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I'm a Celebrity - Get Me On the Volvo !

Following the announcement of changes to the rules of the Volvo Ocean Race that will limit all-male teams to seven sailors, Volvo have now announced that sailors will be able to send social media updates direct from the oceans for the first time.

Tuesday's announcement that a change to the rules and technical developments that open up a race that has always prevented onboard internet access, follows the earlier changes to the crewing limits.

Historically, the Volvo Ocean Race has strictly prohibited onboard internet access in order to ensure sporting equality and rule out any potential outside assistance from shore.

But, the lure of becoming a sailing reality programme, and the possible viewing figures, has obviously overcome any such highminded doubts.

Using a new bespoke platform currently being developed in-house, the Race will provide sailors with a ‘crew communicator’ that will allow them to transmit one-way updates on either their own, or their team’s, social channels.

The earlier announcement can now be seen in a new light following the latest opening of the race to 24 hour social media internet posting.

The all-male teams will be limited to seven sailors, one fewer than in 2014-15, and give mixed teams a significant numerical advantage.

The possible crew combinations for 2017-18 will be:

Either 7 men or 7 men and 1 or 2 women or 7 women and 1 or 2 men or 5 men and 5 womenand finally a full 11 women crew.

Mark Turner, Volvo Ocean Race CEO:

“We’re using the crew rules to incentivise skippers to bring one or more female sailors onboard. I really hope that it’s not necessary to have any rule at all in the future – but it seems it’s the only way today to ensure we can maintain progress.”

The race has also reaffirmed the commitment to youth sailing, with a rule that two crew must be under the age of 30 at the end of the race in July 2018.

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