Extreme Sailing

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Team MAPFRE pushes their Volvo Ocean 65 to the limits. 

Team MAPFRE pushes their Volvo Ocean 65 to the limits. 

While most of us were busy sending out holiday cards and shopping for gifts, teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race were dueling it out in the Southern Ocean — a fierce, wind-whipped stretch of seas that circles Antarctica. Blasting along at 25 knots or more, the thoroughbred ocean-racing yachts can be a handful to keep on track at such high speeds.

In this video from Team MAPFRE — a Spanish entry that is currently in the lead in the overall standings — crewmembers struggle to keep their Volvo Ocean 65 under control as they power reach through heavy seas. At one point, the boat takes a washing over the bow and the force of the crashing water knocks the skipper to his knees. Watch closely and you’ll notice his inflatable lifejacket deploy. This video has the full scene:

The 45,000-nautical-mile long Volvo Ocean Race kicked off from Alicante, Spain, on October 22, 2017, and teams are currently sailing from Melbourne Australia, to Hong Kong, China. The last of 11 legs should get underway on June 21, 2018, and is from Gothenburg, Sweden, to The Hague, Netherlands. You can find out more about the race at volvooceanrace.com.