It was Dennis Conner who famously successfully introduced the ethos ‘no excuse to lose’ to the America’s Cup. From the start of their second Volvo Ocean Race campaign manager Bruno Dubois adopted the same mantra for the Franco-Chinese Dongfeng team. It all worked out in the end… although perhaps it was a bit tighter than skipper Charles Caudrelier’s squad may ideally have wished
Seahorse: You were already team manager of Dongfeng in the last race. What were the main changes this time?
Bruno Dubois: Last time we were running out of people after New Zealand. The boat and crew were tired. So this time we decided to have a bigger support team, about the same for the shore team, but we added a coach, nutritionist, mind coach and, probably most important, we secured Marcel Van Triest to manage the navigation and meteo as well as all the performance data. We ended up with six or seven more people at each stopover than last time. Also, we continue to develop the boat and the polars throughout the cycle – last time we just started the race and we played with what we had til the end. We were fast to begin with and then the others caught up at the same time as we were losing momentum because we were all so tired… This time we had a bigger operation all round.
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