Who are the skippers in the Volvo Ocean Race?

Published on September 30th, 2014

For the first time, the Volvo Ocean Race is to be contested in a strict, one-design class. The emphasis is shifted from who has the best boat to suit the conditions to who has the best men – or women – onboard. The race will be decided on who can push themselves the hardest, for the longest and who makes the best decisions.

The skipper’s responsibilities are huge: trying to win the race while getting their crew safely across 38,739 nautical miles of some of the toughest, windiest, coldest conditions Mother Nature can throw at them. Who are they? Here’s a quote from each skipper…

Team Abu Dhabi: Skipper – Ian Walker
“It’s definitely going to be the tightest race in history. Success will be about not having any bad legs. You have got to have a strong team, you have got to sail fast, keep the boat in one piece, be smart and sail the right way.” – Ian Walker

Team Alvimedica: Skipper – Charlie Enright
“In 2006, (Mark Towill and I) were part of the Morning Light project with Roy Disney. We met during the trials for that – we both considered that project to be the beginning of our dream, which is the Volvo Ocean Race.” – Charlie Enright

Team Mapfre: Skipper – Iker Martinez
“I am very happy to be skipper of this project again, flying the flag of our country.” – Iker Martinez

Team Brunel: Skipper – Bouwe Bekking
“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. 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.” – Bouwe Bekking

Team Dongfeng: Skipper – Charles Caudrelier
“I’ve seen it on my skipper and friend Franck Cammas in the last race: being a skipper is a huge responsibility and it’s demanding from a human point of view. But I’ve learned from my past experiences and I want to take these skills further. Becoming a Volvo Ocean Race skipper is a key step for me as a sailor and as a man.” – Charles Caudrelier

Team Vestas: Skipper – Chris Nicholson

“Some guys said they would never do it again. Silly me – I said I was sold on it right there and then.” – Chris Nicholson

Team SCA: Skipper – Sam Davies
“This is a great opportunity for women’s sailing. With the top-level coaching structure and technical team that is in place, this will help to fast-track our steep learning curve. I really believe we have the opportunity to achieve some amazing results in the next race.” – Sam Davies

Click here for complete report compiled by Boating NZ.

Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race starts October 4 and will take the 7-boat fleet to 11 cities in 11 countries – Spain, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, United States, Portugal, France, The Netherlands, and Sweden – and will require the teams to cover 38,739 nautical miles over nearly nine months. It will be the first edition using the new one design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boats. Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html

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