News

Published: Wednesday, 06 July 2016

Dutch campaign, Team AkzoNobel will be the first entry of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

Team Akzonobel Announced First Entry At Volvo Ocean Race 4

(Photos: Volve Ocean Race - Skipper Simeon Tienpont)

The team was backed by AkzoNobel – a leading global paints and coatings company headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, employing around 45,000 people worldwide, and whose portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. The boat will be led by first time Skipper Simeon Tienpont (NED), who will be racing in his third Volvo Ocean Race.

Having made his debut as a rookie onboard ABN AMRO TWO in 2005-06, he returned to the world’s toughest offshore race to join Team Vestas Wind for the final two legs of the 2014-15 edition and is delighted to be leading the Dutch campaign.

Team Akzonobel Announced First Entry At Volvo Ocean Race

(Photo credit: Den Haag Marketing / Theo Bos)

“I’m honoured and incredibly excited to be Skipper of Team AkzoNobel,” says Tienpont, 34, who has also been part of two winning America’s Cup teams - BMW Oracle Racing in the 33rd edition, and Oracle Team USA in the 34th edition, in an illustrious sailing career.

“We’re both focused on high performance and share the same passion for success,” he continues. “I can’t wait to start racing.”

“The Volvo Ocean Race offers an unparalleled storytelling and brand-building platform over a prolonged period of time,” says AkzoNobel ExCo member Conrad Keijzer. “The company can raise awareness for its capabilities; excite and captivate both new and existing audiences and customers; develop business opportunities; attract talent and create a sense of pride and excitement among employees.

Team Akzonobel Announced First Entry At Volvo Ocean Race 2

“Partnering with Tienpont to form Team AkzoNobel is a winning combination – he’s a true leader who puts safety and teamwork first and is both determined and inspirational.”

“It’s exciting that our first team announcement comes early in the cycle, is backed by a global brand, and features a first-time Skipper. Those are three great positives for the Volvo Ocean Race,” says Volvo Ocean Race CEO Mark Turner. “The route for the next edition will feature more action, more speed, more tough miles and more host venues, but a shorter race – a move that takes the race closer to its original roots and heritage, while improving its strong commercial value and excellent business case for sponsors.”

Team AkzoNobel represents a nation with not only a rich maritime heritage, but also a special connection to the Volvo Ocean Race, with Dutch teams having lifted the trophy three times, in 1977-78, 1981-82 and 2005-06.

Dutch sailing legend Conny van Rietschoten remains the only Skipper in the history of the race to have won two editions in a row, and Tienpont, who won the prestigious Conny van Rietschoten trophy - the highest honour in Dutch sailing - in 2013, is proud to be following in the ‘Flying’ Dutchman’s footsteps.

Team Akzonobel Announced First Entry At Volvo Ocean Race 3

(Photo credit: Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

“The Netherlands are very fond of this race and that’s all because of Conny van Rietschoten,” he explains. “He brought the event, then called The Whitbread, to an entirely new level. He built his boat in an excellent Dutch boatyard and recruited professional sailors from all around the world.”

The racetrack, which is seen as a return to the race’s roots, will require teams to sail over three times more distance in the Southern Ocean than in the previous edition – and the fleet, which departs Alicante, Spain in autumn 2017, will race around 45,000 nautical miles (nm) around the planet.

Visiting 11 cities across five continents, the Volvo Ocean Race represents a unique opportunity for AkzoNobel, which has a presence in over 80 countries, to showcase its products before a huge global audience.

“Add in Simeon’s impressive track record and it’s this irresistible combination of experience, tradition, expertise and human endeavour which will prove so vital once the world’s premier offshore race is underway," says Keijzer.

To celebrate the announcement of the Dutch team in The Hague, the Scheveningen pier underwent a colourful makeover, which will remain a remarkable eye-catcher until the Race finishes with a grand finale in The Hague in summer 2018.

www.volvooceanrace.com