Volvo Race Renews its U.S. Roots

Author:
Updated:
Original:
Volvo Ocean Race

U.S. sailors Charlie Enright (left) and Mark Towill will lead a joint U.S.-Danish effort in 2017-18; China’s Dongfeng is also prepping for another lap (below)

Even as the America’s Cup continues to drift farther and farther away from North American sailing fans, the Volvo Ocean Race continues to sink deeper roots in U.S. soil.

First, there was the decision to return to Newport, Rhode Island, site of one of the more successful stopovers during the 2014-15 race. Then came the announcement that U.S. sailors Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, co-leaders of the Alvimedica team in 2014-15 will also be returning as leaders of a joint U.S.-Danish effort being funded by the wind-power company Vestas and the environmental organization 11th Hour Racing.

At press time, Vestas 11th Hour Racing was one of four teams that had formally announced they were taking part in the event, which kicks off with an in-port race on October 14 in Alicante, Spain, and finishes in The Hague eight months later. However, because the race will be held using the same one-design Volvo Ocean 65s that competed last time around—thereby dramatically reducing costs and training times—there was still plenty of opportunities for more teams to join in.

“It’s an exciting time. We’ve achieved a strong collective of sponsors, and the boat has now been refitted and branded in Lisbon, Portugal 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,” Enright said, adding he and Towill hope to get in a transatlantic sail or two by the end of this spring.

Facing Enright and Towill will be at least two other teams that they sailed against in 2014-15, China’s Dongfeng and Spain’s MAPFRE, as well as a new Dutch team, AkzoNobel.

In other developments, traditionalists will rejoice at the news that after venturing into places like the northern Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf in recent years, the race is getting back to its Southern Ocean roots, with a leg that goes directly from Cape Town to Melbourne and another going from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. In all, about 12,500 miles of the 46,000-mile event will take place in the Southern Ocean.

For more on Vestas 11th Hour Racing and the VOR, visit volvooceanrace.com.

Photos courtesy of Dongfeng/VOR; Amory Ross/Alvimedica (inset)

June 2017

Related

ntcktshtrstk

Cruising Southern New England Waters

One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact it was also my ...read more

IMG_8287GR16Mykonos

Cultural Charters: Mykonos

In last month’s column, I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, though, you’ve also got Greece, ...read more

cookinglead

Cruising: No Oven? No Worries

Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is the right bit of gear and a ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Take no chances  This is my stern with the engine running slowly in gear against the lines. We all know that when we’re charging batteries this lets the engine warm up thoroughly. However, I have a ...read more

ZK-Seaboot-900

Gear: Zhik’s Seaboot 900

A Better Sea Boot Following up on its successful ZK Seaboot 800, Zhik’s Seaboot 900 was created in partnership with team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team, the latter the overall winner of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Designed for serious, long-distance offshore racers and ...read more

01-LEAD-FP-Astrea-42-Gilles-martin-rajet---Navigation

Switching to Solar Offshore

No sensible bluewater sailor would consider setting off on a long cruise these days without some means of generating power other than by burning fossil fuels. The good news is that solar energy is becoming less expensive by the day, making it an obvious answer for providing the ...read more

190812-Tiwal-Video-600x

Video: Tiwal Cup 2019

Who says you need a superyacht to have fun? It would be hard to imagine having a better time on the water than these sailors recently did racing aboard a fleet of Tiwal inflatable sloops. ...read more