Attends Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante

By Paul Joseph

In just two day’s time, the world’s toughest and most talented yachtsmen will embark on nine months of gruelling battle on some of the world’s most treacherous seas.

The 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race kicks off in earnest in Alicante, Spain this Saturday, and will be present to report on the prestigious event, which will see six teams competing in Volvo Open 70s – some of the world’s fastest racing yachts.

During the nine months of the race, the teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient, before finishing in Galway in July 2012.

Each entry has an 11-strong professional crew who must display significant skill and physical endurance as they race continuously for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs.

During the race, the crews will face highly challenging conditions: no fresh food is taken on board, they will experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes.

Amongst the teams taking part this year – in what is the 11th edition of the race – is Groupama sailing team, led by French offshore legend Franck Cammas, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who have designed a state-of-the-art racing yacht for the event called ‘Azzam’, and Chinese entry Team Sanya.

By Paul Joseph