24 October 2017: Spectator boats watching the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante on 22 October had a much closer view than expected when the Volvo Ocean 65 boats sailed right through them.
The 2017-18 edition got off to an exciting start with seven teams competing for the coveted title in the world’s most extreme offshore sailing race – Vestas 11th Hour Racing; Team Brunel; Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag; Turn the Tide on Plastic; Donfeng Race Team; Team AzkoNobel and MAPFRE.
For a fifth consecutive edition, Inmarsat is the official Satellite Communications Partner for the Volvo Ocean Race. Through our partnership this edition is set to be the most connected sporting event in history, despite taking part in the remote oceans across the globe.
Inmarsat is providing all the satellite connectivity the boats will need at sea for vital safety services, tracking and weather updates, as well as communications to bring all the excitement of the race to fans on shore.
The nine-month, 45,000 nautical mile gruelling journey has only just begun and the route will see the teams take in four oceans, five continents and stop at 13 host cities along the way. And we can follow them every step of the way as the boats share pictures, videos and stories of their demanding journey via TV, websites and all social media channels – made possible by Inmarsat.
Each Volvo 65 boat is kitted out with our FleetBroadband 500 and FleetBroadband 250 services for high-speed, always-on voice and data communications, Inmarsat C for GMDSS-approved safety services and tracking, and an IsatPhone 2 satellite phone is stowed away in each of the boat’s liferaft pack in the event of an emergency.
The Inmarsat Communicator Award will honour the most outstanding content contributor overall at the end of the race – whether a crew member or one of the Onboard Reporters (OBRs) tasked with providing multimedia content from the boats.
Next stop is Lisbon, where guests at our inaugural Inmarsat World Conference will be able to watch the Leg 2 start to Cape Town on 5 November.