by Stefano Blin
Skipper Charlie Enright believes valuable lessons have been learned after Team Alvimedica successfully completed a second Transatlantic crossing as part of their preparations for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.
The US/Turkey entry arrived in the southern England port of Southampton on Saturday (July 19), nine days after leaving Rhode Island. The exercise was a non-competitive passage alongside Volvo Ocean Race rivals Team Abu Dhabi.
'We sailed with a crew of eight; we’ve previously been sailing in a trial capacity,' said Enright, leader of the youngest team in the race backed by Turkish medical devices company Alvimedica.
'It was great to have Abu Dhabi out there pushing us. It enabled us to hone some of our skills. We are very happy how we went relative to them. Towards the end we saw some heavier air upwind conditions that we haven’t previously seen in some of our training, so it was good to get that out of the way and behind us.'
Speaking from his home in Rhode Island, Enright said that the team had bonded really well in a short space of time.
'I think this trip was incredible for the dynamic,' the 29-year-old enthused. It’s the first time with eight, and every little change has an effect in a positive direction, and we are happy to continue to build on the momentum that started on this passage.'
Enright was ably assisted by fellow Americans Mark Towill and Nick Dana, Australian Will Oxley, New Zealanders Ryan Houston and David Swete, Italy’s Alberto Bolzan and onboard reporter Amory Ross, also from the USA.
Enright will return to England with the team next month for the Round Britain and Ireland Race, which starts in Cowes on the Isle of Wight on August 10.
'The Round Britain race is the next step for the team. It’s a really big step because all the other competitors will be there,' he said. 'Having said that it’s not the big show quite yet, so we are still using it as training and trying to learn and hone our skills rather than focusing on the result. It’s a big opportunity ahead of us and one we are excited about, and we can’t wait to get back together and get into it.'
Team Alvimedica is the youngest entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015, which is the world's toughest and longest sporting event. The crew is led by American skipper Charlie Enright, age 29. The team’s owner, Alvimedica, is a young Turkey 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 4, 2014, stopping in 11 ports around the world.
Follow the Team on: www.facebook.com/TeamAlvimedica and on Volvo Ocean Race.