A Look at the Teams for the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race

Author:
Publish date:
W1772_SAIL_WEB_BANNERS_700x150_V3

The seven teams competing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race are arguably the most experienced group of sailors to ever take part. Many of them are also well versed in getting the most out of the Volvo Ocean 65 aboard which they’ll be sailing, having already sailed the boats the race’s previous edition. In other words, look for this year’s VOR to be faster and tougher than ever.

AKZONOBEL

09-Teams-AkzoNobel

Although the team is making its VOR debut, Dutch-flagged AkzoNobel is packed with veterans, including Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont, who will be doing his third lap this time around. The team was also the first to announce its intention to race, which means it’s had plenty of time to figure out crew assignments and the best way to make its boat go fast.

TEAM SUN HUNG KAI/SCALLYWAG

09-Teams-Scaliwag

One of the last teams to throw its hat into the ring, Hong Kong’s Team Sun Hung Kai/ Scallywag will have a steep learning curve to climb. Clearly, Aussie skipper David Witt, a veteran of the 1997-98 race, has his work cut out for him. That said, the current one-design format is expressly intended to make things easier for late-comers like this one.

VESTAS 11TH HOUR RACING

09-Teams-VESTAS

The same Vestas that had its boat run up on a reef in the Indian Ocean is back, this time in partnership with the U.S.-based environmental group 11th Hour Racing. One of the more experienced crews, the team has multiple members who have not just sailed in the VOR but have won the race outright. You can bet they’re also going to keep a sharp lookout for rocks!

TURN THE TIDE ON PLASTIC

09-Teams-plastic

Another late-comer to the event, British-flagged Turn the Tide on Plastic is led by a pair of VOR veterans: the UK’s Dee Caffari, who has also competed in the Vendée Globe; and Australia’s Liz Wardley, who will be taking part in her third Volvo Ocean Race after sailing in 2014-15 with Team SCA.

DONGFENG

09-Teams-Dongfeng

One of the great stories of the 2014-15 VOR was China’s Dongfeng, a rookie team that defied all expectations and at one point looked like it could win the whole thing. You can bet French skipper Charles Caudrelier and the rest of the veteran crew will be pulling out all the stops this time around.

TEAM BURNEL

09-Teams-Brunel

Another late-comer, Dutch-flagged Team Brunel was still finalizing its crew right up until only a few weeks before the start of the race. That said, with seven-time VOR veteran and Dutch sailing legend Bouwe Bekking at the helm and America’s Cup winner Peter Burling on board, you can rest assured this outfit will be getting up to speed fast.

MAPFRE

09-Teams-MAPFRE_170415MMuina_9359

Back for its second try at the VOR, Spain’s Mapfre is another squad packed with veterans, including its skipper Xabi Fernandez, an Olympic gold medalist and four-time VOR veteran. Look for this team to be fast out of the gate and hard to catch if it manages to get ahead.

October 2017

W1772_SAIL_WEB_BANNERS_700x150

Related

Before-and-after-1_silo

Know How: Cleaning Stainless

Without a doubt, the best way to “clean” stainless steel parts is to have them electropolished. Electropolishing is an electrochemical process that cleans the stainless and removes any surface iron particles, leaving a shiny and far more rust-resistant surface. The downsides of ...read more

catstory

Cruising: Sailing With a Young Family

The dark is alive when you are surrounded by water. Black is tinted blue and silver, and sky meets surf with electricity and the lapping sounds of silence. Inside our 36ft catamaran, moored off Cooper Island in the BVI, the raw nature outside, just now settling down from a late ...read more

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more