Volvo Ocean Race crews have been nabbed by the spirit of Christmas and the merry sailors have been prompted to break into an original rendition of the classic carol ‘Jingle Bells’. White water has replaced snow and there is a boat instead of a sleigh, but at least some crews’ wet-weather gear is festively coloured red.
Camper helmsman/trimmer Tony Rae opens up the compilation, and is soon joined by the unforgettable company of vocalists including Abu Dhabi’s Wade Morgan, Puma’s Ken Read and Groupama’s Damian Foxall. The sailors had fun singing in at the helm, in their bunks, while trimming sails and even when preparing food in the galley.
Singing carols is one of the few Christmas traditions teams can uphold. Come Christmas day it will be business as usual with no presents to be unwrapped, no roast turkey to eat or champagne to sip.
The toughest part of spending Christmas on the high seas is the absence of family and loved ones. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker said it was especially difficult being away from his daughters, Emilia and Zoe.
'It is sad to think of missing a precious Christmas with our kids – you only get so many with your kids and we will have one fewer now,’’ he said.