Team Alvimedica names Volvo Ocean Race crew

Published on July 7th, 2014

Newport, RI (July 7, 2014) – Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright today confirmed seven of the eight final race crew as well as the On-Board Reporter for the Volvo Ocean Race.

In addition to the Bristol, RI skipper and team co-founder Mark Towill, 25, of Kaneohe, HI, the race crew named today are: Alberto Bolzan, 32, Trieste, Italy; Nick Dana, 28, Newport, RI; Ryan Houston, 31, Auckland, NZL; Will Oxley, 49, North Queensland, Australia; and Dave Swete, 30, of Auckland, NZL. Amory Ross, 30, of Newport, RI is the On-Board Reporter.

The team sets out from Newport on Wednesday July 9 at 2pm for a Transatlantic training run to the United Kingdom with the newly named crew. The team will line up against Volvo Ocean Race opponent Abu Dhabi for a promotional start out of Narragansett Bay. The public can view the action from Fort Adams State Park.

“With only eight race crew positions each role on board is vital,” Enright said. “Sailing skill is the main requirement but equally important is the team chemistry and ability to work together in a confined space for 38,000 miles around the world. To achieve great results on the water we need a collaborative group who will look after each other’s safety and well being throughout a range of challenging conditions. We are confident in our crew and look forward to facing the challenges and sharing the experiences of the Volvo Ocean Race together as a team.”

Team Alvimedica Race Crew: Marek Tow

Team Co-Founders: Charlie Enright and Mark Towill

Skipper Charlie Enright, 29, of Bristol, RI, and crewmember Mark Towill, 25, of Kanohe, HI, co-founded Team Alvimedica. The pair first met in 2006 when they were both selected to join Morning Light for the 2007 Transpac Race. The young crew was the subject of a Disney documentary movie of the same name. It was during this program that Charlie and Mark, both Brown University graduates, learned of their mutual passion to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.

With backing from the Oakcliff Sailing Center, Charlie and Mark recruited an 18-member team of young sailors to compete in the 2011 Transatlantic Race from Newport, RI to England. The team earned the 2011 Transatlantic Youth Team Championship title and finished first in the youth division of the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race and third overall in the 300-boat fleet.

Charlie Enright, 29, Bristol RI
DOB: September 10, 1984

The Enright family has deep roots in Bristol, a waterfront community rich in sailing heritage. Charlie first took to the water at age 3. By the time he was 5, he was sailing various recreational dinghies and by age 10, he was competing on a national level. Charlie was a four-time member of the All-American sailing team at Brown University. Charlie started logging ocean-racing miles at every chance, winning the Newport Bermuda Race in 2010, the Youth Division of the Transatlantic Race in 2011, and finishing 3rd in the IRC Division of the Fastnet Race that same year.

Mark Towill, 25, Kaneohe, HI
DOB: October 20, 1988

Mark is a native of Hawaii, growing up on Oahu. At an early age he was drawn to the water surrounding his home island and became an avid sailor and kayaker by age 10. At Brown University, Mark earned BA degrees in both Economics and Environmental Studies while competing on the top-five ranked Varsity sailing team. While working to make the Volvo Ocean Race dream a reality, Mark competed in a variety of professional classes becoming World Champion in the Melges 32 class in 2011 and a Tour Champion in the RC 44 class in 2012 and 2013.

Race Crew:

Alberto Bolzan, 32, Trieste, Italy
DOB: May 14, 1982

The Italian crewmember will be competing in his first Volvo Ocean Race. Sailing from a young age with his parents, Alberto sailed Optimist to Olympic class boats before moving on to big boats from Melges 24s and 32s (Mascalzone Latino), to Farr 40s (Joe Fly and Enfant Terrible), TP52s (Luna Rossa and Pisco Sour) and Maxis (Esimit Europa 2). The four-time winner of the Giro D’Italia has won four world championships.

Nick Dana, 28, Newport, RI
DOB: February 6, 1986

At only 28, Nick is embarking on his third Volvo Ocean Race for the first time as a member of the race crew. He was with the PUMA Ocean Racing 2008-09 shore team and was the on-board media person for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 2011-12. Nick’s decade of professional racing has produced a long list of ocean racing accomplishments including four Newport Bermuda Races, three Fastnets, a Middle Sea Race and a Transatlantic Race on a range of grand prix racing yachts and a recent defense of the King’s Hundred Guinea Cup with the J Boat Hanuman. Having worked for many years at his family’s Shipyard in Newport, Nick can maintain and repair boats as well as he can race them.

Ryan Houston, 31, Auckland, New Zealand
DOB: October 6, 1982

This will be Ryan’s third Volvo Ocean Race as race crew. Competing previously with Delta Lloyd and Team Sanya, Ryan is looking forward to contributing his race know-how. Ryan has competed in many of the world’s ocean classics including three Sydney Hobarts, four Transatlantic Races, and four Fastnets. Most recently Ryan has been sailing with the TP52 Vesper and the Beau Geste grand prix racing programs. A graduate of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s youth program, he started sailing at Hamilton Lake on New Zealand’s North Island.

Will Oxley, 49, North Queensland, Australia
DOB: April 22, 1965

Will brings navigation depth to this young team having been part of three Volvo Ocean Races, twice as navigator. Will has completed more than 240,000 nm of ocean racing including four round the world races and 14 Sydney to Hobart races. He skippered Compaq in the BT Global Challenge 2000/01 and he was also the weather coordinator for the Swedish Victory Challenge America’s Cup team. He provided navigation and weather support for Puma in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race. For the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race he was navigator with Camper (Emirates Team New Zealand). Will is also a marine biologist, working from 1992-2000 at the Australian Institute of Marine Science as part of the Long-term Monitoring Project studying the Great Barrier Reef.

David Swete, 30, Auckland, New Zealand
DOB: November 17, 1983

Dave is returning for his second Volvo Ocean Race. In the 2011-2012 edition with Team Sanya, Dave competed as race crew and was honored with the prestigious Hans Horrevoets Award for Young Sailor of the Race. Dave’s recent accomplishments include winning the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race with the Mini Maxi Shockwave. With this team, Dave also won the 2014 Antigua 600 and placed first in Key West 2013. He has been logging ocean-racing miles with four Sydney Hobarts, two Fastnets, the Transatlantic Race, Transpac, and two Middle Sea Races to his credit including a 2009 win on the TP52 Lucky. A graduate of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s youth program, Dave won the 2009 World Match Racing Championships with Adam Minoprio. He also competed in the 2012 America’s Cup World Series events with China Team and Red Bull Racing.

On-Board Reporter:

Amory Ross, 30, Newport, RI
DOB: June 29, 1984

The On-Board Reporter, also known as the “OBR,” has the unique role of sailing on board for the entire race but not contributing in any way to the performance of the boat. Amory will be on board for the entire race to transmit words, images and video of life on board. In addition he has non-performance enhancing roles on board such as provisioning and preparation of the food. Amory was on board PUMA Ocean Racing in the 2011-2012 edition in this capacity. Amory also worked as part of the video team for ORACLE TEAM USA’s successful defense of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.


The eighth race crew position with Team Alvimedica will be filled closer to the race start. The team spent one month in their Newport homeport. The boat and crew will next be in the United States during the only North American race stopover May 5-17, 2015.

Team Alvimedica is the youngest entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015. The team’s owner, Alvimedica, is a young European based medical devices company, which is committed to developing minimally invasive technologies. Founded in 2007, Alvimedica is a fast growing challenger in the global field of interventional cardiology. This is the team’s first entry in the Volvo Ocean Race. Follow the Team on:

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race starts October 4 and will take the fleet to 11 cities in 11 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 38,739 nautical miles. It will be the first edition using the new one design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats. Race website:

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