For Cook, this is the opportunity of a lifetime to put her sailing skills to the test in one of the toughest and most respected sailing races in the world. “Coming from Auckland, New Zealand, I’ve grown up watching the Volvo Ocean Race teams and I can’t believe that I’ll get to be one of those sailors,” she said. “To be given this chance and to have earned my place is a dream come true.”
Ian and Blanche Cook say they have always encouraged their daughters, Bianca and Paige, to challenge themselves with whatever they do in life, and this latest achievement by Bianca is no exception. “We are excited and proud of the prospect of one of our daughters pushing a yacht to its limit in the oceans of the world,” they say. “We have huge confidence in Bianca’s sailing ability, as well as that of Dee and her fellow crew, and know that they have what it takes to safely compete in one of the great sailing challenges.”
The team are currently making their final preparations in Cascais, Portugal. All boats will head to the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard in Lisbon by 18 September 2017 for final maintenance checks ahead of a non-scoring Prologue stage from Lisbon to Alicante ahead of the start of the 83,000 km race.
Yachting Developments is proud to support all teams competing in the 13th Volvo Ocean Race, and congratulates all those selected to take part in this one-of-a-kind race. The yard and its team look forward to welcoming the Volvo fleet into Auckland in March 2018 following Leg 6 of the race from Hong Kong.
Turn the Tide on Plastic is a mixed, youth focused team with a strong sustainability message, led by Britain’s Dee Caffari. The campaign, backed by the principle sustainability partner the Mirpuri Foundation, and Ocean Family Foundation, is dedicated to the issue of ocean health. The team’s guiding mission is to amplify United Nations Environment’s 'Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic' campaign throughout the eight months of the race.
Caffari is building a multinational, 50-50 male-female squad, with the majority under 30 years of age. Alongside the sustainability focus, the messages around inclusivity in age and gender will be strong themes of a campaign that in sporting terms may not start as a favourite, but could easily surprise on the water.
Images: Jeremy Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race