Volvo Ocean Race

Turn the Tide on Plastic. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier offshore race, an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavour, which started over 37 years ago as the Whitbread Round the World Race.

Crews will experience life at the extreme as they race day and night for more than 20 days at a time, combating the harshest weather conditions the planet can offer.

The 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race promises to be one of the closest in the history of the event with seven teams taking part.

Dee Caffari MBE is competing in her second consecutive Volvo Ocean Race, skippering the ‘Turn the Tide on Plastics’ team (she competed on Team SCA in 2014-15). She’s the only female skipper in the race and the only skipper to choose a 50-50 male/female crew combination for her multinational team.

Dee Caffari. Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

The team’s guiding mission is to amplify United Nations Environment’s ‘Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign throughout the eight months of the race.

Her team, largely under 30, are not the most experienced.

Dee said: “Everyone talks about Turn the Tide on Plastic as inexperienced. A lot of my sailors are first timers but they are very skilled sailors and they can make a boat go fast. We just need to make sure we don’t make any mistakes, and that we sail to the right place.

“To step up and be a skipper for the first time in this arena is a huge responsibility and I’m probably more nervous about sitting next to these guys than being at sea.

“To create an opportunity for young sailors to sail in the Volvo Ocean Race and see them grow and blossom is a great privilege – as well as getting to spread a great sustainability message.”

The race started from Alicante, Spain on 22 October, 2017.

Sadly sailor John Fisher from Southampton, was reported overboard in the Southern Ocean off Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag early on Monday 26 March 2018.

Richard Brisius, the President of the Volvo Ocean Race said: “I am extremely sad to inform you that one of our sailors, John Fisher, from Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, is now presumed to have been lost at sea.

This is heart-breaking for all of us. As sailors and race organisers losing a crew member at sea is a tragedy we don’t ever want to contemplate. We are devastated and our thoughts are with John’s family, friends and teammates.”

“This is the worst situation you can imagine happening to your team,” said SHK/Scallywag Team Manager Tim Newton, who has spoken with skipper David Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh about the situation.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is continuing to lead efforts to recover him.


Route and results for Turn the Tide on Plastic

Leg 1 (Alicante to Lisbon starting 22 October 2017) – Position: 7th

Leg 2 (Lisbon to Cape Town starting 5 November 2017) – Position: 7th

Leg 3 (Cape Town to Melbourne starting 10 December 2017) -Position: 6th

Leg 4 (Melbourne to Hong Kong starting 2 January 2018) – Position: 6th

Leg 5 (Hong Kong – Guangzhou – Hong Kong starting 5 February 2018) – transitional leg.

Leg 6 (Hong Kong to Aukland starting 7 February 2018) – Position: 5th

Leg 7 (Aukland to Itajai starting 18 March 2018) – Brazilian stopover – Position: 4th

Leg 8 (Itajai to Newport starting 22 April 2018) – Position: 6th

Leg 9 (Newport to Cardiff starting 20 May 2018) – Position: 6th

Leg 10 (Cardiff to Gothenburg starting 10 June 2018) – Position: 5th

Leg 11 (Gothenburg to The Hague starting 21 June 2018)


British visit – leg 9

It is about half of the route around the British Isles, starting from Cardiff and heading north along the coast of Wales, then up and over the north of Scotland, before descending south into the North Sea, around the southern tip of Norway and then east to Gothenburg. It’s 1,300 nautical miles, starting on 10 June.