Team AkzoNobel



Our Team

Team overview

Find out more about the dedicated and talented men and women who work tirelessly afloat and ashore on our campaign to win the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race around the world.


Sailing team

Team AkzoNobel’s international sailing line up combines experienced Volvo Ocean Race veterans with some of the world's most exciting and talented new young ocean racers. 

The sailing team is led by skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED) - a double America's Cup winner and two-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor.

Racing alongside Tienpont are: double Olympian, multiple world champion and five-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor Chris Nicholson (AUS); three-time Volvo Ocean Race competitors Justin Ferris (NZL) and Jules Salter (GBR); double America's Cup winner, two-time Olympian and twice Volvo Ocean Race competitor Peter van Niekerk (NED); single Volvo Ocean Race competitors Luke Molloy (AUS)and Nicolai Sehested (DEN); Olympic gold medalist Martine Grael (BRA); up-and-coming ocean racer Brad Farrand (NZL); round the world record holder Alex Pella (ESP); single-handed skipper Cécile Laguette (FRA); America’s Cup design team member Emily Nagel (BER).

Technical shore team

Our technical shore team is responsible for keeping our Volvo Ocean 65 racing yacht in peak condition throughout the 86,000-kilometer, eight-month race around the world. The team is jointly led by New Zealand’s Andy Walkerand Bryce Ruthenberg from Australia.

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. Heis also a reserve member of the sailing on standby to join the crew in the event of sickness or injury.

Walker and Ruthenberg’s carefully chosen team of talented technicians includes: James Dodd (GBR) – boat builder; Felix Schmidt (GER) – boat builder and composite specialist; Harley Spreadbury-Key (AUS/GBR) – rigging; Ruurd-Jouke van Wieren (NED) – electrics specialist.

Shore support team

Managing the shoreside logistical and administrative aspects of a Volvo Ocean Race campaign is no simple task and the members of our hard-working shore support team regularly work around the clock to keep the wheels turning smoothly behind the scenes.

Our team manager is Gilles Chiorri (FRA) – an experienced and successful ocean racer in his own right with countless years of involvement in a wide range of high profile international teams and events.

Job Volwater (NED) is our sailing team manager and brings a great deal of commercial and management experience gleaned from his role as managing director of a thriving a maritime design and engineering company.

Our shore support team also includes: Becci Barrie (GBR) – sailing team and logistics assistant; Mark Haak (NED) – medical coordinator; Mike Heffer (NZL) – logistics support; Yvo Janssen (NED) – head of operations; Rosco Monson (GBR) – on shore navigator and performance analyst.

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