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Beat it, Optimus

Gadgets that are two things at once

adrenalinE Junkie VOLVO OCEAN REACE Nine month, round the world yacht showdown.

Is that an octopus on your boat? Or are you just happy to ‘sea’ us

Where? Starts in Alicante and will conclude in Galway, Ireland with stopovers in Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Cape Horn, Itajai, Miami, Lisbon and Lorient When? In Abu Dhabi, January More info

Smooth sailing Hours into the first leg of the race to South Africa, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s boat tumbled over a wave and snapped its mast. Later that night, Team Sanya’s craft hit debris that tore a hole in its hull. Then the mast of the Mar Mostro, Puma’s 70-foot carbon sailboat, came crashing down without warning 2,150 nautical miles outside of Cape Town. The Puma team were left with just four days of food, and had to borrow fuel from a passing Greek freighter, contact the Brazilian Navy and navigate to a tiny African island before rescue. Speed racer In any race, being quick is key. But up till now, teams have had to measure speed via paddle wheel, an underwater device that gives you woefully inaccurate readings. That’s why Puma and ocean lab Nortek developed the DVL, a sleek, circular device that sits in the 20 /

[ Words Thomas Shambler Picture ]

Ship shape The Volvo Ocean Race is a grueling trek around the globe between six of the most technologically advanced yachts in the world. But it’s no holiday cruise; teams put up with some of the coldest, windiest and wettest environments on earth, sometimes racing for more than 20 days at a time in hopes of making the top spot at each of the race’s nine legs. There are 11 crew on board each yacht, who must deal with temperatures ranging from a blistering -5C to a facemelting 40C - all with just one change of clothes. Each man must trust their lives to the boat and its skipper, all the while dealing with pangs of hunger and the dangers of sleep deprivation.

OCEAN RACE ESSENTIALLS boat’s keel, meters under the water. It fires four beams of light, one in each direction, that bounce of matter in the water (plankton, sharks, old boots etc). The DVL measures the positional change of its beams through the water to calculate precisely how fast the yacht is going. It’s currently the not-so-secret weapon in the Mar Mostro’s arsenal. Swim it to win it The world’s toughest and longest ocean race is guaranteed to attract a few sailing nuts, and this year’s crew members include Olympic gold medalists, previous world champions and America’s cup winners. There are sailors from 15 nations, including New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and the UAE.

Puma Ocean Race Backpack US$75 | If you’re going to be sailing the seas, you’ll be needing a pack to keep your essentials high and dry. Puma’s does nicely, with water-resistant material to keep your gear dry and enough room to pack a few extra socks.

Contour GPS HD headcam US$475 | Footage of you spewing over the side might have limited appeal, but with enough practice you could get some great nautical shots with this headcam. The best bit? It’s totally hands free.

Icebreaker Oasis Crew Heli US$150 | It’s hard to get excited about male underwear, but this set might just stop you freezing your nipples off in the colder climes. It’s also breathable, handy for hotter climates like Abu Dhabi.

Adrenaline Junkie - Volvo Ocean Race  
Adrenaline Junkie - Volvo Ocean Race  

Nine month, round the world yacht showdown.