The Volvo Ocean Race sets sail in Alicante

10 October 2014: One of the toughest and longest sporting events in the world will get underway on 11 October as Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 edition begins in Alicante, Spain at 14:00 CEST.

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Seven teams will be pitting their strength and sailing expertise against one another when they depart on the 6,487 nm journey from Alicante to Cape Town. The journey marks the start of a nine-leg, 38,739 nm adventure that will test the crew to the max in their bid to claim the coveted first prize place in Gothenburg, Sweden in June 2015.

Millions of sailing fans around the world will be able to catch all the excitement and the highs and the lows of the race along the way thanks to Inmarsat’s flagship broadband maritime services.

Live streaming

As official Satellite Communications Race Partner for the event, each of the seven Volvo Ocean 65 boats has been equipped with a FleetBroadband 500 and FleetBroadband 250 antenna. This will not only enable cutting-edge tracking capabilities, weather report updates and telemedicine but also allow the Onboard Reporters (OBRs) to stream video footage, access social media and conduct TV interviews, as and when the action happens live from the boat.

The crew’s welfare is paramount throughout the race which is why the boats also carry the only GMDSS (Global Martime Distress and Safety System) approved safety service, Inmarsat C, and carry an IsatPhone 2 handheld satellite phone in the life raft packs.

Large crowds are expected to gather at the port in Alicante to watch the race start and it is also a time for family and friends to say an emotional goodbye to the sailors who will spend approximately the next 23 days at sea.

The teams

The line-up of grand prix teams including Olympic medallists, previous Volvo winners and America’s Cup sailors are:

  • Team SCA (SWE) – the first all-female crew to take part in the race since 2002 and skippered by British sailor Sam Davies, famous for her non-stop solo circumnavigations
  • Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE) – skippered by Ian Walker, Britain’s two-times Olympic silver medallist who has sailed two America’s Cup and two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns already
  • Team Brunel (NED) – skippered by Dutch expert Bouwe Bekking, a six-race veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race, the Dutch entr
  • Dong Feng Race Team (CHN) – skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier, the crew is made up of half Chinese rookies and half international pro sailors – with a joint mission to bring off-shore sailing to China
  • Team Alvimedica (USA/TUR) – the youngest sailing squad in the competition, this all-American crew is skippered by Charlie Enright
  • Team Mapfre (ESP) – Spanish entry, skippered by Olympic champion and three-times Volvo Ocean Race competitor Iker Martinex
  • Team Vestas Wind (DEN) – skippered by four-time race veteran and six-time world champion sailor Chris Nicholson and the last team to enter the race

Volvo Ocean Race: volvo.inmarsat.com