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Dongfeng Race Team get newly-refitted Volvo 65

With just 268 days until the Volvo Ocean Race begins, Dongfeng Race Team become the first team to take delivery of their newly-refitted Volvo Ocean 65 at The Boatyard in Lisbon.

The handover marks the formal beginning of the Chinese team’s second consecutive campaign.

Having been through a 15 week re-fit process worth around one million euros, the boat now features an eye-catching new colour scheme and branding.

Plus a range of upgraded kit consisting of over 500 items across sails, deck gear, electronics and a new media and navigation station.

Neil Cox, Paint and Commissioning Manager at the Boatyard explained.

“We’ve had two days of sea trials which have gone well, and that’s the culmination of an enormous amount of work by 25 to 35 people."

The Boatyard team have put in close to 3,500 man hours into the boat, covering everything from boatbuilding, rigging, to electronics, and sails, to get it stripped and put it back together.

In addition to that 2,500 man hours have gone into painting and branding, which has pretty much seen every area of the boat – from the hull, deck, masts, keel, rudders and daggerboards.

All stripped, re-primed and brought back into new paint, so they return a product which looks like a brand new boat.

Click image for a larger image

Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier has been working for months to build his crew for a campaign which he hopes will see the team better their third place of 2014-15.

Who will sail onboard Dongfeng is not yet confirmed, but the Frenchman revealed that his squad will once again feature a mixed Chinese and western crew and will take advantage of new rules designed to encourage female sailors to take part.

“We’re looking for people who are competitive, determined to succeed and committed to our cause,” said Caudrelier. “Competition for each slot on the boat is exceptionally tough but we are determined to take our time and make sure we have the right mix.”

With the main phase of boat preparation now completed the focus switches to Dongfeng Race Team’s on-the-water training and racing programme in the lead-up to the Volvo Ocean Race start from Alicante in Spain on 22 October.

Dongfeng Race Team is one of two teams that have been publicly revealed. The other is the Dutch campaign Team AkzoNobel led by first time skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED), who will be racing in his third Volvo Ocean Race.

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