Bow to bow

Text by Jonno Turner
See Team Brunel at SAIL Amsterdam
Fastnet in focus
Bow to bow Text by Jonno Turner
It's around six weeks since we last saw the Volvo Ocean 65s battle it out on the waters of Gothenburg.

But I know what you're thinking. Life just feels a little, well, empty without those rainbow sails, doesn't it?

Well, if you're missing the action, here's some good news: two of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race fleet will tussle once again this week.

The boats? Dongfeng Race Team and Team SCA. The place? Isle of Wight.

Yep, it's that time of year again - time for the heritage-rich Cowes Week, during which the island plays host to the Artemis Challenge and the Fastnet race.

The former will take place this Thursday, August 13, beginning at 1000 UK time (0900 UTC) from the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

And both the Chinese and the Swedish boats will take part in the race, which sees the fleet sprint around the island.

Team SCA will also race in the Fastnet, which begins on Sunday, August 16 at 1200 UK time (1100 UTC) from the same point.

The best time every recorded by a monohull is 3 hours 43 minutes, set by Leopard in 2013.

Dongfeng will be skippered by their Volvo Ocean Race Shore Manager, Graham Tourell, who also took charge as the boat sailed under jury rig from Ushuaia to Itajaí after sustaining a broken mast in Leg 5.

Team SCA will be skippered by experienced Dutch sailor Carolijn Brouwer. “It's important that we continue more or less where we left off in Gothenburg in June. Most of us have been racing in the interim but this will be the first time that we will are back together as a group," she says.

“We have a solid squad of talented sailors and our aim is to keep on training so that, if we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to race around the world again, we will ‘hit the ground running’.

"There aren't many opportunities for us to race as an all-female team, so to be able to line up in both the Artemis Challenge and the Fastnet Race will allow us to continue to learn and develop."

In a twist, Dongfeng's Swedish sailor Martin Stromberg, who is currently helping to coach the all-female team, will step onboard the magenta boat for the race - to face his old teammates.