Bekking and Brunel back for Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 bid
Published on December 3rd, 2013
(December 3, 2013) – Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking will return for a record-equalling seventh bid for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, the world’s leading crewed offshore race, as skipper of a new campaign launched by Brunel on Tuesday in Amsterdam.
For both sailor and sponsor, it is a case of “unfinished business”. Bekking, 50, has competed in the event twice as skipper without winning and Team Brunel will be having their third crack at ocean sailing’s most prestigious crown on the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65.
Team Brunel is the fourth campaign to announce its participation in the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race which starts with the Alicante in-port race on October 4, 2014 before setting off for the near nine-month, 39,379-nautical mile marathon a week later.
For Bekking, this latest challenge from one of the world’s leading nautical nations is a chance to put the record straight having twice finished runner-up in an event that is part of Dutch sailing heritage having had three winners over the event’s 40 years.
He will match the achievement of Swede Roger Nilson as the only man to have competed seven times in the race, nearly 30 years after his first attempt in 1985-86.
“A Dutch-speaking team in the Volvo Ocean Race again – we owe this to our heritage and the future sailing generations to come. But above all it’s the best sailing in the world,” said a delighted Bekking who takes the helm on a Dutch boat with a real chance of adding to the country’s success story.
“Our nation is known around the world as the country of windmills, dykes, tulips, cheese, wooden clogs – and the Volvo Ocean Race. The race is just in our blood.”
Referring to his partnership with Brunel, the global project management, recruitment and consultancy company, Bekking added: “It is a great opportunity to reinforce to the world what Brunel stands for: diverse, international and dynamic. The Volvo Ocean Race is the perfect vehicle to showcase this message.”
Brunel CEO Jan Arie van Barneveld stated: “We are really happy that Brunel has again its own team and own sailing machine in the most exiting and prestigious sailing regatta in the world.”
“The formula of the race has been improved significantly: the boats are identical so it’s the teams that make the difference. It is about the quality and cooperation between the people. That is Brunel! We go for the people, the sport and the victory,” he added.
The team joins all-female campaign Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and the Chinese challenge Team Dongfeng in the 2014-15 line-up announced so far.
The Dutch have a glorious heritage in the race, starting when it was known as the Whitbread Round the World Race in the 1977-78 edition which was won by the legendary skipper Conny van Rietschoten on board Flyer. He triumphed again in 1981-82 and remains the only skipper to have won the Volvo Ocean Race twice.
Brunel made its debut in the 1997-98 race as BrunelSunergy and the company returned in 2005-06 in a race that was won by rival Dutch challenger, ABN AMRO ONE.
Three-time race veteran and Chairman of Sailing Holland, Gideon Messink, is delighted to see all the hard preparation work putting together the latest Dutch challenge paying off.
“Our goal is to enter a professional winning team in the Volvo Ocean Race. The Volvo Ocean 65 high-tech, one-design boat is a great improvement. It’s now all about sport and teamwork.
“We are very happy that we found the golden team to do this with miles and miles of experience in every aspect. We have one of the best sailors and skippers in the world in Bouwe Bekking and twice-Volvo Ocean Race participant and great team player Gerd-Jan Poortman already named in our crew.
“Brunel is an ambitious sponsor with its roots in sailing sports. Our organisation is based on expertise and experience in sailing, both business-wise and on the water. Last but certainly not least, we have the support of the Dutch people.”
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad added: “This announcement is great news all round. Brunel is a sponsor coming back to the race for the third time and feels like part of the Volvo Ocean Race family. They are here to win. They’re a fantastic sponsor.
“Bouwe is a great sailor and totally experienced skipper. He’s come close to winning many times – I’m sure he has some unfinished business with the event. This will be a real Dutch team and will create a real buzz in a country that knows the race so well. They will start training very soon – it’s all coming together.”
The campaign’s secondary sponsors will be Moduleo®, a division of the IVC Group which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of vinyl floor coverings.
Brunel International N.V. is an international service provider specialising in the flexible deployment of knowledge and capacity in the fields of Engineering, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Automotive, ICT, Finance, Legal and Insurance & Banking.
Services are provided in the form of Project Management, Secondment and Consultancy. Incorporated in 1975, Brunel has since become a global company with over 11,000 employees and an annual revenue of €1.2 billion (2012). The company is listed at Euronext Amsterdam N.V. For more information on Brunel International N.V. Visit www.brunel.net
Brunel’s sponsorship in the race
1997-98 BrunelSunergy (8th overall position)
2005-06 Brunel (7th overall position)
2014-15 Team Brunel
About Sailing Holland
Sailing Holland is the co-operation between Bouwe Bekking, Gideon Messink and Gerd-Jan Poortman to set up a professional Dutch team for participation in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Bouwe Bekking (NED) in the Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race
1985-86 Philips Innovator (2nd overall position)
1993-94 Winston (4th overall Whitbread 60 class)
1997-98 Merit Cup (2nd overall position)
2001-02 Amer Sports One (3rd overall position)
2005-06 movistar (6th overall position)
2008-09 Telefonica Blue (3rd overall position)
2014-15 Team Brunel
Gerd Jan Poortman (NED) in the Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race
2005-06 Team ABN AMRO TWO (4th overall position)
2008-09 Team Delta Lloyd (7th overall position)
History of Netherlands in the race
Cornelis (Conny) van Rietschoten was skipper and winner of both the 1977-78 and 1981-82 editions of the Whitbread onboard Flyer and Flyer II and is the only skipper to have won the race twice.
ABN AMRO ONE skippered by Mike Sanderson (NZL) was the winning team in the 2005-06 edition of the race – the third victory for the Netherlands in the history of the race.
Hans Bouscholte (1997-98 on BrunelSunergy) and Roy Heiner (1997-98 on BrunelSunergy) were the last Dutch skippers with a Dutch entry to participate in the race.
Bouwe Bekking was the last Dutch skipper in the race in 2008-09 with Telefónica Blue. The 2014-15 edition will be his 7th participation.
The last Dutch campaign in the race was Team Delta Lloyd in 2008-09.
The first Dutch sailor in the race was Tjerk M. Romke de Vries. He sailed onboard Sayula II, winner of the first edition of the race in 1973-74.
Dutch Teams in the race
1981-82 Flyer II
1985-86 Philips Innovator
1985-86 Equity & Law
1989-90 Equity & Law II 1997-98 BrunelSunergy
2005-06 Team ABN AMRO TWO
2005-06 Team ABN AMRO ONE
2008-09 Team Delta Lloyd
2014-15 Team Brunel
For more information on the Volvo Ocean Race please visit: www.volvooceanrace.com
The next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will be the 12th running of the 40-year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
The race will start on October 4, 2014, day of the first In-Port Race in Alicante, Spain, and finish with one last In-Port Race on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg, the Swedish home of Volvo.
The 39,379-nautical mile route will also include stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Newport, Rhode Island (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France).
The next two editions will be contested in a new high-performance boat, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail” for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. The boats incorporate the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09.
The all-female Team SCA were the first to announce their participation in the 2014-15 edition. Backed by SCA, the global hygiene and forest products company, they will be the first all-women’s team to compete in the race since 2001-02. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were the second team to enter the race and once again feature Britain’s twice Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker as skipper. The third team come from China – Team Dongfeng, backed by Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle and run by leading sailing promotion company OC Sport. Skippered by race veteran Bouwe Bekking, Team Brunel from the Netherlands are the fourth entry to confirm participation.
The previous Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas, in July 2012.