Designed to add flexibility for teams, and create a clearer pathway for female sailors to take part in the race, the new rules mean that skippers have the option to change the line up of their crew on a leg-by-leg basis.
With the return to more Southern Ocean racing meaning that teams are likely to face gruelling conditions for longer, skippers can take up to three extra sailors members by opting for a mixed crew – and that will have huge implications in terms of life on board, such as the watch system, and general duties.
The possible crew combinations are as follows:
- The number of sailors allowed in an all-male crew has been reduced from eight to seven, but a team may take up to two female sailors, to make a total of nine.
- Skippers can take 10 sailors if the team consists of an even male/female split, and an all-female team may take 11 crew members.