Team AkzoNobel’s New Zealand sailors are launching a bid to win the Volvo Ocean Race, following their boat’s christening ceremony in The Hague last night (NZT).
Volvo Ocean Race veteran Brad Jackson and first-time participant Brad Farrand are part of the Netherland-based team AkzoNobel’s historic entry into the gruelling round-the-world yacht race.
This race marks Jackson’s seventh race, nearly 25 years since his winning entry as part of the historic Grant Dalton-led New Zealand Endeavour team in the 1993-94 edition.
“It’s a very special moment to have our new boat christened to set our sights firmly on our goal to win the Volvo Ocean Race, which is one of the toughest tests of a team in professional sport,” said Jackson.
An unashamed addict of the round-the-world yacht race, Jackson has competed six times, won three of them and finished second twice.
Team AkzoNobel’s New Zealand bowman and trimmer, Farrand, said he’s excited to be part of Dutch team’s campaign.
“I’ve progressed through my sailing career idolising Volvo Ocean Race legend Sir Peter Blake, so to get a chance to take part in this amazing event is a huge honour and responsibility,” said Farrand.
The one-design Volvo Ocean 65 fleet will arrive in Auckland in March 2018.
The AkzoNobel team, who have their team base in The Hague, will take the newly-christened yacht on a trans-Atlantic training run to New York. This will quickly be followed by a return crossing to the English south coast to take part in the 605-mile Rolex Fastnet Race – a qualifying event mandated by the Volvo Ocean Race rules.
The Volvo Ocean Race starts on October 22 in Alicante, Spain, and will visit 11 cities, including Auckland, before finishing in The Hague in June 2018. Six teams have so far been confirmed for the race, with another two boats available.