12 September 2014: The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 edition is set to start in just three weeks’ time and in preparation for the world’s toughest sailing event, all seven team are being put through their paces in the Leg Zero crisis rehearsals.
The two-day practice race to Majorca and back from the Race headquarters in Alicante kicked off on 11 September. During the race the teams will face a series of dramas to ensure that they have run through all the emergency procedures, such as losing a man overboard or major equipment failure, prior to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on 4 October.
As official Satellite Communications Partner for the Race, Inmarsat’s cutting-edge safety services, including Inmarsat C, are onboard each of the Volvo Ocean 65 boats to enable the fleet to stay in constant communication with shore and ensure the safety of the crew at all times.
“Leg Zero is a really important exercise for both the Race and the sailors,” explained Jack Lloyd, Race Director for the Volvo Ocean Race. “We are able to dry run all our communications in Race Control and for the media.
“Safety of course is paramount – this Race is risky enough as it is – and we want to ensure all the crews know exactly what they need to do if things go badly wrong such as a sailor falling overboard. All the teams have been briefed that they need to go through these safety exercises before the trip.”
Each of the seven teams competing must pass the tests and complete the trip; failure to do so will result in the boats having to return to the start and do it again, or complete unfinished mileage.
Inmarsat’s race technology is set to make the Volvo Ocean Race the most connected sporting event in history – providing vessel tracking capabilities, audio and video communications and maritime safety. In addition to Inmarsat C, each boat will be equipped with FleetBroadband 500 and FleetBroadband 250, and will have Inmarsat’s latest satellite phone, IsatPhone 2, in their liferaft packs.
Each of the team’s trained Onboard Reporter (OBR) will also have the chance to test Inmarsat’s technology in race conditions prior to bringing the excitement and the thrills of the 38,739 nautical mile race to millions of sailing fans around the world via social media feeds, TV and websites.
Volvo Ocean Race: volvo.inmarsat.com