HomeSAILINGThe Ocean Race VO65 – Who We Are

The Ocean Race VO65 – Who We Are

Having completed two laps of the planet in previous races the VO65s are a familiar sight, but this time around there are plenty of new faces among the teams along with some old hands too.

Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team (POR)
Winner of The Ocean Race Europe, the Portuguese team is skippered by Antonio Fontes, a veteran of The Ocean Race 2017-18 sailing aboard Scallywag. His wife Mariana Lobato is also among a crew that includes triple Olympian Diogo Cayolla, Olympic 470 bronze medallist, Hugo Rocha, Argentinian windsurfing Olympian Francisco Cruz.

Ambersail 2 (LTU)
The Ambersail 2 crew is based around a core group of Lithuanian sailors with the collective goal of promoting their country on the international sporting stage.
The team is headed by Lithuanian London 2012 Olympian skipper Rokas Milevičius – who, when he raced aboard Team Brunel in 2014-15, became the first Lithuanian sailor to take part in The Ocean Race.

The core crew of the Netherlands entry Team JAJO is made up of five Dutch under-30 sailors skippered by Jelmer van Beek who is 27. Alongside him, acting as watch captain is legendary Dutch around-the-world racer Bouwe Bekking – a veteran of eight editions of The Ocean Race.
The team is managed by Sailing Holland and represents two of the oldest yacht clubs in the Netherlands: the Royal Maas Yacht Club and the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club.

Windwhisper Racing Team (POL)
Skippered by experienced Spanish ocean racer Pablo Arrarte – a veteran of four editions of The Ocean Race: 2008-09 with Telefónica Blue (ESP); 2011-12 with Telefónica (ESP); 2014-15 with Team Brunel (NED); and with MAPFRE in 2017-18.
The squad is made up predominantly of exciting young Polish sailing talent – like Tokyo 2020 Laser Radial Olympian Magdalena Kwaśna (24) – backed up by the experience of veteran around-the-world racers including Neal McDonald who has competed in seven Ocean Races.

Viva México (MEX)
Led by Mexican yachtsman Erik Brockmann – a past J70 Class world championship winner who as well as skippering Mexican teams in the Extreme Sailing Series has also racked up thousands of miles of offshore racing, including six editions of the prestigious Transpac Race.
Viva México took part in The Ocean Race Europe, flying the flag for Mexico and with an ambition to represent the country that had won the first race 50 years ago with Ramón Carlin’s Sayula II.
Among the crew that includes four time Olympian and former top ranked Laser
sailor Tania Elías Calles from Mexico, race veteran Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermúdez de Castro from Spain will be sailing with his son Carlos Bermúdez de Castro.

Austrian Ocean Racing Powered by Team Genova (AUT/ITA)
The most recent team to be announced, the Austrian campaign to compete in The Ocean Race was founded by Konstantin (26, AUT) and Oliver Kobale (23, AUT) along with skipper Gerwin Jansen.
Together, they purchased a VO65 and set out to train, competing in numerous regattas and covering over 50,000 nautical miles over the past three years. In search of a home port, they were welcomed in Genova in 2021, where they formed a strong partnership with the city which has been basis of the partnership behind the team’s entry in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint.

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