Volvo Ocean Race: how they line up
Magnificent seven set to do battle in bid to land podium places in prestigious event
The fleet during the in-port race in Alicante, Spain. The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 is the 12th running of this ocean marathon. The route spans some 39,379 nautical miles and 10 ports in as many countries. Photograph: David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race/Getty Images
Dongfeng Race Team French offshore sailor Charles leads a team that includes six “rookie” Chinese sailors who follow Guo Chuan’s lead when he sailed on Ireland’s Green Dragon in the 2008-09 race. Developing the sport in China is the objective for the team that freely admits the steep learning curve ahead. Team SCA Skippered by round the world single-handed skipper Sam Davies, the first all-female team have depth and talent on board as they are permitted under the rules to sail with 11 on board compared to the new crew limit of eight on the all-male boats. Team Brunel Dutch veteran Bouwe Bekking returns for his seventh race for an elusive win as skipper. Recent editions haven’t gone to plan with the loss of movistar in 2006 and the grounding of Telefonica Blue in 2009. Heavy hitters include Andrew Cape (Aus) and Laurent Pages (Fra) . Team Alvimedica First-timer Charlie Enright (USA) leads the youngest team in the race in this joint US/Turkish entry. With almost all crew members in their 20s or 30s, the team nonetheless delivered a surprise win in the in-port race in Alicante last weekend and more may follow. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Ian Walker’s team feature the strongest line-up in terms of previous race experience that also retains several key players from his first days with the Green Dragon team in 2009. These include Justin Slattery who returns for his fifth race and sixth circumnavigation of the planet. Team Vestas Wind Late to announce but with a score to settle after the breakages of the last race, skipper Chris Nicholson (Aus) has a strong team line-up that is still in the settling-in phase. Ireland’s Brian Carlin from Tralee is the on-board reporter. MAPFRE As if skipper Iker Martinez (Spa) didn’t have enough experience with lifelong sailing mate Xabi Fernandez on his team, although last to collect the final completed boat, the veteran pulled a coup in attracting the legendary Michel “Le Professeur” Desjoyeaux (Fra) to his team.