Volvo Ocean Race. Meet the Teams (part 1)

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The Volvo Ocean Race starts on Sunday 22 October in Alicante, Spain, with the fleet heading for Lisbon and then Cape Town.

In Cape Town the race village opens on Friday 24 November, with the fleet ETA being Monday 27 November. The start of leg to Melbourne is on Sunday 10 December.

This race, unlike previous editions of this round-the-world epic, is that crews can mixed, with all-men crew being penalised by a lower number of crew on board.

This change is designed to add flexibility for teams, and create a clearer pathway for female sailors to take part in the race. The new rules mean that skippers have the option to change the line up of their crew on a leg-by-leg basis.

With the return to more Southern Ocean racing meaning that teams are likely to face gruelling conditions for longer, skippers can take up to three extra sailors members by opting for a mixed crew – and that will have huge implications in terms of life on board, such as the watch system, and general duties.

The number of sailors allowed in an all-male crew has been reduced from eight to seven, but a team may take up to two female sailors, to make a total of nine.

Skippers can take 10 sailors if the team consists of an even male/female split, and an all-female team may take 11 crew members.

The skipper can nominate a different crew combination per leg of the race.

In addition to the mixed crew ruling, each team must have at least two crew members under the age of 30 (on 1 July 2018).

Each team is also assigned an Onboard Reporter (OBR). The OBR is not part of the racing crew and is only onboard to ‘report’ on the race, sending back videos, photos and text on a daily basis providing a unique inside view as the competition unfolds.

The 3 teams we cover now are:

vor Guide to DONGFENG

vor Guide to MAPFRE

vor Guide to VESTAS 11th HOUR RACING