The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s toughest sailing event, where the elite of the sailing profession battle it out on the most treacherous oceans. It is a nine-month marathon on the seas, passing through four oceans and five continents. The race is an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavour where the athletes push themselves to the limit of endurance in what is commonly referred to as the ‘Everest of Sailing’.
Over the duration of the race, the crews experience life at the extreme: no fresh food is taken on board so they live off freeze-dried food; they experience temperature variations from -15 to +40 degrees Celsius and only take one change of clothes with them on board. They trust their lives to the skipper and each other and experience hunger and severe sleep deprivation.
Dongfeng Race Team was the second of the Volvo Ocean 65’s to cross the Artemis Challenge finish line, 4 minutes behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and ahead of Team SCA. Today’s Artemis Challenge, a 50-mile race around the Isle of Wight, has been the very first opportunity for ‘Dongfeng’ to line up against the Volvo Ocean Race competition.
Dongfeng Race Team completed the Artemis Challenge course in a time of 5 hours, 3 minutes and 46 seconds. This was the first time since the beginning of the Chinese campaign that Charles Caudrelier and his crew have found themselves within such close proximity to their competitors: “We’re not going to put too much pressure on ourselves but, for sure, it’s important to us,” explained Caudrelier. “The first time for us we’ve see the other teams and the first time we’ve performed in race mode as a team.”
Bruno Dubois, Dongfeng Race Team’s Director was out on the water when his team crossed the finish line. “We know we have a young team and we know that out of all the teams we have the least experience. I’m not expecting miracles but I’m confident we will see progress and eventually results. I am happy with the outcome from today’s challenge.”
A fleet of ocean going racing machines from the 70ft multihull Oman Sail Musandam to the 33ft Beneteau Figaro IIs took part in today’s Artemis Challenge. Dongfeng were part of the winning group A and a share of the £10,000 charity prize fund will be donated to Dongfeng Race Team’s nominated charity Race for Water. A charity dedicated to water preservation.
Today’s Artemis Challenge has been a nice, light airs, warm up. But with the Round Britain and Ireland Race start just days away, and the Volvo Ocean Race starting in less than two months, there is much more to come - and it won’t always be as tame, amicable or rewarding as today.
The RACE FOR WATER Foundation is a Charity dedicated to Water Preservation. Today, this vital resource is in serious danger. It has to be protected. To learn, share and act on our Water Footprint and Marine Plastic Pollution are the main issues the Foundation focuses on.
LEARN: Educate and raise public awareness
SHARE: Work together to make a difference
ACT: Implement practical solutions
The RACE FOR WATER Foundation has specifically developed a program based around four pillars:
AWARENESS: Raise understanding among general public and key opinion leaders about the urgency of water preservation through the “Water Guardian” program, exhibitions, our traveling Water pavilion and our ambassador boat: the MOD70.
BUSINESS: Engage businesses and scientists, develop the understanding of the impacts and propose tools for action in collaboration with the WWF and WBCSD.
EDUCATION: Inspire the next generation to act to preserve our water resources and engage them to make a difference with the help of the super hero ‘Titeuf’. The aim is to include the program in the school curriculum.
SCIENCE: Develop a better knowledge base and understanding of the impacts of plastics on the maritime environment, measure the real rate of waste dispersal and create a research center on plastic pollution in collaboration with governmental institutions.