Vestas 11th Hour Racing wins first Volvo Ocean Race leg

30 October 2017: Congratulations to Vestas 11th Hour Racing, winner of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the finish line in Lisbon, Portugal on 28 October 2017.

As official Satellite Communications Partner to the Race for a fifth consecutive edition, sailing fans were able to stay up-to-date with all the excitement throughout the leg as Onboard Reporters (OBRs) and crew sent back updates from the boats 24/7 – made possible by Inmarsat.

Each Volvo Ocean 65 boat is fully equipped with our FleetBroadband 500 and 250 services for reliable, seamless voice and broadband data coverage, enabling crew to not only email, get real-time electronic charts and weather reporting, but also to use applications for live TV feeds and social media updates.

Gruelling race

In addition, the boats also carry our Inmarsat C safety service – the only Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) satellite service approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – keeping crew safe at sea across the world’s oceans. An IsatPhone 2 satellite phone is also stowed in each boat’s liferaft pack in case of an emergency.

The 1,450 nautical mile (nm) leg is the first of 11 in the gruelling and extreme nine month offshore sailing race, which covers 45,000 nm crossing four oceans and six continents. Vestas took just six days to win the leg, closely followed by MAPFRE in second place and Dongfeng Race Team in third.

“It’s incredible,” said Mark Towill, Team Director, from on board Vestas just before the finish.

Incredible performance

“What a way to kick off the event. It’s been an incredible performance for the team… It’s been a challenging leg. We still have a lot to improve and long way to go… Today is our day, we’ll enjoy it, but then we have to get back to work and focus on the next leg.”

The seven competing boats will now have a well-deserved rest at the Lisbon Race Village before Leg 2 start from Lisbon to Cape Town on 5 November.

Make sure you get all the news from the seven competing boats by visiting where you can see every update made possible by our networks to their social media networks in one place!

Visiting the Lisbon Race Village? Then head to the Race Boat Experience  and discover how our broadband services from space are connecting the boats, enjoy all the content uploaded during Leg 1 to Lisbon and have your photo taken at the helm of a life-size Volvo Ocean 65!