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Thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race

  1. #101
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    Dunno...lets see what they say here:



    The champagne sailing conditions of the Trade Winds are pushing Team SCA south as they approach the equator and the next big challenge The Doldrums





    It's not hard to mistake the picturesque greenery of the Cape Verde Islands for the set of Jurassic Park.
    Team Alvimedica passed by the archipelago on October 19, on their way to Cape Town for Leg 1.
    Seeing green gave the guys a respite from the constant blue scenery they have experienced the past few days.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  2. #102

    October 21 Updates

    OCTOBER 21, 2014


    Even though I’m tempting fate writing this, the headline of the day so far would be “Doldrums? What Doldrums?” Certainly, based on weather models we should have already seen 5-10 knots of breeze and dropping. So far all day we’ve had around 15 knots and been making great speed straight south!
    Another beautiful sunset however was interrupted by fairly large rain clouds indicative that we’d reached the Doldrums. Please let it rain! We could all use a shower!
    Matt Knighton, OBR

    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 











    We are currently drifting some way, nobody can bee too sure which way that is at the moment, and the wind speed is barely registering at all. Somewhere between one and two knots. The mainsail slams one side to the other and the winches constantly spin as the guys on deck try and prepare the boat for whichever puff seems most likely to stick.
    Because it is pitch black the clouds are impossible to see; besides watching the radar for rain—a guaranteed indicator of cloud and wind—there is little to do but remain non-committal and keep your options open. Wind can arrive from the left, from the right, from the front or from the back, and you have to be ready for a lot of it, too. Its arrival is never gradual!
    It has also become very hot. And super smelly. So yes, confidently confirmed: we are in the Doldrums! Wish us luck.
    Amory Ross, OBR

    Team Alvimedica








    The dawn of a complicated day. Let’s face it: we’re not having a very good time on Dongfeng. We lost distance last night, and our leading position. The day got dull afterwards. Sailing straight ahead, with the spinnaker up, in light winds. Not very interesting…
    At least, we made the most of it, eating and sleeping… Charging the batteries, waiting for what’s next.
    And the next thing is the International Tropical Convergence Zone, also known as “Doldrums”. We started to feel its effects in the evening. Somebody has switched off the fans. At 2230 UTC, the trade winds we had since Cape Verde stopped. All at once.
    Yann Riou, OBR

    Dongfeng Race Team






    Wouter thinks he’s found a gap to squeeze through. I guess the others think they found a gap too. Could we all be right? Could we see some winners in this split in the fleet? We hope it’s us that make it out the other side. If we do being more east than the rest we should have a more favorable angle to sail to the Brazil coast to our next turning mark. We have a little time to sit and wait it out.
    For now, we sit tight, wait it out for another 15 hours and pray the gap through is still open to us when we arrive…….
    Brian Carlin, OBR
    Team Vestas Wind

    Go to team website 






    Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race
    Flying fish, seaweed, a bird every once in a while, and ahead of us 400 miles with barely any wind. This is going to be long!
    Sunrises and sunsets are more spectacular every day. I’m no expert but I’m sure it’s got to do with the fact that we are at the latitude 9º N.
    Yesterday was Mother’s Day in Argentina. I’d like to congratulate all mums and especially mine, who’s not with us anymore. ¡A big kiss to you mum!
    Francisco Vignale, OBR
    MAPFRE





    Pablo Arrarte Elorza is worn out by the Volvo Ocean Race. Not by the physical effort – the likeable Spaniard is a very strong guy. For Pablo, this race is a culinary war of attrition, as the supplies do little to please his gourmet palate.
    He is affectionately known on board as Patan (the Spanish word for clumsy). But when he is at the helm, Patan does little justice to his nickname. The Super Driven pilots Team Brunel through the waves. "One of the best helmsmen in the world," says Bouwe Bekking "Pablo is a mega-active trimmer. The men on deck rarely rest.”
    And Pablo gives his orders: “Mainsail with weight forward, more outrigger.”
    Stefan Coppers, OBR
    Team Brunel






    Two days, eight hours, thirty-four minutes, and ten seconds, nine seconds, eight, seven, six, five… over the last few days the clock has gotten louder and louder as it counts down to October 23rd at noon—the time when we cross the equator and the time when myself and six other sailors join the rest of our crew in King Neptune’s court.
    “Hey want to hide?” Stacey asked Libby.
    “Sure, but I also have to tell them we’re crossing the Equator,” Libby (the navigator) replied.
    Corinna Halloran, OBR
    Team SCA


    http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/new...the-boats.html
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  3. #103
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    For the seven sailing teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, it is last minute preparation and time to say goodbye to their family. In 24 hours they will start the toughest sailing race on the planet.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  4. #104

    October 23 Update


    Always keeping an eye out for the changing conditions. Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race










    The push and shove of 12 knots of Atlantic breeze – things are looking up.

    The crackle of the sails and the crush of the waves – things are looking up.
    Brighter skies and a brand new hemisphere – things are looking up.
    On board Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, things are looking up.
    First in the fleet, and out of the Doldrums, they’re heading fast towards the Equator, trade winds blowing gusts of encouragement around their ears.

    “Normally you can be sitting stationery for hours on end, relying on clouds to puff you through – but we managed to keep moving,” smiles Ian Walker, driving his Azzam boat forwards.


    In these generous conditions, he holds his head high – and the horizon looks good.
    “The sky is changing over the last few hours,” he adds. “We can see all the big clouds behind us, and it looks a lot fairer in front. We should have a lot less disturbed wind now.”

    His team opted to take the most western passage of any of the fleet – a move that Team Vestas Wind’s Wouter Verbraak called ‘risky’ - and Ian doesn’t deny it was a bold decision.

    “We semi-regretted it at one stage,” he admits. “We were looking at a 50 to 100 mile deficit, but a few things went in our favour.”


    Chris Nicholson trims in the tricky conditions at the doldrums. Photo by Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race



    “In the 2008-9 race on Green Dragon, we did exactly the same thing, and made similar gains on the fleet – we were first around Fernando de Noronha then, too.”
    That’s the next waypoint on this 3 week voyage to Cape Town, a tiny archipelago just off the coast of eastern Brazil.

    But before rounding the tropical surfing paradise, the Emiratis must cross the Equator, smashing their way into the Southern Hemisphere - a symbolic passing which is expected to happen at around 2200 UTC this evening.
    Around 200nm behind the leaders, MAPFRE and Team SCA are also looking up – but for a different reason.

    They’re the ones left behind, stuck with no light at the end of the tunnel, and they desperately need to find a way out to keep this race alive.




    Sophie Ciszek watches the horizon for pressure. Photo by Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race




    “There’s really not a lot of wind around!” shouts Sophie Ciszek, from the top of the mast.
    Frustration is bubbling on the magenta boat, but after days of almost aimlessly floating around, it appears to be gradually turning to reluctant resignation.

    Abby Ehler, eyeing skyward, explains. “There’s no wind – and there’s nothing you can do about it. You can see where the wind is, but there’s no way of getting to it.”
    “It’s like trying to sit on a bicycle without a chain,” adds Carolijn Brouwer. “You keep turning the pedals really hard, but you’re not getting anywhere.”


    On the Spanish boat, it’s Frenchman Anthony Marchand sums up the feeling of helplessness best.


    Nicolai Sehested drys off at the helm after a fresh water shower. Photo by Brian Carlin/Team Vestas Wind/Volvo Ocean Race

    “Will we ever get out of here?” he asks, dramatically. After this long in the dreaded Doldrums, part of him must be beginning to believe it might never happen.
    And it’s the thought of leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing increasing their superiority with every minute, every mile, every hour that will hurt the most.
    But Ian isn’t worried about that. With his boat in pole position and having successfully jumped a massive hurdle, he has reason to be cheerful - but what sticks in his memory from the last few days?

    “My memory of the Doldrums is that it teases you,” he says. “You think you’re out, and you fall back in. It’s frustrating.”

    “But then suddenly, everything changes – and you’re off.”
    Encouragement for those still battling the clouds, then. But for the Emiratis, that’s the Doldrums, done. Chapter closed.
    Now, things are looking up – and they’re not looking back.




    Stacey Jackson checks the tack out on the bowsprit. Photo by Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race




    Sally Barkow helms after a squall came over. Photo by Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race



    Sophie Ciszek works on Annie Lush's achilles tendon. Photo by Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race




    The boys being boys! Photo by Francisco Vignale/MAPFRE/Volvo Ocean Race
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  5. #105
    Things are getting hot and steam on Team SCA. Where is the live feed PB?

  6. #106
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Bestest I can do...














    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  7. #107

    October 26 Update

    Sitting in the Nav Station on-board Azzam, SiFi again surveys what looks like colored spaghetti; this time thrown on a map of the South Atlantic Ocean. Each colored line marks a different routing to Cape Town. At last count there were over 15.
    As the watches tick by and all 8 sailors on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing take their turn between racing on deck and resting below, at various times each one has had a look at the spaghetti.

    Ian takes his turn at the screen narrowing in on an area of light wind the High is predicted to churn out lying directly in our path. In three days time, there’s every possibility the fleet will again “restart” and all our gains are for naught.

    Matt Knighton, OBR
    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing











    Al’s diner has been revoked of its 5 stars of late. Not for its hygiene standards, which could also be marginal as we run out of cleaning products. It’s varied menu of 7 days has worn thin with locals here on Vestas Wind. I started to have complaints a couple of days ago with comments from deck.

    We have started the conversation too early people say, but Cape Town and its steaks are soon going to be a priority. It’s strange how food can become an ever increase consumption of your free time. We think about it all the time, especially Tom Johnson.
    Not a massively fussy eater but he likes what he likes; freeze-dried is not his thing. I asked today what the national dish of South Africa was; no one quite got it. The dish is called Bobotie, an amazing simple dish to create; minced beef, sweet honey, spices, all cooked up with an egg like crust to top the dish. Oven baked for an hour you have something special. I highly recommend those family and friends who come to Cape Town try this dish. Amazing!

    Brian Carlin, OBR
    Team Vestas Wind






    We’re seeing stronger winds all the time and we’re beginning to put up some quick numbers through the water. Everyone’s having fun in the new conditions but since the Equator antics there is noticeably less “chatter” on deck and the guys seem ready to take it to the next level. The watch system finally has some real estate to settle into—straight line sailing is something we haven’t had much of to date—and as boring as staying on one tack for a week can be, it really helps with routines and rhythms, with getting some rest for the challenging week ahead.

    Amory Ross, OBR
    Team Alvimedica










    “Life on board is much like living on a mountain, on skis,” Sally said. “And you have to cook, eat, sleep, and work on this mountain. It’s not easy.”
    Imagine boiling teakettles on this mountain, and the mountain moves left and right, up and down, and then pouring the boiling water into a food pot. You end up having way too much faith on a slippery pair of wet shoes—the only thing preventing you from catapulting into the empty bunks below with the boiling water.

    I cannot tell if I’m too tall for the galley or too short—am I supposed to cook on my knees? I understand my entire job is a job hazard, however on the scale of job hazards it is the galley that scares me the most.

    Corinna Halloran, OBR
    Team SCA










    Charles and Pascal are watching the weather, and are beginning to have a vague idea of ​​how long it will take us to get to Cape Town. Much too early to predict a precise date of arrival, but what we can see is that with the high pressure ahead, it will not be very fast. The advantage of such a situation is that the game is open - and there will probably be opportunities. The downside is that it diminishes the rest time between maneouvres - an important thing to bear in mind when we know that we still have eight months of racing ahead.

    Yann Riou, OBR
    Dongfeng Race Team




    http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/virtualeye.html








    We have Alvimedica sailing behind us and they don’t allow us to make any mistakes. During the night, in one of the watches, we tried to sail at a higher level to gain some miles to the east but that made us sail 1.5 knots slower and we lost some distance on them. There are no breaks here. You give them an inch and they take a mile.
    Here, all the boats have the same. They’re all one-design - the same boat, the same sails. Only the ones who know how to sail better will gain that extra mile. Sailors have a very strong role to play and the pressure on them is big. Despite this, the crew is doing very well, they are all very healthy, and hopeful of improving the situation we find ourselves in today.

    Francisco Vignale, OBR
    MAPFRE
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  8. #108

    October 28 Update







    08/28
    A world of digital age, everything is on Google, every answer a keystroke away. There is little left in our world now original. The world has become a huge dumping ground for secondhand information.

    If you want something real you must initiate it. This is our authenticity.
    An experience, it’s exactly that, an event or a happening experienced first hand by an individual.

    The Volvo Ocean Race is an event, it’s one you get to watch unfold as something real. What happens on these boats day to day, what’s sent, what’s written about, what’s photographed, what’s on video is REAL. It’s not a reality show, it’s certainly not scripted, it’s actually a real experience that is viewed by you. Perhaps the success of this event has become so popular with mainstream viewers for this factor.

    When you wake at 3am, its dark, really dark, you hear the wind chime its echo through the rigging above you, you feel the walls of your home flex in and out due to the waves, the bunk lurches from side to side and you know that your shift is coming up. That is authentic, that is our reality. This is “the experience” we experience.


    Brian Carlin, OBR
    Team Vestas Wind






    http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/virtualeye.html







    08/27
    Tough day for MAPFRE today. Why? Last two position reports showed that we’ve lost miles on our closest competitors.
    We are sailing closer to land and the others are getting a bit more wind than us.
    We have to stay cool, following the forecast in a day and a half we’ll see the benefit of our call, but in the meanwhile we have to sail as fast as posible to the South and wait up.
    Martínez looked a bit more tense today, noboday likes to lose miles. It’s like bleeding out drop by drop. “This is our position and we have to defend it until the next call”, he says.

    Francisco Vignale, OBR
    MAPFRE


    [IMG][/IMG]


    08/27
    We’re basking in the traditional SE tradewinds, serving up a gorgeous dosage of twenty-knot perfection squarely on the beam. An occasional cloud brings a bit of Brazilian fever, a quick reef and some warm water over the deck, but on the whole these days are exactly what you have in mind when you sign up for this race. Dare I suggest: downwind perfection. It is the collective opinion that you could just go on like this forever; irrelevant are the days!

    08/28
    We’re figuring the boat out a bit, finding a few more knots here and there, making our way back up through the middle of the fleet with sound decision making. It is going to be a critical few days of navigating the high-pressure between Cape Town and us, but we’re psyched to sniff the front of the fleet again and we’re all ready for some fast sailing towards the finish!
    Amory Ross, OBR
    Team Alvimedica








    08/28
    Honestly, I’m not really sure what to tell you, I’ve got writer’s block.
    I suppose I could tell you we changed sails to the Mast Head 0 and the Frac0. Does that interest you? If so great, because they were the biggest moments of our day…

    Yann Riou/Dongfeng Race Team/Volvo Ocean Race/Volvo Ocean Race
    As for the rest of the ‘news’ we’re going straight and the boat is on a constant incline. At this rate we’re all going to end up with one leg shorter than the other.
    Actually I forgot, we did do something cool. We put up the wind generator. Kevin was the man tasked with the mission. Poor guy, lost two hours of his life doing it… so I need to tell you about it. We’re not trying to get one up on Vestas.
    The truth is we’re getting a little bit stressed about the fuel situation onboard. Just to explain, without fuel there’s no electricity and without electricity we’re basically sailing blind and drinking seawater.

    08/27
    We gybed today. Several times. It means that, for the first time in a while, we were on starboard tack. It also means we moved everything we pack on port to the starboard side. That includes the sails on deck, but also all the gear inside the boat. Bags of food, tools, personal bags, spare pieces, parts of our kitchen… When we sail at a reaching angle like we’ve done in the past days, the more things you stack on windward, the fastest you ho.
    Let’s say we put it all.

    So, when you move after almost a week, you find some random stuff that got stuck in a corner or under a box. A sock, a tee shirt… I found a pen, and a camera battery.
    On the other side, there is also a layer of dirt and old food crumbs that made the spaces between the bags their home too.
    So we cleaned.

    Yann Riou, OBR
    Dongfeng Race Team



    08/27

    “I’m sailing against my mentor, and we’re about to pass them,” Sam Davies said with a cheeky smile.
    Our mentors recognise something within us when we, ourselves, may be unsure. Our mentors lead us through their understandings of situations we may encounter, perhaps in the Southern Ocean. Our mentors give us the confidence to make our own choices, and (eventually) surpass their knowledge.
    Some of us have known our mentors for decades, others have just met theirs; some of us are racing with our mentors, and others are racing against them. Some have many mentors, and others just one.
    We are a team of determined women; we are positive; we are on the hunt; we are coming back and there’s nothing stopping us.






    08/28
    On board we have a few Southern Ocean veterans, and they’ve been a saving grace for us Southern Ocean newbies.
    “I can’t help but laugh,” Sam said. “The girls who haven’t sailed in the Southern Ocean keep asking me all these questions, and I can’t help remember that’s exactly what I did. I was lucky enough to have a very patient navigator—so I’ve been open to answering the questions.”

    Sam was 22 when she first sailed in the Southern Ocean; she has since been back once in 2009 for the Vendee Globe, when she spent six weeks down there. Abby sailed the Southern Ocean in her last Volvo Ocean Race in 2001-02, as did Carolijn Brouwer. Liz Wardley last played in the Southern Ocean in 2007 when she was testing a one-design boat for an Around the World Race. Dee Caffari has been down there four times! That must be a good sign then!!!
    Corinna Halloran, OBR
    Team SCA




    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing continued to punch further south along the western edge of the St. Helena High Pressure, guiding Azzam as a three-way battle for the lead developed with Team Vestas Wind and Team Brunel sailing on either side. Separated by about 150 miles, each boat has placed a bet on which “lane” south will have the strongest breeze.

    Nevertheless, all three routes are different variations on the same theme: heading south to catch the westerly winds at 40 degrees south or the “Roaring Forties”.
    Home to freezing temperatures, very strong winds, and huge waves that travel uninterrupted around the planet, the last week of Leg 1 will play out in possibly epic conditions.

    Matt Knighton, OBR

    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing



    08/27
    "In the Netherlands there is a book. It contains all the Dutchmen who have rounded Cape Horn," continues the good-humoured Gerd-Jan Poortman. "I want to be in it! And: there is a myth that if you have rounded Cape Horn, you can pee in the wind! Well, as a sailor, that's very useful.”
    Stefan Coppers, OBR
    Team Brunel

    http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/new...the-boats.html
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  9. #109
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Life at the Extreme - Ep 3 - Round the Rock



    That’s it. The seven teams are leaving Alicante, Spain for the first leg of their round the world race. And first, they have to go through the capricious Mediterranean sea with its thunderstorms and lack of wind. The perfect start for the toughest race on the planet.
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  10. #110
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    Makin Ends Meet: Bill Erkelens Interview

    Many know Bill Erkelens as a former rigger, team manager for the Maxi Sayonara and subsequently Campaign manager for Oracle Racing during the IACC efforts and a really good sailor with a solid Rolodex of connections in the yacht racing world. When the opportunity to manage a Volvo team, Bill did not hesitate, and in late 2013, the Bay Area Native accepted the roles as the COO for Team Alvimedica.

    It's been a whirlwind dozen or so months for Bill and we caught up with him during a short respite from the chores involved with running the program, after finishing up the 6 week Alicante start operations and rushing to South Africa to set up and meet the crew in Cape Town.







    PD: How do you compare running an AC team vs a Volvo Team?

    BE: Very similar, but with the America's Cup you have 3 years of meetings and a few weeks of sailing!

    PD: Tell us about Alicante and the prep.

    BE: It was 6 weeks full on. All the team members, including sailing, shore and management teams putting in long days. We had one 1/2 day off in that period. We would arrive at 6:30 in the morning and get home at 10:00 PM. We have the 2nd smallest shore crew with 5, some of the better funded teams had excess crew, so obviously they didn't have such long days. There was an unexpected issue with bottom paint on the boats and all the teams needed to deal with stripping, re-priming and repainting. You play the hand you are dealt and everyone rolled up their sleeves and got dirty. That's all behind us now and things should be much smoother.

    PD: What is the vibe like at the Volvo Ocean Race Village?

    BE: Its very family like and all the teams help each other out as much as possible. Tools and gear get loaned freely, problems resolved with community effort. ! The shared services program is working really well which really eliminates a lot of the advantage that rich teams have had in the past and any animosity which might exist between the haves and have nots. It's a good feel and great vibe

    PD: How about your shore team?
    BE: There's Chris Higgins the Shore Manager, Marta Lobato managing the logistics, Toby Ingrey who does rigging and composites, Nate Campbell who does the same, Anderson Reggio doing the navigation support and our Physiotherapist Paul Wilson, and they are all doing a great job




    Aside from dealing with mountains of logistics, paperwork, and keeping the program and personnel running smooth, Bill is just as compentent driving a forklift, running a grinder, running rigging or splicing ropes!


    PD: What happens after the boats leave a port?

    BE: The shore crew packs everything up. The gear crew and delicate stuff get packed in the air freight containers and the heavier or more disposable items are loaded into cargo containers and shipped to next port with the village itself. The whole village is gone in a couple days. There are critical bits and pieces cached away in different parts of the planet, masts, booms, winches etc that would take too long to ship in emergency. The final item is the paperwork that needs processing which Marta and I tend to before departing.


    PD: What's the story on sails?

    BE: Each team gets a set of sails plus 4 additional sails which cannot be used until the China stop. It really equalizes the teams and eliminates the advantage wealthier teams have had in the past. There was also a set of training sails which the teams could keep. For teams like us, which put in a lot of training days on them, they were pretty much reduced to rags. For teams like Vestas Wind, they have quite a bit of life left in theirs, so that's a little bit of advantage. The shared services will take care of sails when they get to port, and teams can carry a sewing machine on their own, but it has to be stowed on the center line and cannot be stacked.


    PD: So when the teams arrive in port, are they expected to roll up sleeves again?

    BE: The Volvo guys have most of the maintenance stuff covered via the shared service. We expect the shore team to be able to handle all the rest of boat needs and the sailing crew can rest. They are going to be pretty beat up by the time they get to port and will really need it.




    PD: What's your guess as to your whether the stand-bye crewmembers will be getting some action?

    BE: I think it's very good. Historically, very few make it all the way around the world. We have Matt Noble available for any general position, Stu Bannatyne available as watch captain and Anderson Reggio available as navigator.



    PD: Your thoughts on piracy which disrupted the previous edition?

    BE: Historically it's at an all time low. The bad guys were beaten back severely by a number of nations, and no longer see pirating as an easy option. There were 412 acts of piracy for a calendar year during the last cycle. This year there has been 3 total. That being said, if wind gets light in the notorious waters, Volvo does have contingency plans.


    PD: How much time to you expect to be able to spend at home with family during the race?

    BE:Not much. In fact there won't be much time between Abu Dhabi and Sanya, so Melinda and the kids will be coming to Abu Dhabi for Christmas!



    Team Alvimedica is the youngest entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015, the world's toughest and longest sporting event. The crew is led by American skipper Charlie Enright, age 30. Alvimedica, the European based medical devices company, is the team’s owner. Founded in 2007, Alvimedica is a fast growing challenger in the global field of interventional cardiology, committed to developing minimally-invasive technologies. This is the team’s first entry in the extremely challenging 39,000-mile race that started October 11, 2014 from Alicante, Spain and features stopovers in 11 ports around the world.

    Follow Team Alvimedica on:

    www.teamalvimedica.com
    www.facebook.com/TeamAlvimedica
    www.volvooceanrace.com
    Last edited by Photoboy; 10-29-2014 at 11:48 AM.
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