Inmarsat boosts Volvo Ocean Race teams’ morale

27 October 2014: Teams in the Volvo Ocean Race have been relying on Inmarsat’s robust, reliable connectivity to keep in touch with family and friends and to share their journey with a global audience of millions.

Despite being in one of the remotest areas in the world – halfway to Cape Town, South Africa in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – crew have been sharing pictures, videos and stories via TV, websites and social media channels about their experience so far in the world’s toughest sailing event.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 set sail on 11 October from Alicante, Spain on Leg 1 of the journey which will see the seven teams navigating 38,739 nautical miles, visiting 11 ports across six continents.

Happy birthday

As official Satellite Communications Partner for a fourth consecutive edition, Inmarsat is relied upon to deliver cutting-edge safety services, vessel tracking capabilities, enable audio and video communications and social media access, and also help crew welfare throughout the nine-month long adventure.

Missing family often has the greatest impact on crew morale, especially for those that have children. However, Chris Nicholson, skipper of Team Vestas Wind was able to wish his son happy birthday, as was bowman Justin Slattery, of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who wished daughter, Molly, a happy seventh birthday via a video posted on Facebook, as his team mates sang along – made possible by Inmarsat.

And it’s the little things that often help too. Sophie Ciszek, of Team SCA’s day was made when she received an email a few days into the race. Even though only three lines long, she described it as ‘awesome’. “I didn’t expect anyone out here to email me!” she exclaimed.

Live link

Inmarsat’s award-winning network also made it possible for Dongfeng Race Team to carry out their first live link up with LETV in China just 12 days into the race, while Team Vestas Wind posted a photo of the sunrise and Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband 250 and FleetBroadband 500 domes in the foreground praising the service:

“Today, with all our problems, we relied heavily on the Inmarsat links to the outside world. We could send emails, send back videos and call using a variety of Inmarsat gadgets. This is our only means of communication with the world, so we salute you at sunrise this morning,” said Brian Carlin, Team Vestas Wind Onboard Reporter.

In addition, the teams have been busy blogging about the ‘Doldrums’ and crossing the Equator – seen as key staging post in the race and one steeped in tradition.

Each Volvo Ocean 65 race boat is equipped with Inmarsat’s flagship maritime services – FleetBroadband 500 (FB500), FleetBroadband 250 (FB250) and Inmarsat C for safety. In addition, Inmarsat’s latest satellite phone, IsatPhone 2, is in each of the boats’ liferaft packs.

Volvo Ocean Race: