The 12th edition of the triennial Volvo Ocean Race set sail for open seas on Saturday in Alicante, Spain under hazy skies and an estimated 50,000 onlookers who started gathering hours before the race start during dock-out. A fleet of seven teams are competing in the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats for the first time in the race, which will take them 39,000 nautical miles around the globe.
The Fleet at the Start Line of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 (c) Davis Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race
Eight Americans are onboard for this first ocean leg to Cape Town, including four with U.S.-entry Team Alvimedica, three onboard all-women’s entry Team SCA of Sweden and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Matt Knighton (Chicago, IL). It’s the most Americans in the race in over a decade and they hail from both coasts (Rhode Island & Hawaii) and states in between (Wisconsin, Wyoming & Chicago, IL).
Three of the eight Americans are onboard reporters (OBR), the new race role that features journalists or multi-media reporters by trade embedded with each team as storytellers sailing around the world.
The traditional Leg 1 Start follows last Saturday’s ceremonial In-Port Race won by Team Alvimedica that marked the official opening of the event.
The race travels through its only U.S. stopover May 5-17, 2015 in Newport, RI and finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden next June.
U.S. Sailors in Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 (Leg 1)
Sally Barkow Team SCA 34 Waukesha, WI
Nick Dana Team Alvimedica 28 Newport, RI
Charlie Enright Team Alvimedica 30 Bristol, RI
Corinna Halloran Team SCA 29 Newport, RI*
Sara Hastreiter Team SCA 30 Casper, WY
Matt Knighton Abu Dhabi Ocean Race 30 Chicago, IL*
Amory Ross Team Alvimedica 30 Newport, RI*
Mark Towill Team Alvimedica 25 Kaneohe, HI
* Onboard Reporter – can not sail or race boat