In the spirit of continued innovation the Portugal Ocean Race introduces a new concept in global racing - Syndicate Teams. For any leg of the Portugal Ocean Race competitors can choose to sail with any number of crew on board, up to a maximum of four. Furthermore those crewmembers can be chosen from a pool of up to six people. Here is the thinking behind syndicate teams:
1./ As part of each competitors overall strategy they can decide how many crewmembers to have on board for each leg of the race. They may decide to have their top sailor “go light” and sprint the first leg as a singlehander. With only one person on board there will not be the additional weight of other crewmembers and their associated gear, food, water, etc. On the other hand, for a tough Southern Ocean leg they may decide that four people can push the boat harder. It’s up to each team to decide what makes sense for them.
2./ To add to the intrigue, Syndicate Teams will not have to divulge how many people they are taking until 24-hours before the start of each leg, and once they have announced, they are not allowed to change the number of people on board.
3./ Drawing from a pool of six people will allow Syndicate Teams to spread the costs and “time away from work” over a larger group of people. This should not discourage solo competitors from entering. You are not required to have six people in the team; just allowed to have six should you choose to do so.
4./ Prior to the start of the Portugal Ocean Race, Race Organizers may, at their discretion, require each team to sail through different gates depending upon the number of people on board. This will be a means of leveling the field if there is a feeling that one particular number on board has an advantage. The waypoints for each leg will be part of the Sailing Instructions issued well in advance of the start of each leg.