Our race is all about the men and women bold enough to compete in it. As more teams are announced, and more sailors signed up to sail with them, we’ll add profiles, statistics, videos and features that will help you get to know them in the build-up to the race.
Team AkzoNobel were the first to officially announce, more than 15 months before the start of the race. The Dutch campaign is led by first time skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED), who will be appearing for the third time following experiences with ABN AMRO TWO in 2005-06 and with Team Vestas Wind last time out. Akzonobel were followed by China's Dongfeng Race Team, returning for a second consecutive race, with French skipper Charles Caudrelier once again at the helm following a podium finish in 2014-15.
MAPFRE have also announced their return to the race. They will announce a skipper at a later date but we already know that overseeing the campaign will be Pedro Campos, who has an unbroken history with the race dating back to the movistar campaign in 2005-06. Spanish boats have competed in eight of the previous 12 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race – but the country is still looking for a first win. Could this be the year?
This announcement was shortly followed by the announcement of another returning sponsor. Vestas announced they will be returning to the race for a second consecutive edition in partnership with 11th Hour Racing. The team will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill who had their first taste of the Volvo Ocean Race back in 2014-15.
Vestas 11th Hour Racing has two core aims: to do well on the water and promote a sustainable message across the world.
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag representing Hong Kong, the fifth team to join the next edition is backed by Hong Kong-based Seng Huang Lee and Sun Hung Kai & Co. and aims to promote competitive sailing and build a long-lasting youth sailing legacy in Asia.
The team will be skippered by experienced Australian sailor David Witt, who competed in the 1997-98 race onboard Innovation Kvaerner.
Team Turn the Tide on Plastic will be skippered by Britain’s Dee Caffari, who will lead a mixed, youth focused team with a strong sustainability message in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Her campaign, already backed by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation, is dedicated to the issue of ocean health.
Team Brunel returns for a second consecutive edition – and fourth Volvo Ocean Race campaign – and is focused on creating opportunities for the next generation. A consortium of Dutch companies including Brunel, Abel, Royal Huisman and EY Team Brunel will support an initiative known as 'Engineering the Future’. Skipper Bouwe Bekking is back at the helm for his eighth attempt at the trophy, and keen to score an elusive first win.
Find out about the teams from the last race here.