2018-05-10 / Around Town


The crew positions on a Volvo Ocean Race 65 are different from those on a regular race boat. There is a crew limit and a watch system, which means there are always at least four crew on deck at one time, while the other members are below trying to rest “off watch.” Every crew member must multi-task. Here is a description of each crew member’s principal role.

Skipper: Leads the team and also helms and steers the boat.

Helmsman: Drives the boat and is in charge of steering and making it go as fast as appropriate, depending on the conditions.

Navigator: Decides, in consultation with the skipper and the shore team personnel, the route the team will take on each leg. The information on weather, historical data and currents is constantly changing, so the navigator keeps race control updated.

Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race Boat Captain: In charge of boat maintenance and repairs during each leg, and also works with the shore team during stopovers to have the boat ready for the next leg.

Bowman: Located on the “pointy end” of the boat, this position requires balance and skill, while making sure the head sails are functioning properly. The bowman also directs the helmsman during the start of each leg and for the In-Port races.

Pitman: Known as “playing the strings,” assures that the ropes that hoist and control the sails are properly positioned.

Trimmer: Makes sure that the fore sails and main sail are “set up/ trimmed” to meet the conditions.

Strategist: An onshore team member who provides information to the skipper and navigator up to five minutes before the start of each leg.

Watch Captain: Works with the skipper and navigator to implement the plan for the duration of the watch.

On-board Reporter: Files media content and helps prepare food.

What it Takes to Win

Do you think you could win against a Volvo Ocean Race sailor when you step up to the Grinding Challenge at the Newport stopover village? How fast can you hoist a main sail on a VO65?

This hands-on experience includes a grinding pedestal, just like the ones the VOR sailors use to raise the main sail and trim the sails during the competition. It will be like no other workout you have ever tried.

Try and set the fastest time for the day, or beat it! Take on your friends in a one-off experience to see just who has the fastest arms in the game. There is also a setting for junior sailors.

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