They’re the nerds behind the numbers – the people behind the position reports.
And, as the fleet racks up over 83,000 kilometres around the planet over the next eight months, they’re going to be your link to what’s happening out on the water.
Introducing the Race Experts. They’re the team of sailing gurus who work in Race Control at our HQ in Alicante, Spain – and when it comes to the tracker, weather and strategy, they’ve got the scoop.
For eight months, they will be in constant contact with the fleet as it conquers the world’s most remote oceans – and will be relaying all the moves back to us on shore.
The best part? We’ve created a whole new Twitter account – @RaceExperts – where you can follow what’s happening out on the water in more detail than ever before, 24/7.
This is the first time that we’ve given the Race Experts their own channel, and it’s time to geek out.
"I'm delighted with the quality of the Race Experts team we've assembled for this edition of the Race," said Gonzalo Infante, Meteorologist and Race Control Manager.
"We've put together the perfect mix of youth and experience, combining solo sailors with media experts, and all of the guys come from a professional racing background. They've been there and done it – the level of expertise inside Race Control is second to none."
Got a question about the tracker? Want to know more about a certain sail combination, or why some teams might have opted to go one way, and others a different route? Tweet the Race Experts.
So just who are the experts behind the excel sheets? Here’s an introduction to your new best friends. Be nice, you’ll be spending a lot of time together over the coming eight months.
From: Devon, UK
Expertise: BSc Navigation & Maritime Science
A graduate of the Artemis Offshore Academy, Sam is a solo sailor who made his debut in the Solitaire du Figaro in 2014, where he took the best British result of the regatta, and has since competed on two more occasions, as well as in the Transat AG2R, whilst gaining experience in Class 40 and IMOCA 60 racing. He also won his class in the Fastnet Race in 2015 – racing double-handed with his now-boss, Gonzalo!
From: Surrey, UK
Expertise: BSc Oceanography with Physical Geography
Will has represented Great Britain at World, European and National championships and in 2009 became national champion in the Laser 4.7 class. He moved to offshore sailing when he was selected to join the Artemis Offshore Academy in 2013 and won the rookie division in the 2016 Solitaire du Figaro, Solo Concarneau and Solo Maitre Coq.
From: Groningen, the Netherlands
Expertise: Navigator, Electronics Engineer
Peter knows the Volvo Ocean Race very well having competed as a crewmember three times, in 1989-90 onboard Equity & Law II, 1993-94 with Brooksfield and finally in 1997-98 with BrunelSunergy. Since then, he’s become an expert in marine, navigation and communication systems, working in three America's Cup campaigns and one Volvo Ocean Race with Green Dragon – the perfect introduction to life in Race Control!
From: Isle of Wight, UK
Expertise: Offshore racer & onboard media expert
Rick is one of the sport’s most renowned and multi-award winning photographers, having made his name capturing the Southern Ocean at its most treacherous whilst racing as a crewmember in the Whitbread Round the World Race. He has four editions of the race to his name, onboard Drum in 1985-86, The Card in 1989-90, Intrum Justitia in 1993-94 and EF Education/Language in 1997-98 – and is often cited as inspiring the role of the Onboard Reporter in the modern era. More recently, Rick has twice been Official Photographer for the Volvo Ocean Race, and has been commissioned by the likes of National Geographic.
From: Alicante, Spain
Expertise: Meteorology & Navigation
Gonzalo is a qualified Meteorologist who has achieved national titles racing professionally in several classes including the Americas Cup (Spanish challenge), TP52, IMOCA 60 and in 2015 won the Fastnet Race alongside newest recruit, Sam. In 2017-18, he’s leading the Race Experts team and provides weather/navigational support in-house.
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Expertise: Round-the-world racing, strategy and meteorology
Conrad made global headlines in early 2017 whilst competing in the Vendée Globe. Having dismasted in the middle of the Atlantic, he was forced to complete the solo race under jury rig, making painfully slow progress to the finish line, all at a time when his rations had run out. He became the first Kiwi to finish the event – his never-say-die attitude winning him fans around the world.