Some time ago I remember on this forum a discussion about the Americas'cup to be or not a nations competition instead a club competition with mercenaries from all nations racing to whom was paying more.
Let's look at that perspective at the Volvo Ocean Race teams:
We will see that the Chinese team has one Chinese, that the Arab team has two Arabs and that only three team has a majority of sailors from the country from where the Sponsor is: The French with Groupama with 9 French sailors, the Telefonica from Spain with 7 Spannish sailors and the Camper/Emirates team Newzeland, a mixed team that has 7 kiwis, only one spannish but an Australian Skipper and that disqualifies it a bit.
So we have truly a Spanish team, a French team and mercenaries
Another curiosity is that the French team, contrary to all other teams, has many sailors (I would say the best, including the skipper) without any participation on the Volvo Race. The Majority are rookies on this race. Only two guys with a lot of experience on this race, one with 3 volvo, another with three.
Also very curious is that the majority of those French has a lot more experience as solo or short crew racers than as a team racing. One of them came directly from the minis
and several have more experience in multihulls than in monohulls.
That's a curious bunch of guys, all very experienced and fast sailors, but mostly new to big monohull crew racing.
All that has not prevented them to be competitive from the start. Let's see if that is going to be like that for the rest of the race