by Stefano Blin
Team Alvimedica have completed the arduous Round Britain and Ireland Race, crossing the finishing line off the Royal Yacht Squadron here at 5.59 BST on Saturday with an elapsed time of four days, 20 hours and 49 minutes.
Team Alvimedica in Newport, RI
The 1,802nm course took the fleet around some of the world’s most tactically challenging sailing waters, with many corners, headlands and obstacles to avoid, often in extreme weather conditions.
There was no shortage of sail changes and gybes as Charlie Enright and his crew battled against four of the teams they will face in the Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA, Abu Dhabi, Dongfeng and Spanish Team.
With the team having to undertake plenty of manoeuvres, the race provided the crew with valuable experience ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in Alicante, Spain on October four.
Despite finishing fourth out of the five Volvo 65s, Enright was delighted with his team’s collaboration and took plenty of positives out of a grueling race as the now completed Volvo Ocean Race crew was tested in racing conditions for the first time.
'A race track like this has a way of bringing a team together. Tough conditions and tough terrain are a good way to test character, and it became clear that we have a good group of characters,' Enright said.
'Next up for Team Alvimedica is a couple days of training in the Solent, along with a couple days with our team doctors and our health and fitness programme in Southampton. Then we go to Newcastle for our marine safety training course followed by the boat delivery to Alicante, then it's all on from there.'
Team Alvimedica is the youngest entry in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, which is the world's toughest and longest sporting event.
The crew is led by American skipper Charlie Enright, aged 29. The team’s owner, Alvimedica, is a young European-based medical devices company, which is committed to developing minimally invasive technologies.
Founded in 2007, Alvimedica is a fast growing challenger in the global field of interventional cardiology. This is the team’s first entry in the extremely challenging 38,000-mile race that starts in Alicante, Spain on October four, 2014, stopping in 11 ports around the world.