Team AkzoNobel, led by Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont, will compete in a brand new boat in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, The new Volvo Ocean 65 is under construction at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy, and is due for completion in May.
AkzoNobel's new boat will undergo rigorous testing to ensure it adheres to the strict one-design criteria. It is identical to the current one-design fleet of seven Volvo Ocean 65s which competed in the 2014-15 edition, currently undergoing refits at the Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal.
“Team AkzoNobel is a brand-new team being built from the ground up – so a brand-new boat feels right. Every new boat is exciting, but this one is something special. Our goal is to be the best prepared team on the start line in Alicante, so, our first choice was always to have a new boat built. Tienpont a double-America’s Cup winner who has twice raced the Volvo Ocean Race before, onboard ABN Amro Two in 2005-06 and Team Vestas Wind in 2014-15. Just like some people bond with the horse that they ride or their pet dog, I relate emotionally to the boat that I race.” said Simeon Tienpont.
Nick Bice, Chief Technical Development Officer at the Volvo Ocean Race, has overseen the refit process of the existing Volvo Ocean 65s, and is excited to see a new boat join the fleet, saying,
“Team AkzoNobel signed up early in the cycle, so they had time to build a new boat. The new boat will be identical to the existing fleet in every regard. All of the Volvo Ocean 65s were built to race in at least two editions, and the seven that finished the 2014-15 edition are in fantastic condition. And there is no reason why an existing boat, sailed properly, cannot win the next Volvo Ocean Race.”
Tienpont added, “We have a christening ceremony planned in the Netherlands for the summer. Bringing our boat home for the first time will be an exciting moment and an opportunity for our Dutch supporters to see it. The Volvo Ocean Race is hugely popular in the Netherlands. As a Dutchman, I’m immensely proud to be skippering a Dutch Volvo Ocean Race campaign.”
The Volvo Ocean Race starts from Alicante on 22 October 2017 and finishes in The Hague in the summer of 2018. The teams will complete a course of around 45,000 nautical miles, visiting a total of 12 Host Cities around the world.
*Images courtesy of AkzoNobel. Thumbnail Giovanni Malgarini/Team Akzonobel