Volvo Ocean Race: Courts settle AkzoNobel nightmare

Published on October 22nd, 2017

Simeon Tienpont

Alicante, Spain (October 22, 2017) – team AkzoNobel, which has been mired in a public battle with skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED) for over a week, announced today that Tienpont will return to the team for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

It was on October 13, on the eve of the first In-Port Race, the team revealed Tienpont was no longer the skipper after an alleged breach of contract. What followed was a series of statements from both sides, with the Dutch Arbitration Institute settling the dispute with its decision to find fault with the team’s actions. This paved the way for Tienpont’s reinstatement.

However, the drama does not end there.

When Tienpont was removed, three-time Volvo Ocean Race winner Brad Jackson (NZL) was elevated from his position as watch captain to skipper, and American Rome Kirby was hired to fill the missing crew slot. But now with Tienpont’s return, Jackson, navigator Jules Salter (GBR), and Joca Signorini (BRA) have decided not to sail the first leg and are considering their future plans. Kirby has also decided not to sail.

The first leg starts today, a 1450 nautical miles course from Alicante to Lisbon Portugal, via Porto Santo, a small island to the northwest of Madeira, 490 nm from Lisbon, well off the Morocco coast.

“This has obviously been an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved since we arrived here in Alicante just 10 days ago,” said Tienpont. “I have now reached an agreement with AkzoNobel and all parties now want to put this behind us and focus on our campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

“I would like to thank Brad Jackson for stepping up at such a challenging time to keep team AkzoNobel moving forward with our preparations for the race. Thanks also go to Joca Signorini and Jules Salter for their contributions to the campaign so far and also to Rome Kirby. We are grateful to Sun Hung Kai Scallywag team owner Seng Huang Lee and skipper David Witt for loaning us Antonio Fontes for this first leg.

“Personally, I am relieved to be back with my team and excited to be getting our Volvo Ocean Race campaign underway.”

Team AkzoNobel’s crew list for Leg 1 is:
Simeon Tienpont (NED) – skipper, watch captain
Brad Farrand (NZL)
Antonio Fontes (POR)
Martine Grael (BRA)
Luke Molloy (AUS)
Ross Monson (GBR) – navigator
Emily Nagel (GBR/BER)
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) – watch captain

Race detailsTrackerScoreboardRace routeFacebookYouTube

The first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will start on October 22 and extend 1450 nm from Alicante, Spain to Lisbon, Portugal via Porto Santo.

2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
Team AkzoNobel (NED), Brad Jackson (NZL)
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: AkzoNobel, Scuttlebutt

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