For the crews and teams of the 17/18 Volvo Ocean Race, the journey starts today!
A round the world adventure that sees seven teams, race in eleven legs, over 8 months, around the world, in identical 65ft One Design yachts. Spinlock’s journey with the Volvo Ocean Race started in May 2016 when we were first approached to develop a new custom lifejacket for the teams.
Our brief was to develop the latest in personal on-deck safety for the sailors with Volvo Ocean Race support in developing technology in the race that will benefit the teams, but also filter out into wider market in the future.
A design group was assembled, led by Abby Ehler (now onboard Team Brunel) and over the course of 14 months the new lifejacket harness was trialled , tested and developed. Design emphasis was placed on:
\\ Designing it to ‘disappear’ when worn, i.e. a comfortable, ergonomic fit you don’t notice when worn
\\ Including positive touch points, making it easy to put on, secure, quick, easy and intuitive to use
\\ Increasing ease of use and therefore increasingly the likelihood of it being worn
\\ Aiding crew Identification
\\ Visibility in the water
\\ Ensuring all the internal components were reviewed for performance in the water, location and rescue
In August all teams received their new lifejacket harness ready for the Fastnet Race, Leg Zero and then the Prologue. Since then, all crews have been trained in the use and care of their lifejacket at the Sea Survival Training course and in Lisbon at the Boatyard, full servicing of every lifejacket was undertaken and further training for safety specialists in the teams and shore crews.
Spinlock’s race to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race is now complete and we are looking forward to seeing all the Teams race to Lisbon and then onto Cape Town in their new custom VOR Deckvest Lifejacket Harness, where we will there to meet them with the support of our local team and the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard.