At least 170 seek Team Brunel crew spot
AMSTERDAM _ Team Brunel, the Dutch entry in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, has already received 170 applications from sailors who believe they have the skill and experience to complete the most prestigious round-the-world race. “But more are still trickling in,” says Brunel spokeswoman Annella Boon. You think you qualify to be one of Team Brunel’s 9 crew members? Applications close mid-January.
Boon rates 170 applicants as a healthy crop from which Team Brunel Skipper Bouwe Bekking can select his team. “The first day we received only 19 or 20 applications. We thought that was a tad thin! But soon the pace quickened fast.”
For Bekking, 50, the next VOR is his 7th. His first appearance was in the was in 1985-86 race. Having twice finished runner-up and skippered 2 campaigns, Bekking is more eager than ever to win with a Dutch team. The next VOR is Brunel’s 3rd. The 40,000-nm race starts in Alicante, Spain, Oct. 4 and ends _ 9 legs and 4 oceans later, on June 27, 2015 _ in Gothenburg, Sweden.
“Are you a sailor who would like to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race on Team Brunel?,” reads a Brunel website come-on. “To qualify, you must have experience with offshore sailing at the highest level.” Candidates must have experience in any or all of these events: the Rolex Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race, the Rolex Fastnet Race, a major trans-Atlantic race, Olympic campaigns or previous Volvo Ocean Races. Brunel promises applicants a response within 2 weeks.
The next VOR will be a race of equals, in terms of hardware. Participants will sail in identical boats _ 20m, carbon racers now being built at 4 yards across Europe (right). The move to a one-design means winning does not hinge on a clever design trick, but wholly on the stamina and skill of crews and skippers.
In early January, Team Brunel’s boat was being painted in orange-and-black and prepared for launching and sea trials. Amsterdam-based Brunel is a multinational (11,000 employees, 107 offices in over 40 nations) that recruits and deploys professionals in the engineering, IT, legal, finance and oil and gas sectors worldwide.
Team Brunel was the 4th team to confirm participation in the next VOR. At least 3 more may follow suit in the months ahead.