Dongfeng Race Team sailors delivered the boat to Lisbon from Lorient last week, arriving on the evening of Monday 22 May ready for a mast change at the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. The new mast, which will replace the one used in the previous edition, has been on order since the re-fit in Lisbon and was installed on Saturday 27 May before the boat was re-launched ahead of sea trails.
No VO65 boat doesn’t mean no training however, with Marie Riou and Charles Caudrelier pairing up in the Grand Prix de L’Ecole Navale in France. The duo, joined by Gildas Morvan, sailed in 11 races on board the SB20 Dongfeng to finish third overall.
Meanwhile, recently announced Dongfeng Race Team crew member Pascal Bidégorry took part in the USHIP ArMen race on board the MACIF trimaran with Franćois Gabart and his crew. After under 24 hours racing off the coast of Brittany, and with some close match racing against Thomas Coville on Sodebo Voile, the team crossed the finish line in first place.
The three Chinese sailors, Yang Jiru (Wolf), Liu Xue (Black) and Chen Jin Hao (Horace), made best use of their time in Lisbon, sailing and studying on board a Beneteau 37.5 as they prepare for their Yachtmaster examination in the next few months – a mandatory safety requirement in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The sailors are now back in Lisbon and ready to test out the new mast, along with the new race sails that were delivered this week from North Sails, before sailing the boat back to their training base in Lorient.
Stay tuned for more updates from the red boat and Dongfeng Race Team.