Fighting for boatspeed – the onus is on the crew In the old days of the Whitbread and the early Volvo Ocean Races 2014-15 boatspeed was the product of two things: the designer’s pen and the ability of a crew to move a hull efficiently through the water in all conditions. The switch to a one-design contest for the first time in this year’s Volvo Ocean Race has effectively removed the designer from the equation.
The boats are as near identical as it is possible to be, the sails are the same and so the onus is on the crew. For the Dongfeng Race Team aboard the bright red Chinese-sponsored Volvo Ocean 65, boatspeed and many other of the key skills that make up a winning campaign were always going to be a struggle. Unlike their rivals Charles Caudrelier’s crew would contain two offshore novices, in the form of Chinese rookie round-the-world sailors Jiru Yang (Wolf) and Chen Jinhao (Horace), and this was expected to have an effect on all aspects of performance, not least the speed of the boat through the water.
Read the full review here Leg 1 Alicante to Cape Town: (6,487nm, although many more miles raced) Finish position: 2nd, behind leg winner and pre-race favourites Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Time of finish: 15:22:48 UTC (12m 4s behind leg winner Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing) Duration of leg: 25d 3h 22m Distance sailed: 8,363nm Best 24 hour run: Dongfeng 541nm at 1440 UTC 3.11.14 (provisional) What did they say during the leg: Taking a look back at Leg 1 these quotes bring to life the joy, despair, excitement and hardship of this epic 25 day leg.
Charles Caudrelier, 10.10.14, pre-start press conference “We want to do the best we can but at this point we don’t know how good that is.” Kevin Escoffier, 11.10.14 start day “You are sharing so much with the people around you and they become the people you love, they become your family. You can pass years surrounded by people and never feel what you feel on the Volvo Ocean Race.” Jiru Yang (Wolf) 16.10.14, Day 5 “I am now living my dream, but this is different from what I imagined.
I am now wondering if this dream could potentially be a nightmare.” Chen Jinhao (Horace), 5.11.14 on phone, dockside, Cape Town “Granny, I am safe and I am on land. We are number two and did a really good job. Don’t worry about me, I am safe!” Read all the stand-out quotes from leg 1 here By Ed Gorman, former sailing correspondent for The Times (UK), this full leg review is available to use by all media copyright free.