Volvo Ocean Race: Meet Vestas 11th Hour Racing

Published on October 6th, 2017

Young guns Charlie Enright and Mark Towill are back in the Volvo Ocean Race, and they’ve teamed up with Danish wind energy company Vestas and marine conservation program 11th Hour Racing hoping to make a lasting impact on and off the water in 2017-18.

American duo Enright and Towill return to lead the blue boat, and want to make an impact on and off the water. Enright and Towill got their first taste of Volvo Ocean Race action in the 2014-15 edition as with Team Alvimedica, and in doing so realized a long-awaited dream to test their mettles offshore in the ultimate round-the-world race.

Two In-Port Race wins and victory in the final ocean leg from Lorient to Gothenburg left the talented Americans wanting more… and now they’re back with a star-studded crew, an even bigger hunger for success and an important message about the health of our oceans to promote.

The team’s partnership with 11th Hour Racing will see them engage with communities around the world to increase understanding of marine environments and how best we can respect them.

Joining Towill and Enright in the team’s high command is none other than Simon ‘SiFi’ Fisher, who helped orchestrate Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s win in 2014-15 from the nav station, and returns for a fourth consecutive Volvo Ocean Race.

Around them are some of the most talented ocean racers on the planet. The likes of Damian Foxall, Tony Mutter, SCA’s Stacey Jackson and Phil Harmer – all with Volvo Ocean Race victories on their CVs, will guarantee Vestas 11th Hour Racing are top contenders.

Indeed, Harmer is hunting a hat-trick of consecutive wins after lifting the trophy with Groupama and Abu Dhabi in 2011-12 and 2014-15, respectively.

Nick Dana (Newport, RI) returns for a second race as a full crewmember – then there’s the team’s under-30 crewmembers, bursting with enthusiasm and talent.

Brit Hannah Diamond and Denmark’s Jena Mai Hansen join the team from Olympic dinghy racing backgrounds – Diamond from the Nacra 17 multihull and Jensen from winning bronze in the 49er FX at Rio 2016.

Young Aussie Tom Johnson joins the crew after racing with Vestas in the 2014-15 edition, then with Oracle Team USA for the most recent America’s Cup.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing finished fifth in Leg Zero, the four-stage qualifying series before, then headed straight for Lisbon where they’ve been working hard to get up to speed, two-boat testing alongside team AkzoNobel as the countdown to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race continues.


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2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)

Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.

Source: Volvo Ocean Race

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