100 seconds of Southern Ocean sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race
Witness the power of the wind and waves and the sheer speed of the Volvo Ocean Race. This never-before-created RAW 100 video gives you a perspective only the sailors ever really experience.
The Southern Ocean is a place like no other: it's unfathomably cold and the waves are taller than houses. It's always grey and the squalls are filled with snow rather than rain. The wind is relentless too – a calm day is anything under 30 knots (55kph). And, every few years, a group of sailors head down to the Roaring 40s (and 50s) in the Volvo Ocean Race to complete the iconic leg from Auckland, NZ to Itaji, Brazil.
This year, this iconic leg was next level. Sailors, who’ve been there many times had never seen the Southern Ocean like this. From day one the leg was relentless and each new day, the Volvo Ocean Race sailors faced new challenges, from broken boats to nearly running out of food, and even the unthinkable.
John Fisher of Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag tragically lost his life after falling overboard. Despite an extensive search and rescue effort, they were unable to recover him.
“The Southern Ocean has been especially tough this year,” Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s navigator, Simon Fisher said. “It's been more relentless and unforgiving than I can ever remember. With yesterday's tragedy, these final days in the Pacific will be that much tougher still. Although we must try to keep our focus on the racing, I can speak for everyone on board when I say that right now all our thoughts and prayers are with John, his family, his team-mates and friends.”
The days blend into one and are made even longer by the relentless noise rattling the boat. The creaking and groaning of winches under heavy loads. The whirring and clicking of pedestals as hands turn them. The hiss of spray crashing over the deck. The roar of the ocean and the wind. The boom of the boat’s hull as it barrels through the sea. The calls of an albatross.
These are just some of the many different sounds, loud and quiet, that make up life on the Southern Ocean. And we’ve now brought it all to your lap.
We’ve taken the incredible work of the Volvo Ocean Race’s On Board Reporters (OBRs) to bring you as close to the Southern Ocean as possible without stepping into foul weather gear. Using state of the art cameras, water housings, drones, and fixed cameras on the boat, the OBRs are able to tell each team’s full story during the Volvo Ocean Race.
The Southern Ocean is a place that few will venture, but that shouldn’t stop us mere mortals from witnessing its sheer power. And, although most of us will remain comfortable snuggled under our duvet, we cannot guarantee, that after watching this video, you won’t want to send it around Cape Horn.
That said, we’ll leave you with Bouew Bekking’s words:
"On deck it's horrible, cold and miserable. The waves keep bashing into your face and body, face and fingers are numb even with full protection. But we were just smiling; if this was a soccer team, most likely hardly anyone would be on the field anymore. But we play the match for 19 days, no stopping and only complaining a tiny little bit.”
Watch the Hong Kong to Auckland leg in the video below.