Team AkzoNobel, led by Dutch skipper Simeon Tienpont, will compete in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in a brand new boat.
Simeon Tienpont - Click image for a larger image
The 8th boat, currently being constructed at Persico Marine in Bergamo, Italy, is scheduled for completion in May.
It is identical to the current one-design fleet of seven Volvo Ocean 65s which competed in the 2014-15 edition.
The existing fleet is currently undergoing a one-million-euros-per-boat re-fit procedure at The Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal.
Tienpont, who made the team’s milestone announcement on Wednesday at the HISWA Amsterdam Boatshow, said: “Team AkzoNobel is a brand-new team being built from the ground up – so a brand-new boat feels right."
Explaining the motivation behind the decision to commission the build of the new boat, he said: “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.
“If you have that option, it’s a no-brainer decision to make when you are racing around the world.”
VO65 No. 8 in Build - Click image for a larger image
Nick Bice, Chief Technical Development Officer at the Volvo Ocean Race, has overseen the re-fit process of the existing Volvo Ocean 65s, and is delighted to see an extra boat joining the fleet.
He added: “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.
“You won’t be able to tell the difference between the brand new boat, and one of the old ones,” he added. “And there is no reason why an existing boat, sailed properly, cannot win the next Volvo Ocean Race.”
Team AkzoNobel, is a new Dutch ocean racing team backed by leading global paints and coatings company, AkzoNobel.
8 March 2017 10:25 GMT