Turn the Tide on Plastic is...
Frederico Pinheiro de Melo
British sailing legend Dee Caffari returns to the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18 at the helm of her own Volvo Ocean 65, Turn the Tide on Plastic.
Record-breaker Caffari, the first woman ever to sail solo non-stop around the world in both directions, will lead the race's first truly mixed youth team – and she's already been working hard to assemble a squad of fresh talent from around the world.
Turn the Tide on Plastic have been charged with spreading an important message about ocean health as they race around the world. Sailing under a United Nations flag, the crew, backed by non-profit groups the Mirpuri Foundation and the Ocean Family Foundation, will promote the United Nations Environment's Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign.
Caffari, part of the iconic all-woman Team SCA in 2014-15, was quick to sign up Australian offshore star Liz Wardley as her number two, and wisely so – Wardley boasts two previous Volvo Ocean Race campaigns and countless ocean miles.
The rest of the team is made up from some of the most promising young sailors on the planet – including Dee's ex-SCA team mate Elodie Mettraux, and three-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Martin Strömberg.
After holding trials in Lisbon, Portugal, Caffari handed coveted spots onboard to the likes of Olympians Annalise Murphy, Bernardo Freitas and Francesca Clapcich, Welsh America's Cup sailor Bleddyn Mon, Brit Henry Bomby, Portuguese racer Frederico Pinheiro de Melo, Kiwi Bianca Cook and Australian Sydney-Hobart racer Lucas Chapman.
A sixth-place finish in Leg Zero, the four-part qualification series that included the Fastnet Race, was by no means a disappointment to the rookie crew, who are making serious gains each day the race gets closer.
“The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate test of a team in sport,” Caffari said. “With the ambition to race with a youth-orientated international mixed crew we are looking to make an impact on and off the water.
“It’s an honour to represent this landmark campaign, and to lead the team on such a prestigious platform is exciting.”