Few luxuries on Volvo Ocean Race

Published on October 7th, 2014

At home, most households immerse in luxury, but when the first leg of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race gets underway on October 11, the seven crews will have to do with a lot less wealth.

“There are no personal belongings on board, such as books, a telephone or personal clothing,” says Gideon Messink director of Team Brunel. “Every sailor has a watertight bag of about 60 by 30 centimeters, where they must store all – outside their sailing clothes and shoes – personal items. The bag includes four underpants, an iPod with headphones and quick drying technical undergarments. During the warm stages like leg 1 to Cape Town the boys do not wear socks.

“During a stage, the men are often faced with skin rashes on their buttocks. To counter this they use a lot of talc and zinc ointment. These care products, sitting together with for example the toothpaste in one common waterproof bag. Furthermore, each sailor has his own toothbrush and there are five sleeping bags aboard. We take also replacement parts, repair products and tools aboard. With these products, it is possible to virtually perform any repair. So they can glue, laminate carbon and repair the sails.”

“As for the daily necessities of life, the team works with watertight bags. Each bag has two day compartments, containing food bars, power drinks, a gas bottle, the freeze-dried food, a bottle of Tabasco sauce, a bottle of ketchup, chewing gum and a little bit of chocolate. There’s no bottled water or canned soda. They use only water from the water maker. The team also has an emergency rudder and tools to cut the rigging in the event of a broken mast.”

The first leg of the race extends from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa, a 6,487 nautical mile distance that is expected to take 3 to 4 weeks. In all, the seven teams will travel to 11 cities in 11 countries, finishing June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series.

Team BrunelRace details

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