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Dongfeng Crew Changes
Partly planned strategy, like most of the teams, and partly due to medical issues Dongfeng Race Team will have some crew changes for the homecoming race to China.
Some noticed in Dongfeng’s Melbourne arrival video that Pascal rather brusquely pushed Black away after Black had just given him a bear hug and lifted him into the air. I can reveal this was not because any ‘poor team spirit’ as some speculated but Pascal was nursing what was a suspected broken rib. The spirit of the team is at an extremely high level as evidenced by the Christmas video sent off the boat.
I am happy to confirm that although the injury is still very painful the rib is, in fact, still in one piece. It does mean however that the team feel it is wise for Pascal to sit out the leg to Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
It is kind of cool that, in a situation like this Skipper Charles Caudrelier can invite his best mate to come for a ‘bit of a Yot’ up to China. Even cooler when your best mate is none other than Franck Cammas, French sailing legend and former winning skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race (along with multiple other events including Figaro, Jacques Vabre and a handful of World Championships).
Like Pascal, Franck has in the past been Charles’ skipper so the sailing bond is also strong and packing Franck as replacement navigator to Pascal, albeit temporarily, maintains the quality of this multi-national crew while also showing the strength in depth of the Dongfeng pool
Returning after injury is Daryl Wislang with the Kiwi fully recovered from the injury that required his urgent replacement just hours before the leg 3 start with Stu Bannantyne taking a well earned rest.
Also resting is Marie Riou with her spot being taken by Swiss sailor Justine Mettraux, adding one more nationality to the team roster.
For those not familiar with the name, Justine was one of the SCA team in the last edition and has already tasted Volvo leg victory being on boat when the team led the fleet into L’Orent.
Horace is back on board for Black, completing the roster changes.
The full crew list is as follows; Charles Caudrelier (FRA) – skipper, Franck Cammas (FRA) – navigator, Daryl Wislang (NZL) – watch captain, Jeremie Beyou (FRA) – watch captain, Carolijn Brouwer (NL) – trimmer, Justine Mettraux (SUI) – trimmer, Kevin Escoffier (FRA) – bowman, Chen Jinhao (Horace) (CHN) – bowman & Jack Bouttell (AUS/GBR) – bowman.
9 crew, 6 Nations!
It should be noted that not only is this a homecoming leg for Dongfeng Race Team but with the recent announcement by Geely Automotive based Hangzhou, China makes this a homecoming leg for the Volvo Ocean Race itself.
Geely already owned Volvo Cars and as such were 50% stakeholders in the VOR but an announcement of the purchase of 8.2% of Volvo AB, in effect makes them the majority stakeholder in the Volvo Ocean Race itself. Perhaps that fact may encourage more Chinese entries in future events. – Shanghai Sailor