Ian Walker had been the reigning champion in the previous version of Volvo Ocean Race as well as skippered the winning boat in 2014-15 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
He has analyzed the form of the participating teams to provide opinions on how the teams will perform in the 2017-18 race that is coming up on October 20th. Among the fleet there are three major divisions. For potential winners, one would be looking at MAPFRE or Dongfeng. These two teams are well trained and bring their best experience from the last prologue race. Among these, two teams MAPFRE have a stronger crew in place as per Ian Walker.
Brunel is also a team that has good people as well as lots of experience such as Capey and Bouwe Bekking. However, this team probably has to train a lot harder. AkzoNobel on the other hand might have some chance, but Ian feels that the team needs to get more organized. The Vestas on the other hand, have some good sailors such as Simon Fisher, who wins races like Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
However, this team in general has less resources as well as sailors who are under trained as compared to the other teams. Other boats of the fleet comprise of Turn the Tide on Plastic as well as Scallywag. Both these boats are manned by crews who have little experience and hence, these teams being new in such waters, might face considerable struggle.
The Leg Zero of the race was a test of how well trained the teams are and what kind of training they have undergone. Ian then goes on to evaluate each team and their skipper’s potential as well as the experience which they bring to their respective teams as that will have an impact on their boat’s performance.