Knut Frostad’s Davidson-designed Djuice Dragons are preparing to leave their Miami base and set out on their qualification passages

This year’s Volvo Ocean Race startline is certainly going to be a colourful one. Team SEB’s bile-green livery (hull and sails) will certainly stand out and two other such boats, djuice I and II of Knut Frostad’s challenge, will also catch the eye. Both boats are preparing to leave their Miami base after several very successful months training: “We had perfect conditions for the first part of testing and development,” said Frostad, “and the boats are now performing very well.”

Their Laurie Davidson-designed boats – both identical – are preparing to leave their Miami base tomorrow bound for Annapolis/Baltimore on the first leg of their qualification passage. Frostad expects to arrive in Annapolis on 18 May and will spend two days re-victualling and effecting any repairs before setting off for La Rochelle.

After La Rochelle, Djuice Dragons I and II will head for Gothenburg and Sandefjord before heading to Southampton for assembly week. The route takes in two of the legs of the VOR race course and the 25 crew making the trip will appreciate this vital rehearsal, as weather router Wouter Verbraak explains:

“It’s going to be challenging for the last part (of the leg) in Chesapeake Bay because it is a difficult place,” said Verbraak. “If there are sea breezes and local effects together with shallow waters and strong currents, it will be perfect test conditions for the boat, the gear and the team.”

djuice 1 will be skippered by Frostad and carry the VOR race crew of:
Knut Frostad (NOR)Jean-Yves Bernot (FRA)Ed Baird (USA)Stig Westergaard (DEN)Jonas Wackenhuth (SWE)Mikael Lundh (SWE)Christen Horn Johannessen (NOR)Billy Merrington (AUS)Espen Guttormsen (NOR)Spike Doriean (AUS)Jacques Vincent (FRA)Wouter Verbraak (NED)Sailing on djuice II will be a selection of hot shots including Erle Williams (NZL), Vincent Geake (GBR) and Justin Clougher (AUS) – all Whitbread veterans with Swedish Match (’97-’98), Rothmans (’89-90) / Silk Cut (’97-’98), and EF Language (’97-’98) respectively – with Johnny Mordaunt (IRL) and Mark Mendelblatt (USA) adding some helming finesse.