city.
I wish you good luck for the last stage! And welcome back to Stockholm!