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Bouwe Bekking is 7th Volvo Ocean Race entry

Bouwe Bekking, the most experienced sailor in Volvo Ocean Race history, will return to skipper the seventh confirmed team in the 2017-18 edition.Bouwe Bekking -

No one has sailed more miles in the Volvo Ocean Race than Bouwe Bekking, who made his first appearance as a crewmember on Philips Innovator back in 1985-86.

More than 30 years on, and now aged 54, Bekking is back, his Volvo Ocean Race obsession has only intensified.

Bekking has been a runner-up in two previous editions, the most recent in 2014-15 when he skippered second-placed Brunel.

Now he has another chance at claiming an elusive first victory at the eighth attempt.

The theme of the 2017-18 campaign is ‘Engineering the Future.’ – an initiative of a consortium of Dutch companies, including Brunel, Abel, Royal Huisman and EY.

Team backers include Brunel, the Dutch-based global project management, recruitment and consultancy company, and its founder Jan Brand.

Brunel are Volvo Ocean Race veterans themselves, having had their first involvement in 1997-98.

The other six confirmed entries are:

Team AkzoNobel (skippered by Simeon Tienpont), Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández), Vestas11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright), Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt) and Turn The Tide On Plastic (Dee Caffari).

The race will start from Alicante on 22 October, with a maximum of eight One Design Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts in the fleet.

Seven of the boats have undergone an extensive refit process after being raced in 2014-15. The eighth is a brand new yacht, built for team AkzoNobel.

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