Vestas 11th Hour Racing Reveal Crew
Published on July 14th, 2017
(July 14, 2017) – The Vestas 11th Hour Racing have unveiled their crew for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, bringing together a mixed, ten-strong team featuring six nationalities and six previous Race wins.
Led by Skipper Charlie Enright (USA) and Team Director Mark Towill (USA), the line-up features a wealth of experience, including Simon Fisher (GBR), who returns for his fifth Volvo Ocean Race appearance after lifting the trophy as the winning navigator with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing last time out.
He is joined by two-time winner Phil Harmer (AUS), who is hunting a Volvo Ocean Race hat-trick following successive victories in the last two editions, five-time sailor Damian Foxall (IRL), who scored a win in 2008-09 onboard Ericsson 4, and Race veteran Tony Mutter (NZL), who returns for a sixth lap of the planet, having gotten his hands on the trophy twice in the past.
“It’s amazing to be back in the Volvo Ocean Race with some old acquaintances as well as inspiring new talent,” revealed Fisher. “This time we’re focusing on performance, as well as a sponsorship with an important message, backed by two partners, Vestas and 11th Hour Racing, fully committed to making a positive change.
“It’s a privilege to be given the chance and the platform to share the message of sustainability and ocean health. I’ve dodged everything from telegraph poles to old fridge-freezers while at sea. We’ve got to act now, and as a group, this is what we aspire this campaign to be about”.
Tom Johnson (AUS), fresh from the America’s Cup as part of Team ORACLE USA, steps back onto a Volvo Ocean 65 after racing last edition onboard Team Vestas Wind – and Nick Dana (USA), who competed alongside Enright and Towill, returns to the Race for a second consecutive outing as a sailor.
For others, this will be their first round-the-world race. Denmark’s Olympic medallist Jena Mai Hansen joins Britain’s Hannah Diamond as one of two female sailors on board following successful trials during recent transatlantic trips from Lisbon, Portugal to Newport, USA.
“It was actually my first-ever full night at sea – an intimidating but amazing experience,” explained Hansen. “Helming a Volvo Ocean 65 boat in the middle of the Atlantic in pitch dark, in 40 knots, is without a doubt one of the craziest things I’ve ever done. I’m hungry for more and excited to be part of a skilled, international team. Bring it on!”
Between them, the crew have competed in the Volvo Ocean Race over 20 times – and skipper Charlie Enright says that he’s delighted with the preparations with just a few months remaining until the start line.
“We’ve taken our time to get this right, and we couldn’t ask for a better group of sailors,” he explained. “There are 100 days left until the race kicks off, with some important team time along the way. I’m definitely satisfied that we’re in a good place and setting the team up with a solid chance of taking the crown.”
The team are currently preparing to travel to Gosport, UK, for pre-race activation and Leg Zero commitments, lining up against the other teams for the first time in the Round-the-Island race during Cowes week, followed by the Rolex Fastnet Race, and finishing up in Lisbon after sailing via St. Malo in mid-August.
Full Vestas 11th Hour Racing crew line up:
• Nick Dana; USA; Boat Captain
• Hannah Diamond; UK; Crew
• Charlie Enright; USA; Skipper
• Simon Fisher; UK; Navigator
• Jena Mai Hansen; DK; Crew
• Phil Harmer; AUS; Crew
• Tom Johnson; AUS; Crew
• Damian Foxall; IRE; Crew
• Tony Mutter; NZL; Crew
• Mark Towill; USA; Team Director
2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
• Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
• Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
• MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
• Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
• Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
• Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
• Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague. A maximum of eight teams will compete.
Source: Volvo Ocean Race