Rookie crew Dongfeng Race Team became stars of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race when they overcame a broken mast in the Southern Ocean to finish third overall.
Under the helm of super-talented Frenchman Charles Caudrelier the team far exceeded expectations, and proved many in the sailing world wrong as they consistently outperformed many of their rivals on the water in 2014-15.
Two years after that incredible finish, Dongfeng Race Team are back for another shot at the Volvo Ocean Race trophy, only this time they start the race as one of the favourites for victory.
They will certainly be looking to replicate their emphatic leg win into their home port of Sanya last time round when they arrive in Guangzhou this time around – in fact, China's 1.4 billion population will be expecting it.
Caudrelier has handpicked an expert crew that once again includes Chinese sailing stars Horace (Chen Jin Hao), Black (Xue Lui) and Wolf (Jiru Yang), as well as French offshore maestros Pascal Bidegorry and Kevin Escoffier.
New faces in the team include Volvo Ocean Race legend Stu Bannatyne, returning for his eighth lap of the planet; Kiwi race winner Daryl Wislang, stepping back onboard after getting his handds on the trophy as part of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in 2014-15; Vendée Globe star Jeremie Beyou, fresh from a podium-scoring solo circumnavigation; Dutch ace Carolijn Brouwer, one of the most feared and respected helmsmen in this year's race; and Olympic dinghy sailor Marie Riou.
Dongfeng Race Team wasted no time before getting back to winning ways, stealing victory from rival team MAPFRE in the Fastnet Race and securing second place overall in the Leg Zero qualification series.
A last-minute change of plans then saw them swap Portuguese capital Lisbon for Sanxenxo on Spain's northern coast, home to Spanish team MAPFRE, another of the race favourites.
There, the crews spent several weeks together two-boat testing in a bid to be as prepared as possible come the start of the Volvo Ocean Race.
“I think we have good speed and a good spirit on board,” a notoriously modest Caudrelier said following Leg Zero. “I am pretty sure we can do very well.”
With Caudrelier, Bannatyne and bowman Daryl Wislang all boasting previous Volvo Ocean Race wins, we're certain the skipper's predictions will come true.