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2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

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  • Why did they stop in the Hague?

    Makes no sense.


    • They thought it was the Haight, and needed proper supplies before arriving in Gothenberg?


      • The Last Hoorah!

        GOTHENBURG, Sweden, June 21 – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet were facing one last roll of the dice later tonight before nearly nine months of fluctuating offshore fortunes come to a fitting climax here tomorrow.

        Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) were protecting a 9.6-nautical mile (nm) lead over Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) with 233nm still to sail to the final destination of Gothenburg, after leaving a hugely successful pit-stop in The Hague at midday yesterday (see panel above from 0940 UTC/1140 local time).

        Brian Carlin / Team Vestas Wind / Volvo Ocean Race

        In normal circumstances, that would be quite a handy lead with only a relatively short distance to sail. However, the latest weather forecast is offering little comfort for Team Alvimedica’s 30-year-old skipper, Charlie Enright, as he chases a first leg victory for his young team.

        Forecasters are predicting light winds followed by a front, with winds from the northeast, to hit the fleet, which could potentially shuffle the pack.

        The finish in Gothenburg was originally estimated to be in the early hours of Tuesday morning, but better-than-expected conditions have hurried the seven boats on their way from the Dutch coast.

        Arrival could now be as early as midday tomorrow (June 22).

        Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race

        Victory in the Swedish port would be a fitting reward for Team Alvimedica following their impressive improvement throughout the race.

        They have chalked up three third places in the first eight legs so far and have sailed impeccably since leaving Lorient, France, last Tuesday, setting the pace for their rivals.

        The Turkish/American boat’s Onboard Reporter, Amory Ross (USA), noted early today that the mood of the crew was of barely suppressed nerves and excitement.

        “As demonstrated many times in this race, no lead is too safe and the winds look first to lighten quickly near the top of the Danish peninsula,” he wrote in his daily blog.

        “In all likelihood, the fleet will compress there with a full race restart for the final sprint to Sweden.

        “It is obviously not what we want, so we are working particularly hard to hang on to a passing weather front that may be able to carry us comfortably to the finish.”

        Brian Carlin / Team Vestas Wind / Volvo Ocean Race

        Matt Knighton / Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing / Volvo Ocean Race

        Behind him, Dongfeng Race Team were hoping that MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP) could snatch third place back in the leg from Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) from their position just under 0.6nm behind the Dutch boat.

        Bouwe Bekking’s crew had begun the ninth and final leg in second place behind champions-elect, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), with Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team two points behind him.

        The Chinese team need to finish two places in front of Team Brunel to level the overall points, leaving the in-port series to break the tie.

        The 10th and last race in that series will be on Saturday, June 27 with the Inmarsat In-Port Race Gothenburg.

        MAPFRE also have plenty of incentive to move up a placing at least.

        If they finish fourth in the leg and Team Alvimedica win it, then Enright’s men will steal fourth placing overall from the Spanish team.

        Meantime, at the back of the fleet, both sixth-placed Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) and Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) were keeping a sharp lookout for the easing of conditions that could yet put them back in the hunt for a podium place with a fleet compression.

        After nearly nine months and 38,739nm of sailing, visiting every continent and 11 ports along the way, this potboiler looks set to keep the fans guessing right to the end.
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • Fini

          image © Ian Roman / Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

          GOTHENBURG, Sweden, June 22 – Team Alvimedica’s skipper Charlie Enright won the final offshore battle of the Volvo Ocean Race here today, but the overall trophy belonged firmly with his rival from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker.

          The Turkish/American boat led the tightly packed fleet home to crowded docks in the final stopover in Gothenburg, Sweden, to bring to a close 38,739 nautical miles (nm) and nine months of some of the closest racing ever witnessed in the 41-year-old offshore marathon.

          The Team Alvimedica victory underlined, once more, the incredibly close nature of competition in the first event raced with strictly one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats.

          Only one team, Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS), have failed to win a leg – and they missed five because of a boat rebuild.

          Behind Enright, in fifth, Walker’s boat, Azzam, slipped almost quietly into port, but the mile-wide smiles on all the crews’ faces told their own story: We are the Champions!

          It seals one of the greatest global sporting triumphs for the Gulf region and makes Walker the first British skipper to win the overall trophy.

          "I said at the start of the race that I was confident, but there are 100 ways to lose this race but only one way to win it. And it just all came together for us perfectly," a jubilant Walker told reporters on dockside.

          Leg 9 was the last and in many ways most exciting of all the stages since the fleet set out on October 11 from Alicante, Spain, full of hopes and expectations.

          image © Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

          Team Alvimedica led the 1,000nm stage, almost from the start last Tuesday in Lorient, France, but their lead was never totally secure despite entering the halfway stage in The Hague last Friday with a 91-minute lead over Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA).

          Lighter breezes and a front last night compressed the fleet following their departure from the Dutch port on Saturday.

          The Chinese boat Dongfeng was forced to relinquish their hoped-for second place in the leg to Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), whose finish secured the runners-up spot in the overall standings.

          Despite not being able to hold off Spanish challengers, MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP), for third position, Charles Caudrelier’s crew still took the final place on the podium in third place overall - an incredible result with four Chinese rookie sailors in their ranks.

          Fourth place overall, though, will have to be decided in the final act of the 2014-15 edition, Saturday's (June 27) Inmarsat In-Port Race Gothenburg, when Team Alvimedica and MAPFRE, tied on 34 points, will duel to break the deadlock.

          Following in behind the champions, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, sixth-placed Team Vestas Wind had their own cause for celebration in finishing a race that they looked irrevocably out of, having collided with an Indian Ocean reef in Leg 2 last November.

          Their sponsors, crew and shore team never gave up hope of returning, however, and the second-placed finish of the blue Danish boat in Leg 8 to Lorient from Lisbon, will remain one of the 12th edition’s most cherished memories.

          Finally, the all-women’s crew of Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) completed the fleet’s arrivals in Gothenburg. As ever, they were competitive and right on the heels of their male rivals.

          They had, however, already made their point in what has been the sole preserve of male sailing since 2001-02.

          Their victory in Lorient in the leg from Lisbon proved that women can be – and are – competitive in the world's toughest offshore sailing event.

          With the huge following that Sam Davies's team attracted and their legacy of leg-by-leg improvements, we surely will not have to wait another 12 years for another female crew to take their place in a Volvo Ocean Race fleet.

          Final standings: 1) Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 24 pts, 2) Team Brunel (Netherlands) 29, 3) Dongfeng Race Team (China) 33, 4=) Team Alvimedica (Turkey/USA) 34, MAPFRE (Spain) 34, 6) Team SCA (Sweden) 51, 7) Team Vestas Wind (Denmark) 60.
          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


          • Congrats to Ian Walker and crew!


            • Volvo Swithches To A 2 Year Cycle, Caffari To Lead 6th Volvo Team

              The Volvo Ocean Race will switch from a 3-year to a 2-year cycle after the upcoming 2017-18 edition, a change that will provide more continuity and more commercial value for professional sailing teams, sponsors and Host Cities.

              Confirmation of the change will mean at least some race activity in every calendar year, from now on – meaning more action for fans of sailing’s iconic race around the world, more continuous employment for the professional sailors involved, and even greater return on investment for the stakeholders backing the teams.

              The 2017-18 edition starts 22 October from Alicante and will finish at the end of June next year in The Hague, Netherlands. The three races after that will run 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2023-24 and the tender process for Host Cities is now open for all 3 editions. This change, coupled with the new mix of stopover formats, and additional inventory, means the best ever value proposition, and flexible options, for the bidding cities around the world.

              The race has again engaged long-term partner The Sports Consultancy to work on Host City partnerships and develop these new opportunities, with discussions now starting with existing and potential future Host Cities.

              Over the last 20 years, the Volvo Ocean Race has expanded massively from the early routes that made as few as three stops around the world. The race now visits many more markets that are important to both stakeholders and fans and in 2017-18 the route takes in a total of 12 Host Cities.

              By reducing the cycle, it won’t be necessary to go to all commercially important markets in every edition, meaning organisers will be able to choose routes that provide the right balance between the sporting integrity of the race and commercial value.

              “The shorter cycle means we could shorten each edition by a few months from the current 8-9 month format, but nonetheless go to more markets in total over each period of 4 years and 2 races,” Race CEO Mark Turner said.

              “At the same time we will strengthen the core DNA and heritage of the race – always being around the world, and always having the Southern Oceans around Antarctica at its heart.”

              The race is making a firm commitment to visiting North America, South America, Australasia, China, and at least five major European markets at the very minimum once every other edition (and in some cases every edition), making it easier for two-cycle sponsor commitments to be made to teams before fully detailed final routes are fixed.

              Turner explained: “One expected result of these changes will be teams and their sponsors committing for 2 races at a time, over 3 to 4 years – something that has rarely happened in the past with a previous timespan of 2 races in 6 years being too long a commitment for most companies. That means more continuity for everyone, more sponsor activation and general ‘noise’ between races since the teams will not close down, and more effective long-term sailing team set-ups in both sporting and commercial terms.

              “Losing the long gap of over 2 years between the races helps solve many problems – including the sales process for teams, who today, since the switch to provide One Design boats, end up trying to sell sponsorship when there is no race on. Going forward that activity will happen during one edition, for the future ones – the best time to sell being during the action.

              “There will still be plenty of breathing space for this iconic event, though – between one finish and the start of the following race, there is still going to be 16 or so months, so we are not over-exposing it either.”

              The Volvo Ocean Race is relatively unique in sports business, being owned by its joint Title Partners, Volvo Group and Volvo Car Group. This continues to provide important long-term stability to the event, something extremely valuable to other stakeholders involved in the race on team, event and host venue side.

              The race has already announced that the 14th edition in 2019-20 will be contested in brand new foil-assisted monohull boats. The addition of ‘flying’ multihulls for use inshore means the race will provide the toughest all-round test in sailing.

              The switch in cycle could also help complete the alignment of sailing’s big race calendar. For the first time in history, the Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup, Olympics and Vendée Globe’s 2 and 4-year cycles should be in sync with no direct overlap of the actual events.

              The Volvo Ocean Race was originally run every four years from its first edition in 1973-74, when it was known as the Whitbread. Since 2005-06, it has been on a three-year cycle.

              The race is committed to two more starts – after the 2017-18 edition – from its established home in Alicante, Spain.

              In the future, newly imagined race routes are possible, including starts and/or finishes outside Europe and a non-stop leg around Antarctica.

              “The race will always go around the world and the Southern Ocean will always, always be at the core of the challenge we set for the world’s best professional sailors, with a new non-stop full lap of Antarctica likely to be included as a leg in most editions too,” said Turner.

              “We believe for the first time we are managing to increase the sporting equity and value, AND the commercial value at the same time. It’s no longer a compromise between the two.”

              Britain’s Dee Caffari will lead 'Turn the Tide on Plastic' – a mixed, youth focused team with a strong sustainability message in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Her campaign, already backed by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation, is dedicated to the issue of ocean health.

              The sixth confirmed team out of a possible eight for the upcoming edition will amplify United Nations Environment’s 'Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic' campaign throughout the eight months of the race, which covers 45,000 nautical miles of racing around the world, taking in 12 Host Cities on six continents.

              Caffari’s ambition is to build a multi-national, 50-50 male/female squad, with the majority under 30 years of age. As part of the sustainability focus, the messages around diversity in age and gender will be strong themes of a campaign that in sporting terms may not start as a favourite, but could easily surprise on the water.

              “I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to sail for a cause I am so passionate about,” said Caffari, whose UK-based company will also run the project. “The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate test of a team in sport, and with the ambition to race with a youth-orientated international mixed crew, we are looking to make an impact on and off the water.”

              Caffari’s team is already part-funded by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation (OFF), who join an increasing number of partners backing Volvo Ocean Race’s campaign on ocean health and sustainability.

              The Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up by Portuguese businessman and philanthropist Paulo Mirpuri with the aim of making the world a better place for future generations.

              In addition to raising awareness around the growing issue of ocean pollution, the partnership is part of the Mirpuri Foundation’s long-term ambition to build a new chapter in Portugal’s rich maritime history by creating a strong offshore legacy for future generations of Portuguese sailors. Caffari will include two Portuguese sailors in the team with a view to building a full Portuguese team in future editions of the iconic race.

              “We feel immense pride to be backing this incredible ocean health campaign which we are sure will provide a great contribution to the health of our wonderful blue planet,” said Mirpuri.

              “We must act immediately if the next generation is to inherit seas and oceans which resemble those that we knew as children.”

              He continued: “In Portugal, we have long held a rich maritime heritage, and this youth-orientated campaign is a major step towards shaping the world-class future of Portuguese offshore racing. The Mirpuri Foundation looks forward to working closely with the Volvo Ocean Race to achieve that objective over the coming years.”

              Alongside the Mirpuri Foundation, the aim of the Ocean Family Foundation is to promote awareness of the effects of pollution, the importance of bio diversity and the necessity for conservation of the world’s oceans.

              “The Ocean Family Foundation is delighted to be supporting this exceptional campaign to support ocean conservation and clean-up,” said Peter Dubens, on behalf of the Ocean Family Foundation.

              “Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing our globe, with plastic debris forecast to double over this decade, causing huge damage to our oceans as well as to humans.

              “With her public profile as a British world record-holding athlete, Dee Caffari is the perfect leader to raise awareness of the need for urgent action.”

              Caffari is an experienced round-the-world sailor who will return for a second consecutive edition, having competed on Team SCA in 2014-15. She is also notable for setting a landmark record in 2006, becoming the first woman to sail single-handed and non-stop the ‘wrong way’ around the world.

              Then in 2009, she completed the Vendée Globe race and set a new record to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world in both directions.

              “It’s an honour to represent this landmark campaign, and to lead the team on such a prestigious platform is exciting,” said Caffari. “Seeing the amount of plastic in the ocean is heartbreaking. We’re abusing our planet – and this campaign is about pushing people to proactively do something about it.

              “We will be sailing with a youth-orientated team because the reality is, it’s going to be the next generations who inherit the mess that we’re making now. This is a major issue and we need to encourage this generation, and future generations, to step up.”

              The Turn the Tide on Plastic boat will amplify the Volvo Ocean Race’s larger sustainability focus for 2017-18, and joins team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont, Netherlands), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier, France), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández, Spain), Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright, USA) and Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt, Australia) in the fleet for the 2017-18 edition.

              The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante 22 October and will stop at Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg before a big finish in The Hague at the end of June 2018.

              -- NOTES --

              About The Mirpuri Foundation

              The Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up by Portuguese businessman Paulo Mirpuri with the aim of making the world a better place for future generations.

              Mirpuri himself is no stranger to life offshore, or the Volvo Ocean Race. To raise awareness of the Foundation’s ‘Save The Ocean’ marine conservation campaign, he recently skippered the former Green Dragon Volvo Open 70 yacht – renamed Mirpuri Foundation – on a 2,300-mile passage from Cape Verde to Bermuda.

              The six-day voyage was completed by an experienced 10-strong crew, sourced from seven European countries. Aside from marine conservation, the Mirpuri Foundation focuses its resources across many areas including aeronautical and medical education and research, wildlife conservation, social responsibility and performing arts.

              Mirpuri is a highly successful investor, philanthropist and a passionate sailor who is also a qualified medical doctor and Airbus-qualified airline pilot.

              For further information about the Mirpuri Foundation please email

              About Ocean Family Foundation

              Ocean Family Foundation’s aim is to promote awareness of the effects of pollution, the importance of bio diversity and the necessity for conservation of the world’s oceans. Ocean Family Foundation is a group of likeminded families that have come together to support ocean conservation and clean up. For further information about Ocean Family Foundation please email or telephone +44 (0) 207 766 6900
              " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

     Photo Gallery


              • Record breaking offshore sailor Dee Caffari MBE will be leading a young mixed gender crew for the Volvo Ocean Race while promoting an environmental campaign to Turn the Tide on Plastic. The veteran yachtswoman is supporting a cause she is passionate about and WiSP Sports will follow her throughout her campaign and catch up with her during the stopovers once the race begins in October from Alicante, Spain. You can hear the full interview with Dee on The Sailing Show Podcast special episode at
                " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

       Photo Gallery