U.S. Sailors Enter Volvo Ocean Race

Publish date:
Social count:

U.S. sailors Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, co-leaders of Team Alvimedica in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, have announced they are in for the 2017-18 event, in which they will be partnering with the environmental group 11th Hour Racing and past VOR sponsor Vestas.

Vestas, a global energy company devoted exclusively to wind energy, also sponsored a team in the last race, which had Australian sailor Chris Nicholson in charge. However, through a combination of bad luck and sloppy navigating, the team’s boat famously ended up on a reef in the Indian Ocean midway through the second leg and only barely made it back for the race’s final stages.

The 2017-18 VOR begins in Alicante, Spain, October 22. After rounding the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn it will be making a stopover in Newport, Rhode Island, in May 2018, before heading across the Atlantic to Europe, where it will eventually finish in the Netherlands.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing, as the team is being called, represents the four campaign to officially throw its hat into the ring, though more are expected. As in the last running of the event, the 2017-18 race will feature Volvo Ocean 65 one-designs, which make it cheaper and easier to establish campaigns in the last few months before the race begins.


“It’s an exciting time,” Enright says. “We’ve achieved a strong collective of sponsors, and the boat has now been refitted and branded in Lisbon, waiting for us to get over there and get it out on the water. We’re working hard on building a competitive team ahead of the race, and have a couple of transatlantic sailings lined up for April and May.”

“Mark and Charlie have been serving as ambassadors for 11th Hour Racing for the past two years, having witnessed first-hand during the last Volvo Ocean Race the many ways pollution and plastic debris are destroying ocean life and threatening all of us,” says 11th Hour Racing Co-Founder Wendy Schmidt. “Our partnership with Vestas is about inspiring positive change in the way we think about energy and the natural resources of the planet.”

As a sign of the race’s strength and financial stability, the upcoming race represents the second time three major team sponsors have returned for a second consecutive try, with China’s Dongfeng and Spain’s MAPFRE also planning to be at the start come October. Dutch-flagged AkzoNobel is the fourth team currently in the mix. Vestas 11th Hour Racing will sail under both the Danish and American flags.

In all, this year’s race will cover 45,000 miles, with stops at Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Cardiff and Gothenburg in addition to Newport and the finish in The Hague.

March 2017



The ICW North Bound Migration Begins

As the northbound migration begins, we are getting some early reports on conditions along the ICW. The overall impression this spring is that after the damages caused by the hurricanes, the winter storms have apparently not made too many additional changes. There is even some ...read more


Charter: Historic Croatia

Heaps of history—that’s not usually what comes to mind when you plan a sailing charter, but if you like a bit of culture mixed with your cruising, Croatia is the place to go. Caught between two worlds, (the whitewashed laid back vibe of the Mediterranean and the brash demeanor of ...read more


Gear: Pan-Pan man-overboard Locator

There He Goes!The Pan-Pan man-overboard locator won a Pittman award for 2017 as a great idea, and now it is in production as the Weems & Plath CrewWatcher. It’s a two-part system that employs a smartphone app to locate a small personal beacon that triggers automatically should ...read more


SAIL 2018: 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.comAnd don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter.Check back for updates!This was taken from half way across the 26 mile crossing ...read more

Landing Page Lead

The Volvo Returns to the Southern Ocean

Since the Volvo Ocean Race’s inception, the Southern Ocean has made it what it is. And no part of the race says “Southern Ocean” like Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. The 7,600-mile leg, which starts this Sunday, is not only the longest of the event, but far ...read more


SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comTeak deck paradise  I had a call recently from the man who replaced the deck on my Mason 44 five years ago. He was worried about the way people are wrecking their teak decks trying to get the green off. ...read more


Gear: ATN Multi Awning

THROW SOME SHADEAmong the many virtues of cruising cats is the large expanse of netting between their bows, which is the ideal place to hang out with a cold one after a hard day’s sailing and let the breeze blow your worries away. Only trouble is it can get a bit hot up there ...read more