Olympic hero joins Volvo Ocean Race
Published on July 25th, 2017
As reported in Brazilian sailing news, Notícias Náuticas, Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist Martine Grael was confirmed this week as a member of Team AkzoNobel (NED) which will compete in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
The Niterói sailor will join skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED), following in the footsteps of her father Torben Grael, a 5-time Olympic medalist who won the offshore contest as skipper in 2008-09 after finishing third in 2005-06.
Martine offered her country a stunning highlight at the Rio Olympics by capturing gold with teammate Kahena Kunze in the 49erFX class, delivering Brazil’s only sailing medal. Notícias Náuticas reports that Martine’s appointment will not end her pursuit toward Tokyo 2020 Olympics as she will continue to prepare with Kunze in parallel.
Also committed to the team is Brazilian Joca Signorini, assigned as Watch Captain and Boat Performance. Joca was a teammate of Torben’s in his two races on Brazil 1 and Ericsson 4.
With seven teams committed, the Volvo Ocean Race hopes to reach its maximum of eight, but given how the start is in October and the first qualifying race is just a month away, the clock is ticking loudly. Yet, there are still rumors circulating for a New Zealand entry.
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.