Anderson Reggio, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Volvo Ocean Race, Sailing

Get to know Anderson Reggio

Pictured above, Anderson on the winch during a pro-am in The Hague. Photo credit: Vestas 11th Hour Racing

Anderson’s career in the professional sailing world is quite broad. From race management, performance analytics, weather forecasting, and onboard navigation, Anderson’s passion for the sport is boundless. He just finished the 2017 – 2018 Volvo Ocean Race as shoreside navigational support for Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

We sat down with Anderson to reflect on the epic year of travel he just experienced and see what changes he noticed from the 2014- 2015 campaign.

Explain your role on the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team in 280 characters or less, what you do for the team?

I worked for Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the role of shoreside navigational support, managing performance analytics for the team as well as working closely with our meteorologist, the renowned Chris Bedford on leg preparation. I was side by side with SiFi (Simon Fisher), Navigator and Charlie Enright, Skipper for the strategic planning for each leg, using our analytic tools to define how we would approach sail selection and routing decisions. It was an intense job, constantly analyzing our performance and that of our competitors to try to draw the best out of our team each and every day.

Anderson Reggio, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Volvo Ocean Race, Sailing
Anderson leads the team in a discussion planning for the next leg. Photo credit: Jeremie Lecaudey/ Volvo Ocean Race

So you spend a lot of time thinking about weather, a lot of sailors are saying this is the windiest race they remember, does the data back them up?

For certain this was a windy race with multiple legs averaging wind speeds in excess of 25kts. That may be perceived by many to be just a solid, punchy wind on a weeknight race, but just think for a moment what must happen for that average to be sustained for days upon days!

You worked with both Alvimedica and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, what was the biggest sustainability change you noticed?

For sure the race with Alvimedica opened our eyes to many of the issues facing our oceans today. For this latest campaign, we all took an active approach to do something about it and lead by example. No plastic water bottles, waste minimization, carbon footprint tracking – every decision we made throughout this campaign was approached from the perspective of doing so in the most sustainable manner possible.

And from the Volvo Ocean Race side, how were the race villages different?

This edition of the race saw the organizers with VOR being much more conscious of their environmental impact. As a result, they held the race villages to a higher standard than I had ever seen at a sailing event. Race villages were engaged in beach cleanups, proper waste management, and a multitude of sustainability-focused endeavors.

Fast forward to 2021: you’re back with the team, what is one thing you would change from a sustainability standpoint?

I don’t know that I’d change much aside from utilizing the data obtained through this current team as a benchmark for the next edition in terms of waste management and carbon footprint. Now that a baseline has been set, all teams should be encouraged to track their progress and beat Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s sustainability metrics.

You got to travel to a lot of places in the past year, what’s the biggest ocean health problem you witnessed?

The biggest problem remains the waste that enters our oceans. For certain the efforts by many around the globe to combat this issue have increased tremendously over the last few years as evidenced by the focus placed on it through the race, but still, we see too much being discarded in a manner that is inappropriate. More people need to be aware of the trickle-down effect of their actions.

How does your role as 11th Hour Racing ambassador fit in with your professional career, and how does it impact your personal life?

As an ambassador, I strive with all of the teams that I work with to instill in them the idea that changing a mindset is not necessarily a bad thing; that new ways of doing things in a sustainable manner is better for our planet in the long term. In my personal life, my family works hard to minimize our waste, recycling everything that we can, and searching for new ways to keep improving our lifestyle. Small incremental changes to the way we operate as a husband and wife have begun to trickle to other friends and family and we’re seeing positive change all around us.

What’s up next for you?

Now that the VOR is complete, I have returned to my work in professional yachting. I sail as the navigator onboard a few different boats and continue to manage data analytics for a variety of professional teams. My schedule is full with lots of interesting and challenging projects.