Developing the Volvo Ocean Race Form Guide
Published on August 7th, 2014
Five Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 boats will line up against each other in a dress rehearsal of the event proper when they compete in the 1802 nm Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race on Sunday, August 10.
The race is expected to take at least five days to complete depending on conditions and will give a form guide for Team SCA, Dongfeng Race Team, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Alvimedica and Iker Martinez’s Spanish crew ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race start on October 4 in Alicante, Spain.
The list includes all of the teams in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 except for Team Brunel from the Netherlands, and the as-yet unannounced seventh team.
For Abu Dhabi’s highly experienced skipper Ian Walker it is a real opportunity to scout the opposition ahead of the gruelling nine-month ocean battle round the world in their identical Volvo Ocean 65 boats.
“I’m not worried about bragging rights,” said their skipper, Ian Walker. “We don’t know where we are right now. I think we’re in a really good space – but we don’t know. Essentially, we will find out where we’re at. I’ll have more than one eye on the other teams…I might even have some cameras on them.”
The fleet will set out from Cowes, England, off down the Solent to the east and turn west around the south side of the Isle of Wight. After that the course is simple: leave Ireland and Great Britain to starboard all the way to the northern tip of the Shetland Isles, a point known as Outer Stack just north of Muckle Flugga, then return down the eastern side of the UK to the finish in Cowes.
What’s not simple is the course’s coastline is notorious for highly changeable weather and wicked tides and currents.
“It’s very coastal with lots of corners and headlands, so it will certainly keep us on our toes,” said Mark Towill of Team Alvimedica. “I think there’ll be a real emphasis on boat handling. I’ve never done this race before so I’m looking forward to ticking that box.”
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 over nearly nine months. It will be the first edition using the new one design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats. Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html