20 October – in the mix with some favourites
After what seemed like an endless amount of “leg zeros” the Volvo Ocean Race is now in full wind up to the first leg where points will count on Sunday. Even though it is a short leg to the race’s somewhat quasi home in Lisbon, it is real now, and the sailors are keener than anyone to see the “real” racing get under way.
Here are a few of my catch ups with just a few of my favourite sailors while in Alicante. I have more lined up for tomorrow, with the remaining teams DongFeng and Brunel, and whoever else I run into. You can also check out the first skippers press conference in full below.
Luke Parkinson – Scallywag
My next catch up ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 was with Brad Jackson on his new role as skipper for Team AkzoNobel. This will be Brad’s seventh round the World race as a sailor, last edition he coached Team SCA. The last time we got to chat was at the end of the Fastnet when the team were starting to gel midway through “Leg 0”. I spoke to him about the hurdles of the last week with a ‘changing of the guard’, where the team is at, and the support for him as a skipper, what is ahead on the “mini” leg to Lisbon, and beyond…
PS – Shout outs to Katie Pellew and Henry, Team Leagues Racing and Richard Allanson I said hi for you
Plenty more catch ups to come tomorrow before the start on Sunday.
21 October – more interviews, more jacks of all trades
Chen Jin Hao – DongFeng Ocean Racing
It was my pleasure to catch up with my friend Chen Jin Hao today ahead of his second Volvo Ocean Race start with Dongfeng Race Team – 东风队 tomorrow. His enthusiasm for sailing is just infectious; after his first Volvo last edition he went home and set up a sailing school in China which he now runs in his spare time. Hear all about his Volvo journey, his sailing school and how DongFeng are inspiring so many Chinese to get involved with sailing! Love it!
Carolijn Brouwer – DongFeng Ocean Racing
My catch up with the first female to be signed to a team for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, Carolijn Brouwer. Great to get Carolijn’s insights on fitness, what she is bringing to the table and DongFeng as an overall unit before heading off on her “2.5th” or third around the world race; Carolijn was with Amer Sports Too for both Southern Ocean legs in 2001-02 and Team SCA for the last edition.
Abby Ehler & Annie Lush – Team Brunel
Great to catch up with the two female sailors on board with Team Brunel for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Both Abby Ehler and Annie Lush were on Team SCA for the last lap of the planet, and now they are back, and more than holding their own. We talk about what their roles are on board, what they need to get through the tough times at sea, and whether females are making advances in offshore sailing…
Annalise Murphy – Turn the Tide on Plastic
Silver medalist in the Radial at Rio, Annalise Murphy will double her offshore miles by the time Turn the Tide on Plastic reach Lisbon for the first Volvo Ocean Race stopover! Listen in to my chat with her ahead of the start today about the great challenge ahead for her, and how excited she is about this “once in a lifetime opportunity” even though she does get a little sea sick (like many of us!). Good luck Annalise!
Annemeike Bes – Scallywag
Another silver medalist, Annemieke Bes won silver in the Yngling in 2008 and now she is set to head off on the Volvo Ocean Race with Scallywag today! Bessie trained with Team SCA but wasn’t selected to do the last race, and then for this edition she was originally on Team AkzoNobel, but opted to leave to join the Hong Kong (slash Aussie) contingent. (Give the events of yesterday this could have been the best career move ever!)
Hope you enjoy the chat, for me personally I have spoken to a girl from every team (except AN) which has been inspiring and I look forward to catching up with these amazing ladies at the various stopovers I will be heading to!
Pete Burling & Kyle Langford – Team Brunel
Rivals for the past few years, Peter Burling with Emirates Team New Zealand and Kyle Langford with ORACLE TEAM USA, these guys will head off on their first Volvo Ocean Race today as team mates on Team Brunel. We chat about what it has been like prepping for their first Volvo, why the are doing it, and what is up next!
22 October – the dock walk and the start
The Dock Walk