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Volvo 2008-2009 Part 1

Oct 12, 2008 1 Comment by

BIG WAVES, BIG ACTION

“The depression in the South Atlantic has aligned itself perfectly to fire the fleet to Cape Town at record place,” promises Green Dragon’s skipper, Ian Walker/GBR. But the although the 24-hour record of 562.96 nautical miles currently held by ABN AMRO TWO could be broken, it is a question of which teams can push the hardest, but still keep their boat in one piece.  Damage now will be extremely costly as the fleet prepares for big waves and big action.

Weather forecaster, Matt Sanders, explains that the countdown to the ‘launch’ began over the weekend as the teams readied their boats and steered into the best position to rocket across the South Atlantic.  Navigators hoped this south west-south-west course positioned their boats on the launch pad with the best fuel to reach Cape Town.  The fuel is, of course, strong, steady winds generated by the pressure gradient between lows moving along the South Atlantic storm track, and the semi-permanent South Atlantic High.

Green Dragon, in third place,  is the most southerly yacht in the fleet and skipper Ian Walker says that all the effort his team put into getting south is now wasted.  “We will have lost miles on the fleet as we will no longer be gybing south,” he says. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA) and PUMA (Ken Read/USA), leading the field, are 26nm to windward of the Dragons.

Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) in fourth,  is following the same east-south-easterly course as PUMA and Ericsson 4, who has fifth-placed Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED) 17nm to windward, and is being followed by Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander/SWE) who is behind and to leeward.  Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke/IRL) in seventh position, is the most northerly yacht and Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) is following in the wake of Ericsson 3.

Walker reported this morning that the Dragons had averaged 25 knots for the past hour.  This would equate to a 600-nm day.  “Clearly, doing this for 24-hours is another thing altogether and we are on the edge,” he said.

The pressure is mounting for the leading two boats, Ericsson 4 and PUMA. They are back in sight of each other, racing just 100 metres apart after a 15-hour spell when Ericsson 4 managed to break free from PUMA’s stranglehold.

“We knew they would be back,” reported PUMA skipper Ken Read in a radio interview this morning.   “The first boat to break loose will win.  We will keep the pressure on.  We are literally right next door to Ericsson 4,” Read said.

Onboard Delta Lloyd navigator Matthew Gregory/USA describes the storm that is brewing as ‘the gateway to hell’.  The crew reported damage to the starboard side of their rig over a week ago and since making the repair, the Dutch/Irish team has sailed only on port gybe.  A gybe to starboard is imminent, possibly coinciding with the cold front passing over the team as the storm deepens to the south of them.

The best 24-hour run is chalked down to Team Russia who has registered 450 nm, but the highest average speed still lies with Green Dragon, whose skipper says: “Watch this space over the next three days.  I guarantee records or drama – or possibly both.”

Leg One Day 18: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to leader)

Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTF 2292
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +2
Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +41
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +44
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +47
Ericsson 3 SWE (Anders Lewander/SWE) +58
Delta Lloyd IRL (Ger O’Rourke/IRL) +117
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) +186

GREEN DRAGON IN HIDING

At 0400 GMT today, StealthPlay came into action for the first time on this 6,500 nautical mile leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante to Cape Town.  In the approach to the Canary Islands, Ian Walker/GBR and his crew onboard the Green Dragon played their joker and decided it was time to go into hiding.  They will disappear now for 12 hours, reappearing on the 1600 GMT position report this afternoon.   Only the Race Office in the UK will know where the boat is, and that is for safety reasons.

At the time that StealthPlay was activated, Green Dragon was only 12 nautical miles from Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander/SWE), the leaders at the time, and set up to the west of the Canary Islands, with Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) just on her starboard hip.

Over the past 12 hours, the Canary Islands have caused the fleet to scatter.  Telefónica Black will go to windward (west of the islands), but we will not know if Green Dragon went with her until she reappears on our screens at 1600 GMT today.

Ericsson 3 went straight through the middle of the islands and is currently less than 2 nm off the coast of Gran Canaria.  The rest of the fleet went to leeward (east).  Delta Lloyd/IRL (Ger O’Rourke/IRL) and PUMA/USA (Ken Read) and Ericsson 4/SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) gybed close in to the shore and are now just 17nm off Cabo Falso Bogador the African coast.  Choices have been made and the east/west split of the fleet is a clear 211nm, from Telefónica Black out to the west and PUMA and Ericsson 4 away to the east. Bouwe Bekking’s Telefónica Blue also favoured the eastern side, and is following almost the same course as Delta Lloyd, but has slipped back through the fleet after damaging her large A2 running spinnaker this morning.

“It seems in the 18-20 knot wind range, we are not so fast, and we can’t sail very deep,” explained Bouwe. “The spinnaker just gave up and tore right through the middle and it was all hands on deck to prevent it from falling in the water,” he said.   Two of his crew, Daryl Wislang and Jordi Calafat are putting it back together, but it has been a bitter blow for this Spanish team, as they continue to race with a spinnaker 150 square metres smaller.  “We have to keep sailing the right angle for this sail otherwise we are cheating ourselves.  It is very tempting to sail the same angle as before, but then we will sail way slower,” he explained.

PUMA and Ericsson 4 had a sleepless night trying to shake off each other.  “Honestly, I thought the racing would be close, but this is ridiculous,” wrote PUMA skipper Ken Read this morning.  Every time a move was made to shake free, all the gear had to be moved from one side of the boat to the other.  Read says the onboard action is intense and all being filmed by onboard media crew member, Rick Deppe.  “Besides that,” he says, “it’s business as usual and there is nowhere we would rather be right now.”  Will he still be saying that in 20 days from now?

At the 1300 GMT position report, the fleet had a good north-northeasterly breeze of around 19 knots.  PUMA had the fastest 24-hour run of 367nm and Ericsson 4 had the highest average boat speed of 19 knots over the past hour.

Leg One Day 5: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to leader)

PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) DTF 5436
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTL 2nm
Ericsson 3 SWE (Anders Lewander/SWE) DTL 37nm
Delta Lloyd IRL (Ger O’Rourke/IRL) DTL 67nm
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DTL 89nm
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DTL 90nm
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) DTL 107nm
Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) StealthPlay

PUMA LEG ONE DAY 5 QFB:

received 15.10.08 03:54 GMT

I was just told that the TP 52 worlds are going on in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.  Not only did we just sail right past that island, but did so in the middle of a gybing duel with E4, with them about 2 boat lengths ahead of us at times.  No matter how close the TP 52 event is, my guess is that there won’t be any tighter racing than the racing E4 and ourselves are having right now.

As they zig zagged all over the lot trying to prevent us from passing on the high or low side, they were effective. We let them gybe first (I was watching them move their stack with very cool night vision bino’s).  We decided to set up about a mile to leeward, trying to sail our own angles and see if we can boat speed them and finally break through.  For sure there isn’t much in it.  Very fun though.  Doesn’t make for much sleep, that is for sure.

So, as I am sitting here at the nav station trying to dial in a good downwind mode for the guys on deck using our polars and the radar (watching our angles and speed to E4), I figured I would write about the action.  Honestly, I thought the racing would be close but this is ridiculous!

On board action is still intense here at the gear stacking world championships!  Ricky Deppe (media boy) sits and films us or just watches as his 10 friends bust their humps moving gear all over the craft depending on the mode we are in, the angle of sail and the wind speed.  Just seems bizarre to watch him watch us.  Good news though is he is getting some great stuff on board and sending it off daily.  Should be in your living room soon I would guess.

Besides that, it is business as usual.  Lousy food, smelly guys, getting fire hosed on deck and sleeping inside a base drum with someone relentlessly beating on it 24 hours a day.  Nowhere would we rather be right now.
Kenny

Ken Read – skipper

STEALTHPLAY:

OCEAN RACE FLEET IN HIDING

Portsmouth (England) –  7 October, 2008 –  Until the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race, which became the Volvo Ocean Race from 2001-02 onwards,  the fleet sailed over the horizon and had little or no contact with the rest of the world or the boats they were sailing against.  Now it is different, with data-packed position reports issued to the fleet and the world every three hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.  But today that changes again, as StealthPlay is introduced, giving each boat competing in the 10th edition of the race, the chance to hide once more, although not for an entire leg.

The idea behind StealthPlay is to allow a team to make a tactical break from the fleet without the rest of competitors knowing what they are doing and where they are on the race track.  Once a team opts to use StealthPlay their position will not be visible to the rest of the fleet, or the public, and they will ‘disappear’ for 12 hours, adding a new thrilling tactical dimension to the race.

If, having analyzed their own position and those of their competitors from a position report, a team decides to activate StealthPlay, they must call Race Headquarters within 30 minutes of the position report being released.  The play will last for the next 12 hours and boat’s position will not be shown on the three scheduled reports normally released within that period.  The boat will become visible again at the next position report after that period.

StealthPlay is an option and is not mandatory, and it can only be called on the longer offshore legs.  It will be in action for the first time on leg one from Alicante to Cape Town (starting this Saturday) and then on leg two (Cape Town to Cochin), leg five (Qingdao to Rio), leg six (Rio to Baltimore) and leg seven (Baltimore to Galway).  If it is not used on one leg, it cannot be accumulated for use on a following leg.

When a boat in play passes a scoring gate and there are seven gates around the course, her rounding time and points scored will be made public.  Her position will also be made public when the team is within 50 nautical miles of the finish.

Race Headquarters in the UK will continue to monitor each boat’s progress every 15 minutes for safety reasons, but this information is never made public.

Position reporting times will be every three hours at 1000, 1300, 1600, 1900, 2200, 0100, 0400, 0700 throughout the duration of each offshore leg of the race.  Position reports are circulated among the fleet as well as being published on www.volvooceanrace.org along with other technical data.

TV4 SIGNS UP THE BIGGEST TV DEAL OF VOLVO OCEAN RACE

Alicante (Spain) – 4 October September 2008 – The biggest Swedish TV production in 35-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race has been signed with TV4.

Sweden’s TV4 has committed to providing the most extensive coverage by any broadcaster in the history of the race.  They will present ‘live’ their regular breakfast programme News Morning from three stopover ports: Alicante, Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro. Their TV studio will be part of the Volvo Pavilion which is set up in each port.

The international weekly highlights programme will be customised for the Swedish audience and scheduled at 11pm on Mondays as well as at 6pm on the TV4 Sports channel.  TV4 will also send correspondents to all the other stopover ports providing news stories and features for regular news programmes.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome TV4 and we are looking forward to working closely with them during the course of the race to ensure that this unique opportunity is exploited to the full, ” said Harold Anderson, Executive Editor for the Volvo Ocean Race.

“We´ve got a strong belief in the race as being one of the most dramatic events in the world of sports. The global character of the race also gives us new and exciting possibilities to cover politics, people and culture around the world, “ said Andreas Haglind, Executive Director for the Morning News show at TV4.

International distribution of programming for this year’s race is at an advanced stage.  All indications are that audience numbers will exceed those achieved in the 2005-6 Volvo Ocean Race.   Thirty-nine half hour weekly programmes, nine monthly one hour programme and a comprehensive news coverage package promise to make this race the most watched ever.

Countries broadcasting the event include terrestrial channels such as TVE2 in Spain, Channel 4 (UK), 7TV and NTV (Russia), TV3 and TG4 (Ireland), NDR (Germany), LA 7 (Italy), TV2 (Norway), Canal Plus in France and many others. Satellite and Cable viewers will be able to tune in Europe, Eastern Europe, Canada, Latin America, Middle East and Asia

ROUTE REMINDER
Leg One: Alicante – Cape Town
Leg Two: Cape Town – Cochin
Leg Three: Cochin – Singapore
Leg Four: Singapore – Qingdao
Leg Five: Qingdao – Rio de Janeiro
Leg Six: Rio de Janeiro – Boston
Leg Seven: Boston – Galway
Leg Eight: Galway – Goteborg/Marstrand
Leg Nine: Goteborg/Marstrand – Stockholm
Leg Ten: Stockholm – St Petersburg

CREW LIST ALICANTE IN-PORT RACE

DELTA LLOYD
1. Ger O’Rourke IRL, skipper
2. Matthew Gregory USA
3. Stu Wilson NZL
4. Stuart Molloy NZL
5. Gerd-Jan Poortman NED
6. Ed van Lierde NED
7. Bert Schandevyl BEL
8. Edwin O’Connor IRL
9. Martin Watts GBR
10. Ryan Houston NZL
11. Sebastian Col FRA
12. Mark Tighe IRL
13. Sander Pluijm NED – (media crew member)

ERICSSON 4
1. Torben Grael BRA – skipper
2. Jules Salter GBR- navigator
3. Brad Jackson NZL
4. Stu Bannatyne NZL
5. Horacio Carabelli BRA
6. Tony Mutter NZL
7. Joca Signorini BRA
8. Ryan Godfrey AUS
9. Phil Jameson NZL
10. Dave Endean NZL
11. Joe Spooner NZL
12. Brian McInnes CAN
13. Guy Salter GBR (media crew member)

ERICSSON 3
1. Anders Lewander SWE– skipper
2. Aksel Magdahl NOR – navigator
3. Thomas Johansson FIN
4. Rasmus Köstner DEN
5. Richard Mason NZL
6. Stefan Myralf DEN
7. Magnus Olsson SWE
8. Martin Strömberg SWE
9. Jann Neergaard DEN
10. Jens Dolmer DEN
11. Anders Dahlsjö SWE
12. Martin Krite SWE
13. Gustav Morin SWE (media crew member)

GREEN DRAGON
1. Ian Walker GBR – skipper
2. Ian Moore GBR- navigator
3. Damian Foxall IRL
4. Neal McDonald GBR
5. Anthony Merrington AUS
6. Phil Harmer AUS
7. Tom Braidwood AUS
8. Julien Crescent FRA
9. David Carr GBR
10. Freddie Shanks GBR
11. Justin Slattery IRL
12. Andrew McLean NZL
13. Guo Chuan CHI (media crew member)

PUMA RACING TEAM
1. Ken Read USA – skipper
2. Andrew Cape AUS – navigator
3. Michael “Michi” Müller GER
4. Rob Salthouse, NZL
5. Casey Smith AUS
6. Jerry Kirby USA
7. Jonathan McKee USA
8. Justin Ferris NZL
9. Sidney Gavignet FRA
10. Chris Nicholson AUS
11. Andrew Taylor NZL
12. Shannon Falcone ANT
13. Rick Deppe USA (media crew member)

TEAM RUSSIA
1. Andreas Hanakamp AUT – skipper
2. Wouter Verbraak NDL – navigator
3. Guillermo Atadil ESP
4. Stig Westergaard DEN
5. Jochen Wolfram GER
6. Rodion Luka UKR
7. Pedro Mas ESP
8. Oleg Zherebtsov RUS
9. Nick Bubb UK
10. Ben Costello NZL
11. Jeremy Elliott IRL
12. Cameron Wills RSA
13. Mark Covell UK (media crew member)

TELEFONICA BLUE
1. Bouwe Bekking DEN – skipper
2. Iker Martinez ESP – co-skipper
3. Simon Fisher GBR – navigator
4. Pepe Ribes ESP
5. Jonathan Swain RSA
6. Xabier Fernandez ESP
7. Jordi Calafat ESP
8. Laurent Pages FRA
9. Pablo Arrarte ESP
10. Daryl Wislang NZL
11. Carlo Castellano ITA
12. Federico Giovanelli ITA
13. Gabriele Olivo ITA (media crew member)

TELEFONICA BLACK
1. Fernando Echavarri ESP – skipper
2. Roger Nilson SWE – navigator
3. Jaime Arbones ESP
4. Maciel ‘Cicho’ Cicchetti ARG
5. Pablo Iglesias ESP
6. Antonio “Ñeti” Cuervas-Mons ESP
7. Javier de la Plaza ESP
8. Mike Pammenter RSA
9. David Vera ESP
10. Francisco ‘Pachi’ Rivero
11. Pedro Campos ESP
12. Jorge Ondo ESP
13. Mikel Pasabant ESP (media crew member)

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race photo

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race photos

Portsmouth (England) – 26 September  2008 – Sailing is still one of the purest and most nature-friendly sports, with fast and fierce competition depending only on the wind as the source of energy. The sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race are known to be concerned and focused on preserving the marine life as well as the pollution of our oceans. To take this environmental concern a step further, it was announced today that the Volvo Ocean Race is to undergo a thorough environmental audit together with DNV (Det Norske Veritas).

DNV Software has created a custom-built Environmental Performance System (EPS) for the Volvo Ocean Race which will involve and include the race organisers, the sponsors of the race as well as the teams and their boats. The main objective is to clearly identify areas for environmental improvement as well as creating a benchmark against which to measure future races.

“I am in no doubt that we need to grow and develop the Volvo Ocean Race in a sustainable way, and take our corporate social responsibility as well as our environmental management seriously. To be able to do so, we need to now establish a benchmark and then work out how to develop the different areas. I am pleased that one of the most recognised and experienced companies in this field will be working with us to conduct a proper environmental audit,” says Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race.

“The boats and the sailors can become excellent ambassadors for a positive environmental message. I am confident that we can also develop our boats and energy consumption in a way that can benefit even areas and industries outside our race. Wind as an energy source is on its way back, even in shipping – and this we shall be part of,” continues Frostad.

“DNV Software is very excited to be a part of Volvo Ocean Race and its environmental effort through provision of our Environmental Performance System (EPS) for all race participants,” says Elling Rishoff, Managing Director of DNV Software.  “EPS  is piece of web- based environmental software which will calculate emissions from all areas of the race including fossil fuel usage for chase boats, air transport, container transport and the small amount used to power the electrical and electronic equipment onboard each race boat.   By comparing results from EPS against the Volvo Ocean Race’s acceptance criteria it will be possible to quickly establish where improvements are required,” he added.

The onboard media crew members (MCM) are also involved in our environmental programme as part of their duties are centred on a water-sampling programme run in conjunction with race partner Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics.  At a pre-determined time each day the MCM will take a sea water sample and test it with a ‘Luminometer’.  The results are recorded along with air temperature, cloud cover, water temperature and the GPS position of the boat.  The information is then sent back to Wallenius Wilhelmsen’s Goteborg laboratory where it will form part of an international study on the discharge of ballast water from ships.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon.  Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008 with in-port racing, it will, for the first time, take in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race.  Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping at 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier yacht race for professional racing crews.

Portsmouth (England) –  25 September 2008 — The Volvo Ocean Race has appointed The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to assist in creating a strategy for the most challenging round-the-world race to become the world’s undisputed sailing event.

“The Volvo Ocean Race has set itself highly ambitious goals for the future. Together with BCG, we will define the strategy and develop the right capabilities and skills to achieve these goals to make our race the world’s premier sailing event—in terms of both commercial and sportive measures,” said Knut Frostad, CEO of Volvo Ocean Race.

As the world’s leading advisor on business strategy, BCG partners with clients in all sectors and regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their businesses. Among their clients are two-thirds of the Fortune-500, and other growing companies and cutting-edge philanthropic organisations.

” We have chosen BCG as our management consulting partner because they are the world’s leading advisor on business strategy and we believe that their customised approach together with BCG´s global presence, experience and team is the right way to take our event forward into a new era,” Frostad added.

BCG and Volvo Ocean Race will work together to chart a course to deliver the event’s spirit of adventure and human endeavour to the global public, to further develop the toughest offshore race, and to generate global opportunities for sponsors and business communities.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race. It takes passion, knowledge, pioneering, and dedication by the teams and the individuals to be the best in the offshore racing world; these values are core to BCG and of great inspiration to all of us. This partnership brings together complementary resources and a shared commitment to excellence,” said Rune Jacobsen, Partner and Managing Director in BCG’s Oslo office.

Photo Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

The bows of the competing Volvo Open 70s line up in the Alicante Race Village Marina.

Photo Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing

(l-r) Casey Smith and Jerry Kirby have their work cut out on the bow of il mostro.

The PUMA Ocean Racing team training on their Volvo Open 70 ‘il mostro’ in windy conditions in the waters off Newport, Rhode Island.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008, it will, for the first time, take in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race. Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports over nine months, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier ocean yacht race for professional racing crews.

Thu, 11 Sep 2008 10:00:00 UTC

The Dutch syndicate Team Delta Lloyd has been confirmed as the eighth entry in the 2008-09 race.

The team will campaign ABN AMRO ONE, the winning boat from the 2005-06 race. The Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed first generation Volvo Open 70 has been re-fitted to comply with the new race rule.

Tom Touber, shore team manager on the ABN AMRO campaign in 2005-06, has been tasked with pulling all the strands of Team Delta Lloyd together.

“We shifted from a mission impossible situation to a mission maybe possible and now it is all coming together,” he said.

“The first step was to secure the best team available in a short time frame. We were able to select some good guys from the ABN AMRO campaign. Besides we can call on the expertise within Delta Lloyd who are long-term sponsors of the Dutch Olympic sailing team.

“Ger O’Rourke will skipper the boat and we have some experienced sailors out of his Chieftain team plus six Dutch sailors. We will be announcing the full crew in Alicante on the 22nd September.”

On leg eight of the Volvo Ocean Race, between Galway and Göteborg-Marstrand, the race course will include a rounding mark outside Rotterdam which will be bring the fleet into Dutch waters, giving the spectators from the Netherlands an opportunity to see something of the fleet as it passes by.

Sailing under a Dutch flag and with the sail number NED 1, the international crew will be skippered by Ireland’s Ger O’Rourke, and the team will comprise a blend of Dutch sailors and O’Rourke’s Chieftain Racing Team, which won the Fastnet Race.

“I am very excited that we have an eighth entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, and I am particularly pleased that the latest entry is Dutch. The Netherlands has played a big part in this event since the first race in 1973 and we are very pleased that we continue to attract entries from this country,” said Volvo Ocean Race Chief Executive, Knut Frostad.

Frostad also added that he has long been a fan of boats being capable of doing more than one race. “The spirit of this campaign is one that I admire. The team has a good boat, the winning boat from the 2005-06 race, and I am looking forward to watching their performance throughout the duration of the event,” he said.

The boat is currently completing its 2,000 mile race qualifier and will be in Alicante to join the rest of the fleet at the weekend.

The full crew will be announced once the boat has arrived in Alicante and the team has gone through its full survival training course.

more here

Photo: Matthias Witzany

Photo: Paul Todd

Photo: Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

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