Yacht Blog: Sailors Compete for the Triple Crown at Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race begins this weekend in Alicante, Spain. Chosen as the best sailors in the world, seven teams of 15 nationalities will race across the globe for the next eight months.
VHR’s Head of Marine Dale Fisher is in Alicante this week attending the Volvo Ocean Race, and VHR’s Yacht Blog will be reporting on all the action throughout the historical sailing competition.
Starting in 1973 and departing from Portsmouth, UK, the Volvo Ocean Race was originally named the ‘Whitbread Round the World Race’. The 13th edition of the sailing competition will take the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65 and their crews through 11 countries, from Spain to South Africa, continuing to China and New Zealand. The Race will finish after crossing the Atlantic between Newport (Rhode Island) and Cardiff (Wales), taking its last step in The Hague (Netherlands).
Volvo Ocean Race: The Triple Crown of Sailing
This year’s Volvo Ocean Race welcomes Marine veterans such as Team Dongfeng’s three-time winner Stu Bannatyne and Team Brunel’s veteran Bouwe Bekking, alongside a new generation of sailors. Coming from the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, America’s Cup, RC44 and Extreme Sailing series, almost 30 crew members will start their first Volvo Ocean Race this edition.
Olympic gold medallists and winners of the 35th America’s Cup Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will be competing respectively for Team Brunel and Team MAPFRE. For them the Volvo Ocean Race represents the opportunity to become part of history. The two Marine champions could be the first winners of the Triple Crown of Sailing: first place in the Olympics, America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race.
Marine Champions: The Volvo Ocean Race’s Next Winners
Burling and Tuke have built their teams with former Sailing champions. MAPFRE’s skipper Xabi Fernández is a double-Olympic medal winner and four-time competitor in the Volvo Ocean Race. MAPFRE navigator Joan Vella is a three-time America’s Cup winner. Fellow Olympians Támara Echegoyen (London, 2012) and Pablo Arrarte (Athens, 2004) are also competing.
Team Brunel is skippered by Bouwe Bekking, seven-time competitor and third-time skipper at the Volvo Ocean Race. Team Brunel Navigator Andrew Cape navigated for winning team Alinghi during the 31st America’s Cup, and former America’s Cup contestants Carlo Huisman, a member of 2017’s Emirates Team New Zealand Crew, and two-edition Oracle Team USA competitor Kyle Langford.
With MAPFRE taking the lead for leg 0, all teams are now solely focused on the beginning of the race this Sunday.
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