To mark the occasion, some incredible drone footage of the refitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
As the remaining boats continue to undergo the €1-million refit process, Charles Caudrelier is the first skipper out on the water with his upgraded Volvo Ocean Race challenger.
The French skipper has yet to announce his sailing squad for the next edition of the race, but the team have said it will once again feature a mixed Chinese and western crew — and will also take advantage of new rules designed to encourage female sailors to take part.
Caudrelier has been working hard for months on this new campaign that he hopes will build on the team’s impressive third place on debut in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15.
Dongfeng Race Team are backed by Dongfeng Motor Corporation, one of the largest automobile manufacturers in China.