Showing posts with label Sailing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sailing. Show all posts

Aussie Antarctic Solo Sailor Dimasted in Rough Weather in the Southern Ocean

Way back in January I wrote a post about Aussie Lisa Blair, a sailor who was embarking on an attempt to complete a solo circumnavigation around Antarctica along the Southern Ocean. Now, some 72 day after she set out on this epic adventure, Blair has run into trouble amidst bad weather, high winds, and freezing temperatures.

Earlier today, Blair sent out a PAN PAN, which is a signal that she was facing imminent danger and was in need of assistance. Her ship, the Climate Action, ran into trouble when it was hit with 40 knot (46 mph/74 km/h) winds, which broke a mast and knocked the vessel over at least once as swells grew to 7 meters in size.

At the moment, Lisa is no longer in any immediate danger and is preparing to make her way to Cape Town. She was approximately 895 nautical miles (1029 miles/1674 km) from that point when she ran into trouble, but according to reports Blair will now rig an emergency storm sail and motor her way to the South African city for repairs. She'll be met and assisted by another ship that is registered in Hong Kong.

When she embarked on this voyage back in January, Blair was hoping to become the first woman to sail solo and unsupported around Antarctica. She left from Albany, Australia with the intention of breaking the speed record for such an attempt. That record is currently held by Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov and stands at 102 days, 35 minutes, and 50 seconds. Lisa had set her sights on doing it in just 94 days.

By all accounts, Blair is safe and uninjured by the storm, but her ship is now crippled. Barring any more bad weather, she should be able to limp it into port in Cape Town where the damage will be assessed further. For now though, this is the end of her solo attempt. Whether or not she can repair the ship, restock her supplies, and try again at a later date remains to be seen.

At this point, it will be a number of days before she arrives back on land. Search and rescue teams in Cape Town have been notified of the situation and are standing by to lend assistance if needed.

American Team Enters Volvo Ocean Race

Later this year, a new edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will kick-off from Alicante, Spain, where several sailing crews will begin a difficult journey to see who can be the fastest to race around the world. The event is a brutal one, demanding determination, grit, and fortitude to see it through to the end, as the teams cover more than 46,000 nautical miles (85,192 km/52,935 miles) as they cross four different oceans and visit six continents along the way. To say this event is a unique blend of adventure and endurance challenge would be an understatement.

While I was away sailing the Southern Ocean an co-sponsorsed American and Danish team threw its hat into the ring for this year's race. The Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be taking part in their second consecutive Volvo Ocean Race, with experienced skippers Charlie Enright and Mark Towill leading the way. The two men are now working on building a competitive crew, and plan on making several trans-Atlantic crossing in April and May to serve as training sessions prior to the October 22 launch of the round-the-world race.

Enright and Towill served as the skipper and race director for Team Alvimedica in the 2014-15 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. They hope that experience will prove helpful this year as they set out to challenge the other teams that will depart from Alicante in a few months time. So far, there are three other crews entered in the event. They include the Dutch team of AkzoNobel, the Dongfeng Race Team from China, and Mapfre from Spain.


When Vestas hits the water they'll be carrying an important environmental message with them. Not only does the team's sponsor create sustainable energy solutions for use around the world, but the team is also stressing the importance of protecting the marine environment as well. In their first venture into the VOR, Charlie and Mark saw first hand how pollution and plastic debris is impacting the world's oceans, destroying many species of fish and making the waters uninhabitable in some parts of the world. They've made it their mission to bring attention to this issue, even as they race through those waters.

The Volvo Ocean Race first began back in 1973, and it has occurred approximately every two years since. It ranks among sailing's "Big Three" events, along with America's Cup and the Olympics. For many sailors, it isa dream come true just to compete in the event, let alone win it.

The 2017-2018 edition of the event will feature an incredibly challenging course. After setting out from Alicante, the ships will sail for Lisbon before proceeding south to Cape Town. After that, they'll brave the Southern Ocean to cross to Melbourne, before turning north to Guangzhou and Hong Kong. That will be a brief foray into the Northern Hemisphere however, as the teams will then turn south once again on their way to Aukland. They'll then sail round the infamous Cape Horn in South America as they make their way to Itajaí, then on to Newport, across the North Atlantic to Cardiff, on to Gothenburg, and to the finish line in The Hague. It should be quite a journey.

We're still more than six months away from the start of the race at this point, so expect more teams to join the competition in the weeks ahead. In October, the real excitement begins. But until then, you can keep tabs on race developments at VolvoOceanRace.com.

Aussie Woman to Attempt Solo Sailing Circumnavigation of Antarctica

Aussie sailor Lisa Blair is about to set out on a very difficult sailing expedition. So much so, that no woman has ever accomplished it solo before. Next week, she will attempt to become the first female – and only third person ever – to sail solo and unassisted around Antarctica, navigating the challenging Southern Ocean, which remains treacherous even in the 21st century.

The journey is expected to take about three months to complete. She'll first depart from Albany in Western Australia, and will head south into the waters off the coast of the Antarctic. In order to maintain her solo and unassisted status, she'll need to spend the entire voyage onboard her ship, without making land stops of any kind, nor having personal contact with another person. She'll also have to sail completely without assistance.

In order to write her name in the history books, Blair must keep her ship below 45ºS latitude at all times. She'll also have to pass three of the most treacherous spots of land on Earth in the form of Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn, and Cape Agulhas. Along the way, she hopes to set a new speed record for the Antarctic circumnavigation, besting the time set by Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov back in 2008. He managed to sail around the frozen continent in 102 days, 56 minutes, 50 seconds, covering some 16,400 miles (26,393 km) in the process.

Blair had intended to set out by now, but weather and upgrades to her ship have caused a few delays to the start of the expedition. The countdown clock on her website indicates that she will now get underway on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, provided there are no more unexpected interruptions. When she does depart, she'll also be taking part in the Antarctica Cup Ocean Race as the lone competitor. The race is actually between Lisa and the clock, although she will try to stay in one of three electronically mapped "lanes," each of which have 18 individual "gates" that she'll pass through along the course.

Hopefully all will go according to plan, and Blair will start her epic voyage next week. You'll be able to follow Lisa's progress on her website as she makes her way through this wild and uncharted part of the world. It should be an amazing trip.

Mike Horn's Pole 2 Pole Expedition is About to Truly Get Underway

If you've been reading my updates from the Antarctic so far this season, you've probably seen me mention Swiss explorer Mike Horn on more than one occasion. That's because not only does he have an impeccable adventure resume ( climbed four 8000-meter peaks without oxygen, explored the Arctic during the winter, swam the length of the Amazon), but he is also about to embark on one of the most ambitious expeditions of all time. Horn is attempting to become the first person to circumnavigate the globe north-south (rather than east-west), passing through both Poles along the way. And soon, he'll launch the first critical phase of that journey, which will see him traverse Antarctica on foot.

Currently, Mike is aboard his ship the Pangea just off the Antarctic coast. According to his dispatches, he and his crew are slowly making their way through the ice to his drop-off point on the Antarctic continent. Remember, most of South Pole skiers are dropped off at Union Glacier, prior to flying to their starting points at Hercules Inlet, by the professional crew at ALE. In Mike's case however, he's sailing independently as part of his round-the-world journey.

The Pole 2 Pole expedition – as Mike calls it – has been a long time coming. I first told you about his plans back in 2014, but it has taken two years to get this adventure truly underway and off the ground. The journey began when the South African-born explorer set out from Monaco back in May, and began sailing out of the Mediterranean Sea and down the coast of Africa.

Along the way, he spent some time exploring the Namib Desert and visiting the Okavango Delta, before traveling overland to Cape Town, where he dove with sharks and conducted research on those ocean-going predators. Now, he has ventured across the Southern Ocean on his way to the Antarctic. Once there, he'll don a pair of skis and pull a sled across the frozen expanse just like all the other skiers heading to the South Pole. But after he reaches 90ºS, he'll continue on to the coast once again (possibly to Hercules Inlet) where Pangea will be waiting to pick him up.


The expedition hardly ends there however. As tough as his Antarctic crossing will be, it is nothing compared to what lies ahead. After he finishes at the bottom of the world, he'll set sail for the top. Heading north through the Pacific Ocean, where he'll first spend some time traveling in New Zealand and Australia, before continuing on into Asia. After that, Horn will continue heading north, where he'll then set his sights on traversing the Arctic on foot as well, an endeavor that is far more difficult and dangerous than crossing the Antarctic.

If he succeeds with that plan – one that has become increasingly more difficult in recent years – he'll then move south once again, traversing Greenland on foot, before sailing back to Europe and ending his expedition back in Monaco where it began.

Obviously there is a lot to accomplish before he is done, but it certainly will be interesting to follow along. I'm particularly interested in Horn's attempt at crossing the Arctic, which we've seen many people try and fail at in recent years. He has all the credentials, and I'd never bet against him, but the Arctic has become an unforgiving place with little margin for error, and it will probably be the toughest expedition of his life skiing to the North Pole and onward.

For now though, Antarctic awaits. If things go according to plan, he should hit the ice in the next couple of days. And then that stage of his adventure will truly begin. I'll be posting updates throughout the season on his progress. It should be interesting to follow for sure.

Roald Amundsen's Ship Recovered From the Arctic Ocean

After resting at the bottom of the ocean for more then 85 years, Roald Amundsen's ship the Maud has been brought back to the surface, and is preparing to return to Norway. The ship, which was discovered off the coast of Cambridge Bay in Canada, helped to chart the Northeast Passage from 1918-1920, sunk in those waters back in 1930 after a short, but distinguished career in exploration.

A recovery team has spent the past six years working to bring the ship up from its watery grave. This past July, their efforts finally paid off, as the ship returned to the surface for the first time in more than eight decades. The crew first had to place a series of inflatable ballasts around the hull of the vessel, then slowly add air to them. Eventually this allowed them to place it on a barge and float it into harbor. Over the past two months, they have been been cleaning up the interior of the vessel in preparation for weathering the winter in the Arctic.

The recovery team says that the winter weather will actually help the ship, allowing its wooden hull to dry. This will help to reduce the ship's current weight, and will take some of the pressure off of the hull. That will help to stabilize it for the long journey back home to Norway, which is likely to take place next summer.

According to reports, the ship is in surprisingly good shape. The hull remains solid and strong, despite being at the bottom of the ocean for so long. The vessel was originally built back in 1917, and commissioned by Amundsen to accompany him on his exploration of the icy waters north of Russia. Amundsen is well know for is exploits in the cold places of our planet. He was the first person to reach the South Pole back in 1911, and was instrumental in exploring the Arctic as well, becoming the first person to full pass through the Northwest Passage.

The Maud was sold off in 1925, five years before she sank. But, she is considered an important piece of exploration history, and back home in Norway she'll be preserved for posterity. In that country, Amundsen is incredibly famous, and any relic left over from his expeditions is a valuable commodity.

This is quite a cool story. I'm glad this team was able to locate and recover the ship. Hopefully it makes it through the winter in one piece, and returns home next year as planned.

168 Years After Sinking in the Arctic the HMS Terror has Been Found

After years of searching in the Arctic, the missing ship of explorer Sir John Franklin has been found at long last. Earlier this week it was announced that the HMS Terror, a vessel that Franklin was using to explore the icy waters of the Northwest Passage, had been found after 168 years.

Franklin and his crew had been exploring the Arctic Ocean north of Canada back in 1848 when they ran into thick pack ice that prevented them from continuing their voyage. Both the Terror and its sister-ship, the HMS Erebus became trapped, forcing everyone onboard to abandon the two vessels. Eventually, all 129 members of the crew perished in the Arctic, and what became of the ships remained a mystery.

A few years back the Erebus was discovered by a search crew, but the location of the Terror remained a mystery. Now, thanks to a tip from a local Inuit tribesman, that mystery has been solved. The Terror  was found in – of all places – Terror Bay, where its mast was spotted sticking out of the ice by passing hunters a few years back. That tip led to an archeological team going to the site to check out the area, only to discover the very vessel they had been searching for.

According to early reports, it seems that the ship is in relatively good condition, and may contain most of the things that were left onboard when it was abandoned by Franklin and his crew. In comparison, the Erebus has suffered hull damage, and Arctic currents had spread out its contents over a wide area. It'll be some time before salvage crews can truly get a look at the Terror however, so just what might be on the ship remains a mystery.

As for Franklin and his men, it seems that after they abandoned their ships, they began a long and perilous march across the Arctic with the hopes of reaching the Hudson Bay Company – a fur trading outpost far to the south. None of the men made it to the safety of that place however, vanishing in desolate white expanse of the north. Inuit oral histories talk about the foreigners passing through their area, but their ultimate fate has never been fully told.

The disaster that beset the Franklin crew is one of the worst in British naval history. It was quite a blow to that country, which ruled the seas and was pushing the boundaries of exploration at the time. Now, after more than a century and a half, at least part of the mystery has been solved.

Arctic Explorers Bring Bad News After Sailing Northwest and Northeast Passages

One of the most ambitious and interesting adventures of the summer has been the Polar Ocean Challenge. Led by famed explorer David Hempleman-Adams, the objective of the expedition was to sail both the Northeast and Northwest passages in a single year, circumnavigating the North Pole and taking stock of the arctic sea ice along the way. A few days back the crew of adventurers, sailors, and researchers completed a major milestone of their journey, and they brought back some sobering news about the state of ice in the Arctic Ocean.

The sailing ship Northabout set sail from Bristol, in the U.K. back June, making way for Norway before proceeding on to Russia to the start of the Northeast Passage. The ship ran into a delay at that point due to pack ice still blocking the route. That isn't too uncommon in the early part of summer, as it generally takes a few weeks before the passage clears. From there, they navigated on through the icy waters of the Arctic before exiting into the Northern Pacific and crossing over to Alaska. The next stage of the journey was through the Northwest Passage above Canada, which is the section that was just completed. Now, the plan is to sail on to Greenland, and then back home to Bristol.

By successfully navigating through the both the Northwest and Northeast passages, the crew proved that those once mythical routes are now fully open, and accessible. They also became the first ship to make such a journey in a single season, although they certainly won't be the last. Climatologists now predict that both passages will see increasing numbers of commercial traffic before the middle of the century, even by ships that are not hardened against ice.


On the Polar Ocean Challenge website the team posted a press release a few days back sharing the news of their successful completion of the Northwest Passage, which took just 14 days to finish. That's an incredibly fast time through that part of the world, but the team revealed that they had encountered almost no ice along the entire route. In fact, in the two weeks that they spent there, they came across ice only twice in 1800 nautical miles (3333 km/2071 miles).

This news is both astonishing and troubling at the same time. It now seems pretty clear that both the Northwest and Northeast Passages will soon be open for longer periods of time each year, and that they will be safer than ever to pass through. The Arctic sea ice is a bit like the canary in the coal mine, giving us an indicator of just how much impact climate change is having on our planet.

The crew of the Northabout is on the home stretch now, having completed the most difficult sections of their voyage. The team's website shares some important information about their expedition, which has now been at sea for more than 20 weeks and covered over 13,500 nautical miles (24,076 km /14,960 miles). Perhaps the most startling statistic of all however, is that researchers about the ship have recorded a 13.4% drop in the sea ice levels, which is a faster and higher rate than was expected.

I suspect these kinds of reports will become the norm moving forward. It is still troubling to read however.

World's Largest Viking Ship to Sail From Norway to the U.S.

Photo credit: Peder Jacobsson
A crew of 16 sailors are about to embark on an epic adventure that will take them across the North Atlantic as they look to recreate historical voyages that first took place more than 1000 years ago. On Sunday, the Draken Harald Hårfagrethe largest viking ship ever built – will set sail from Norway with the goal of eventually reaching the U.S., proving once again how Viking explorers reached North America hundreds of years earlier than Christopher Columbus.

Dubbed Expedition America, the journey is meant to learn about the conditions faced by the Vikings as they undertook voyages of discovery from 750-1100 AD. To that end, the Draken Harald Hårfagre has been built to exacting details in the same manner as the ancient Viking ships before it were constructed. It has an open-air kitchen and a sleeping area. The 16 crew members will take turns spending 4 hours manning the vessel and 4 hours off resting throughout the length of the voyage.

The ship will depart from Vibrandsøy, Haugesund, Norway, setting out across the North Atlantic with the goal of reaching Reykjavík, Iceland by May 1. From there, they'll continue on to the port of Qaqortoq in Greenland, skipping across the ocean just as their ancestors did before them. After that, they'll make a harrowing voyage across the Davis Strait – traveling a thousand miles north of where the Titanic went down – on their way to the viking settlement of L’anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. They hope to arrive there around the 1st of June.

The voyage won't end when they reach North America however. The Draken Harald Hårfagre will than proceed up the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Quebec City, before proceeding into the Great Lakes to visit places like Toronto, Chicago, Green Bay, and even traveling as far west as Duluth, MN before turning back east for a stop in New York City in September.

Of course, you'll be able to follow along with this voyage on the expedition's official website. It should certainly be interesting to watch unfold.

7 Adventurous Things to do in Cuba

In the wake of President Obama's historical visit to Cuba this week, I wanted to share a story that I wrote and published on the Outdoor and Adventure Travel page for About.com listing 7 adventurous things to do in the Caribbean country. Cuba isn't usually considered much of an adventure destination, but it turns out there are some good things to do there for active travelers.

Amongst the activities that I recommend is making the 2-3 day trek to the summit of Pico Turquino, the tallest peak on the island at 1974 meters (6476 feet). Obviously this isn't a mountain that challenges you with altitude, but it has two different routes to the summit that pass through dense forest along the way. It is a good opportunity to see some of the island's natural wonders along the way.

Other options include snorkeling and scuba diving on some pristine coral reefs, taking a cycling tour of the island, and surfing off Cuba's coastline. There are also suggestions for visiting a national park, sailing through Cuba's storied waters, and more.

Now that Cuba is opening up to visitors, I'm sure more American's will be visiting in the months and years ahead. If you're looking for a few suggestions on things to do while there, hopefully this list will give you an idea of what to expect.

Ever Wonder What it's Like to Sail Across the Antarctic Ice?

Have you ever wondered what it's like to sail across the surface of the Antarctic using wind to push you along? If so, then you'll want to check out the video below. It was shot by Charles Werb, the Australian adventurer who is on the frozen continent right now, and preparing to sail his specially built craft to the South Pole as part of the Outer Edge Polar Challenge.

There have been some delays to the start of his journey, but hopefully he'll be headed south soon. Considering the video shows that he can travel as fast as 11 mph (17.7 km/h), he'll be able to cover the distance much more quickly than the Antarctic skiers, all of whom have all completed their expeditions and gone home now. When he does get moving, Werb will be racing against time, as the weather in Antarctica is about to take a turn, and it won't be for the better. Hopefully the winds will get him to the Pole quickly, and back on to home.

Kon-Tiki2 Looks to Follow in the Footsteps of Thor Heyerdahl

An epic sea journey got underway this past weekend in South America, where a team of sailors from around the world have set off on two rafts made of balsa wood in an attempt to sail from Peru to Easter Island. The crew hope to explore possible migration patterns for early Polynesian cultures, which may have migrated to the remote South Pacific islands on similar craft centuries ago.

The two rafts – dubbed Rahiti Tane and Tupac Yupanqui – were built from wood that was gathered in Ecuador. They'll now attempt to follow a similar journey to the one that was famously completed by Thor Heyerdahl and his team back in 1947. Heyerdahl had hoped to prove that his theory of early sailors setting out from South America to the South Pacific was true, and in the process he sailed more than 8000 km (5000 miles) from the mainland to the Tuamotu Islands. He later wrote a bestselling book about his adventure entitled Kon Tiki, which was the name of his raft, and the inspiration for this modern journey as well.

The crew of the Kon-Tiki2 expedition left Lima Peru on Sunday and are now making their way across the Pacific Ocean. They'll sail more than 3757 km (2334 miles) to reach their destination, but unlike Heyerdahl, the plan is to also sail back. This will make the journey even more perilous, as no one has been able to successfully complete a return voyage as of yet. The entire round-trip is expected to cover more than 10,000 km (6200 miles).

The research opportunities go beyond just studying possible migration patterns in the Pacific however. The team also hopes to survey the amount of pollution and waste that is found in the water as well, and observe the population levels of certain species of Tuna too.

Heyerdahl's expedition took 101 days to complete, but the Kon-Tiki2 will likely last longer. Not only are the two rafts traveling longer distances, they are also making a return trip in very different wind patterns and ocean currents. How long the crew will be at sea remains to be seen, as some days they will probably cover long distances, and on others they'll drift more slowly.

You can follow the expedition as it unfolds on the official website and Facebook page. Good luck to the crew! It should be interesting to see how it all plays out in the days a

New Endurance Boat Race Challenges Competitors to Race to Alaska

We cover a lot of endurance events here on The Adventure Blog, with most of them focusing around running, cycling, or mountain biking along remote trails in beautiful locations. But this summer a completely new, and unique event, will take place in the Pacific Northwest, as the inaugural Race to Alaska prepares to get underway. In this event, competitors won't be traveling on foot or bike however, as they'll instead be challenged to sail, row, or paddle their way along the route.

This 750 mile (1190 km) long event will get underway from Townsend, Washington – located not far from Seattle – on June 4. Participants will proceed up the coast, with the eventual finish line located in Ketchikan, Alaska. Along the way, competitors will face fierce winds, cold conditions, potentially large storms, and turbulent waves. How they deal with those conditions, and exactly which route they take along the way, is completely up to them, as navigational choices will certainly play a role in determining the eventual winner.

There are ten classes of boats that are allowed to compete in the Race to Alaska, none of which are motorized. Those boats include multi-hull sail boats and row boats, kayaks, and even stand-up paddleboards. Exactly which means of transportation will be the best choice remains to be seen, as the sailboats have an edge when the wind is blowing, but if the winds are calm, other vessels may have an opportunity to steal the win.

The first stage of the race, which runs from Townsend to Victoria, Vancouver in Canada, serves as qualifier of sorts. All of the racers must cover that 40 mile distance in 36 hours or less, or they will be disqualified. If they complete this initial challenge however, they'll be allowed to continue on to Ketchikan. There are currently 23 boats competing in the race, which is an impressive turnout for the first running of an event of this type. It'll be interesting to see how the competition unfolds, and who ends up taking home the victory.

I heard about this really unique event from Steve Price, who is one of the competitors on Team Angus. He, along with teammate Colin Angus, will be taking to the water in a specially designed rowboat. Their plan is to take turns at the oars, going 24-hours a day in 2 hour shifts. Since calm weather is expected, the team duo feels like it has a real shot to win the race, even over the sailboats.

We're just a couple of weeks away from the start of this race, and it should certainly be interesting. Good luck to all the competitors, and enjoy the journey.

Video: Voyage of the Labyrinth - Episode 1

In 2012, Jase Kovacs purchased a yacht called the Labyrinth and began pursuing his life of adventure on the open seas. The video below is the first episode in a new series, in which viewers follow Jase and his crew as they explore the ocean, visiting unique islands, and seeing things that few people ever get the opportunity to see. In the opening moments of the video, Jase explains that he had always dreamed of owning his own ship and being able to sail where he wanted to, but he never thought it was possible. But now, just two years after buying the Labyrinth, he is living the life that he always dreamed of. Inspiring and interesting stuff to say the least.

Voyage of the Labyrinth: Episode 1 from Jase Kovacs on Vimeo.

The Volvo Ocean Race is Underway!

This past weekend marked the start of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, an epic round-the-world competition that pits some of the best sailing crews in the world against one another on a nine-month long odyssey that includes 11 ports of calls in 11 different countries across the globe, covering more than 38,740 nautical miles in the process.

On Saturday, seven ships set sail from Alicante, Spain on the first leg of the race, which will run from that city to the first stop in Cape Town, South Africa. From there, it is on to Abu Dhabi, followed by Sanya in China, and Auckland, New Zealand. After that, they'll race across the Pacific Ocean, and round Cape Horn, to Itajaí, Brazil, before proceeding north to Newport, Connecticut. A quick jaunt will take them across the Atlantic to Lisbon, then north to Lorient, France, and finally the finish line in Gothenburg, Sweden. The crew with the fastest cumulative time between each of those cities will claim victory in the race.

The captains of the ship are all very experienced sailors, as are their crews. But for the first time in the history of the race, there is an all-femail team taking part. Each of the teams is made up of eight sailors, of which two of them must be under the age of 30. The boats also have a "multimedia reporter" onboard who is tracking their progress and sending dispatches about their performance. In the case of an all-women's team, they are allowed 11 crew members to helm their ship. To qualify for the race, the crews had to sail for 2000 miles (3700 km) non-stop to prove they are capable of handling themselves on the open ocean.

The ships have been out on the water for three days now, which is just a fraction of time in this nine-month long event. The crews have not really started to separate themselves from the pack just yet, but in the days and weeks to come, the best team, and the fastest ships will emerge from the pack.

You can follow all of the action, and keep track of the progress of each ship, at VolvoOceanRace.com.