Volvo Ocean Race to institute mandatory sleep periods

Published on April 1st, 2015

Alicante, Spain (April 1, 2015) – Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced changes to the safety rules after reviewing the accident report generated from the grounding of Team Vestas Wind during Leg 2 in the Indian Ocean.

The report focused on the strain of the crew, which is limited to eight people, and how sleep deprivation is greater in the 2014-15 race than in previous editions. As the grounding was due to human error, with the weariness of the crew unable to identify the shoal, the new rules will now institute mandatory sleep periods during the race.

“Each team has its own rotation system but the offwatch crew are frequently awoken to help ondeck,” explained Frostad. “The new rules now require sailors to get a minimum amount of uninterrupted rest and limit the number of consecutive hours they can sail.”

Frostad thanks sponsor Volvo for helping design the new rules.

“Volvo cars have long been marketed and stressed their historic reputation for safety, and now it’s time that the race adapts to their high standards. “Sailors aren’t as tough as they used to be, and now need more regulations to insure their security,” Frostad said. “We are also worried about the boats since many are leased.”

The sailors are supportive of the change, which will commence after they party their arses off during the Brazil stopover.

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