Team AkzoNobel

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Team AkzoNobel

Find out more about our crew of international sailors and their quest to win the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

The crew is led by skipper and watch captain Simeon Tienpont - a double America's Cup winner and two-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor.

Racing alongside Tienpont are double Olympian and five-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor Chris Nicholson (AUS), Olympic gold medalist sail trimmer Martine Grael (BRA), double America's Cup winner and two-time Olympian Peter van Niekerk (NED), Australian helmsman and sail trimmer Luke Molloy, Danish match racer Nicolai Sehested (boat captain, helmsman and sail trimmer), young up-and-coming New Zealand sailor Brad Farrand (bowman and sail trimmer) and 23-year-old Bermudian Emily Nagel (sail trimmer).

Australia’s Luke Molloy and Denmark’s Nicolai Sehested have taken part in one Volvo Ocean Race apiece. 

Molloy (37) is one of yachting’s most widely respected all-rounders and constantly in demand on the international racing scene. His last Volvo Ocean Race was in 2005-06 aboard ABN AMRO 2. 

Sehested (27) is best known as a skipper on the World Match Racing Tour. He raced his first Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15 on Team Vestas Wind.

New Zealander Brad Farrand and Brazilian Martine Grael are both first-time Volvo Ocean Race campaigners. 

Farrand (29), whose professional campaign experience stems mainly from the fast-paced multihull world of the Extreme Sailing Series and the World Match Racing Tour, is a seemingly bottomless pit of energy and enthusiasm – an attribute that will serve him well in the physically demanding role as the team’s bowman. 

Although taking on her first Volvo Ocean Race Grael is no stranger to the tortuous 83,000-kilometer (45,000-nautical mile) competition. Her father, Torben Grael – as well as being Brazil’s most successful Olympic sailor, with five medals – has competed in the race three times, and won the 2008-09 edition as skipper of Ericsson 4. 

At 23, Emily Nagel – a qualified naval architect – is the youngest female sailor in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. AT university in Southampton, England she was ladies team racing captain for two years and in 2015 led the otherwise all-male British University Sailing Association (BUSA) team on a victorious tour of the United States. She worked in the design department at the SoftBank Team Japan syndicate during the 35th America’s Cup.

The Shore Team

The shore team is led by New Zealand’s Andy Walker (40), and Bryce Ruthenberg (37) from Australia, who is also a reserve sailor on standby to join the crew in the event of sickness or injury to the core sailing team.

Walker was a member of the ABN AMRO and Ericsson Racing shore teams during the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race and the victorious BMW Oracle Racing team at the 2010 America's Cup. 

Ruthenberg has been part of two America’s Cup victories – with BMW Oracle Racing (2010) and Oracle Team USA (2013) – and taken part in nine editions of the classic Sydney to Hobart race.


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