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Caffari search for Volvo Race crew continues

Dee Caffari will compete in the second Volvo Leg Zero race - The Fastnet Race - with only one confirmed crew member on board Turn the Tide on Plastic.

Click image for a larger image

Caffari, who has sailed around the world five times and was the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents, admitted that the selection process for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race is proving difficult.

Skippering the late Volvo Race entry - Turn the Tide on Plastic - comes with considerable constraints on the crew composition.

The boat must be crewed by a 50-50 male-female crew with 60% under 30, plus one women must be of Portuguese nationality.

This precise formula has limited the choices available to Caffari, especially with the limited time available for working-up a crew, and that at this late stage few suitably experienced crew are left on the dockside!

Only two-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Liz Wardley is sure of a place on board when the event starts from Alicante on 22 October 2017.

Caffari had hoped to bring some more experience on board with serial, round the world record breaker Brian Thompson, but he is injured and is now unlikely to be available in time.

Thompson previously helmed the southern ocean leg from Cape Town to Melbourne on the 2006 winning Volvo Ocean Race team, ABN AMRO ONE.

Image Sam KurtulDee Caffari starts the Around the IOW race - Click image for a larger image

The first Leg Zero race, around the Isle of Wight, turned into a mini Southern Ocean experience, with gusts of over 40 knots as the fleet planned round the back of the Island.

Dee Caffari: "We were a bit conservative with our sailing plan but we were fast and we’re learning how to sail our boats so I am happy. It’s the first time in my whole career, with all the miles I have done, that I have steered a boat on its bow with all its rudders out of the water. It was impressive!”

Turn the Tide on Plastic will sail the Fastnet race, starting Sunday 6 August from Cowes, with a ten person trial crew and following that there will be two more Leg Zero qualifying races.

On 10 August the Volvo fleet will race from Plymouth to St Malo in France (125 nm) and then on 13 August they start from St Malo to Lisbon, Portugal (770 nm).

Once in Lisbon Dee Caffari has two months to finalise her choices and work-up her final crew selection before the Volvo Ocean Race start in Alicante on 22 October.


One familier Olympic sailing name keen to join the Turn the Tide crew is Ireland's Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

After a medical review of a knee injury this week, Murphy will not race in the Rolex Fastnet Race starting this Sunday.

The knee injury occurred in the final race of last week’s International Moth World Championships on Lake Garda where Murphy finished top woman.

“After a few days on the boat I’m getting to really enjoy it; steering the boat at night in 30 knots of breeze is a little bit terrifying but pretty amazing as well,” she recently told The Irish Times David Branigan.

“I’m going to be pretty useful on the boat because I’m strong and fit as the boats are really physical with a lot of heavy lifting. Sail changes require a huge amount of effort so I’m pretty lucky that as a full-time athlete for the last seven years I’m at a really good level of strength and fitness.”

The Turn the Tide on Plastic campaign, backed by the Mirpuri Foundation and the Ocean Family Foundation, will amplify the United Nations Environment’s ‘Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic’ message throughout the Race.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
4 August 2017 9:18 GMT


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