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

Author:
Updated:
Original:
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

191114

Video: 11th Hour Racing Arrives in Brazil

Team 11th Hour Racing finished in fourth place this past week among the 29 IMOCA 60s competing in the 4,335-mile doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre, France, to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. Aboard were American Charlie Enright and French sailor Pascal Bidégorry, ...read more

Video--Edmond-de-Rothschild-Maxi-tri-Pitstop

Video: Edmond de Rothschild Maxi-tri Pitstop

. On Sunday, after having been first across the equator in the Brest Atlantiques race , Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier aboard the Ultime maxi-tri Maxi Edmond de Rothschild reported they’d be making a pitstop in Salvador de Bahia, in Brazil, after damaging one of their ...read more

T31A4577

Cruising the Eagle Class 53

Sailing at 19 knots in 15 knots of breeze is not an earth-shattering experience anymore. I was thinking about that on a perfect late summer day in Narragansett Bay while we were slicing along on the most technologically advanced cruising catamaran I’ve ever seen—the Eagle Class ...read more

1.-Exterior-old-port-600x

Know-how: Replacing Portlights

Years ago when my wife and I were running sailboats in the Caribbean we once had a guest who, when we're at anchor, would occasionally look out the big saloon ports at the, ahem, “scenery.” (We spent a lot of time in the French islands back then.) More recently, if this same ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. We saw this rainbow on the west coast of Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas Islands, ...read more

10-002

Ask Sail: Analog or Digital

Q: I am redoing my voltage distribution panel and can’t decide between a needle movement voltmeter or a digital illuminated voltmeter to monitor my house and starting battery voltages. Which way would be best? — J. Henshaw, Tampa FL GORDON WEST REPLIES I would say do both types ...read more

Ultime-maxi-trimaran-2048x

Video: The Power of an Ultime Tri

. If there was ever any doubt as to the speed potential for the eye-popping Ultime maxi-trimaran class, the first 24 hours of the Brest Atlantiques race have surely put such doubts to rest. The drone footage above of Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier’s Gitana Edmond de ...read more