The ultimate team sailing race around the world, the Volvo Ocean Race, starts tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow (Sunday,October 22nd) at 730am Eastern Time, the 7 boat fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s will leave Alicante, Spain and sail back around the bottom of the country and up to Lisbon, Portugal. In this unusual first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, the teams are sailing a shorter first leg back to where they started, before Leg 0 brought them from Lisbon to Alicante. There is a lot of love for the VOR in Lisbon, and they have worked hard to be the first stop on this 11 leg tour.
Our own excitement for this race will peak in May of 2108 when the fleet stops into Newport, RI for the only North American stopover. Our “hometown” team with TotalBoat Ambassadors, skipper Charlie Enright and bowman, Nick Dana, will also be at max level team pride, as they pull into their home waters of Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound. Get your boats and your butts ready to head to the amazing race village that will be built at Fort Adams in early May before the fleet arrives.
The 2017-18 edition of the race sees some interesting changes that should make the race even better. Every crew has at least 1 woman aboard (all but one team have 2 or more), and while we are without an all-female crew, which Team SCA represented in the last edition, we have a female skipper Dee Caffari, who has built a multinational, 50-50 male-female team, with the majority under 30 years of age. The race rules were amended to give extra crew positions to those teams adding women to their rosters, thereby incentivising the addition of ladies to the typically all male crews. It’s a great attempt to level the playing field for women who want to compete at the highest level.
There is a major focus on sustainability, both by the race management for VOR, and also by many of the teams, with 2 specifically focused on ocean health via 11th Hour Racing and the “Turn the Tide on Plastic” race team. In each stopover, there will be an “Ocean Summit,” focusing on what needs to be done to promote sustainable practices and to reduce the race’s footprint and the footprint of plastic on the oceans.
The race is putting sustainability at its heart and focusing on taking action to help ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ – the rapidly growing and critical problem of plastic polluting the ocean, highlighted by the United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas campaign that is being adopted by the Volvo Ocean Race.
Follow along with the Volvo Ocean Race tracker – on the website or as an app found in the Apple or Android stores. Or check in here, on TotalBoat Show, as we keep you up to date with the big news from the race – and more, as they get closer to their Rhode Island visit.
Go Team Vestas/ 11th Hour Racing! We have our eyes on hometown boy, Charlie Enright – so don’t mind us for paying close attention to his team! We wish every sailor and team racing, a safe and fun race. We can’t wait to follow you around the globe!