Team AkzoNobel, the professional ocean racing team representing the Netherlands in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, has revealed its sailing team for the 83,000 kilometer (45,000 mile) around-the-world race.
The nine-strong crew of sailing pros has been hand-picked by the team’s skipper, renowned Dutch yachtsman Simeon Tienpont – a two-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor and double America’s Cup winner.
Tienpont’s international line-up features top-tier sailors from seven nations, including four past Volvo Ocean Race winners: Brad Jackson from New Zealand, Roberto Bermudez de Castro from Spain, Joca Signorini from Brazil and Jules Salter from Great Britain.
Also selected are Dutch Olympic silver medalist Annemieke Bes, Australian Luke Molloy, Danish match racing skipper Nicolai Sehested, and up and coming young New Zealand sailor Brad Farrand.
“The crew I have chosen blends maturity and experience with youth and vigour,” explained Tienpont. “We have an incredible depth of experience in this team, with 24 Volvo Ocean Races and five Olympic campaigns between us. In addition, we have the instinctive high performance skills of our two under-30 sailors, Brad Farrand and Nicolai Sehested, to call on.”
Kiwi sailor Brad Jackson (49) is taking on his seventh Volvo Ocean Race as a competitor. He has won the round-the-world race three times (firstly as the Whitbread Race in 1993-94 and twice as the Volvo Ocean Race in 2005-06 and 2008-09) and has never finished lower than fourth. In the last edition in 2014-15, Jackson managed and coached the Swedish all-women entry, Team SCA.
Roberto Bermudez de Castro (47) is one of Spain’s most prolific and popular ocean racers. He represented Spain in the Star class at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and has six previous Volvo Ocean Races to his name, including a spectacular victory in the 2014-15 edition with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
Brazilian sailor Joca Signorini (39) is also well-known in his home country for his yacht racing exploits. He is a multiple South American champion and raced for Brazil at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the one-man Finn class. He has sailed the Volvo Ocean Race three times and won it once, in 2008-09 with Ericsson Racing. In the 2014-15 edition, he worked with Jackson as crew coach at Team SCA.
British sailor Jules Salter (48) is internationally lauded as a top-flight racing navigator. He has competed three times in the Volvo Ocean Race and, alongside Jackson and Signorini, was part of the victorious 2008-09 Ericsson Racing crew.