Time is ticking on and the start of the Volvo Ocean Race is less than a month away. With the other teams and boats now having joined us in Lisbon, nerves and excitement are building in my own team, particularly for crew members who are embarking on an offshore race of this distance for the first time. They will have heard stories about life onboard whilst down in the Southern Ocean but, in the not too distant future, they will be experiencing it first hand.

As we move into the final preparation stage, we have today announced our latest crew member, Elodie-Jane Mettraux. Elo hails from Switzerland and has a rich sailing background. However, I am only too familiar with her sailing skills as I had the pleasure of racing with her and her sister Justine in the last edition of the race.

Elo has a strong match racing background and has had huge success in the Tour de France a la Voile whilst developing new young Swiss sailing talents. Since the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Elo has been racing with fellow team mates as part of Team Magenta 32 in the World Match Racing Tour on M32’s. Aside from her sailing skills, Elo is level headed and determined with a focus on performance that will really help guide our new young sailors around the world.

I have my truly multinational, inclusive squad lined up and ready to go but we are still missing a critical component. A navigator! Check back here next week to find out who is going to be guiding us round the world.

The race begins from Alicante, Spain on 22 October and will visit a further 11 Host Cities around the world – stopping at Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff and Gothenburg – before a big finish in The Hague in summer 2018.

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Dee Caffari

British yachtswoman Dee Caffari is the first woman to have sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to have sailed non-stop around the world three times. In 2006 Dee became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents and was awarded an MBE in recognition of her achievement.

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