As Volvo Ocean Race Begins, Its Future Rides on Dongfeng

Aerial view of the fleet during the In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 4 Photograph by David Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race

When the starting gun went off in Alicante, Spain, on Oct. 4, a stiff breeze was blowing. Seven 66-foot sailboats approached the start line, fighting for the best angle as the wind shifted. Stays chimed. Men scrambled. A bright sun burnt silhouettes of sails across the horizon. Rather than fight for the line, one of the boats—the Dongfeng Race Team, the only Chinese boat ever to enter the event—broke with the rest, taking an opposite, port tack and starting from behind, but at closer to full speed.

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.