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Volvo Race News - MAPFRE and Vestas complete their crews

Kiwi Blair Tuke is joining MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18, and Britain's Simon Fisher and Hannah Diamond among crew chosen for Vestas 11th Hour Racing.Blair Tuke -

With 100 days to go to the start of the 45,000 nm around the world Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, teams are completing their crew lists.

New Zealand’s Blair Tuke is joining MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race, and could become the first sailor in history to win the ‘Triple Crown’ of an Olympic gold medal, the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.

Tuke, who has also won four consecutive 49er World Championships and was named ISAF Sailor of the Year in 2015, links up with MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández.

The race will be Tuke’s first competitive foray offshore, and with the One Design Volvo Ocean 65 boats set to race three times more Southern Ocean miles than in recent editions, it promises to be a steep learning curve.

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Vestas 11th Hour Racing have unveiled their crew for the 2017-18 edition – and have built a mixed, ten-strong team featuring six nationalities and six previous Race wins.

The line-up includes Simon Fisher (GBR), who returns for his fifth Volvo Ocean Race appearance after lifting the trophy as the winning navigator with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing last time out.

He is joined by two-time winner Phil Harmer (AUS), five-time sailor Damian Foxall (IRL) and Race veteran Tony Mutter (NZL).

Tom Johnson (AUS), steps back onto a Volvo Ocean 65 after racing last edition onboard Team Vestas Wind – and Nick Dana (USA), who competed alongside Enright and Towill, returns to the Race for a second consecutive outing as a sailor.

Denmark’s Olympic medallist Jena Mai Hansen joins Britain’s Hannah Diamond as one of two female sailors on board following successful trials during recent transatlantic trips from Lisbon, Portugal to Newport, USA.

Between them, the crew have competed in the Volvo Ocean Race over 20 times – and skipper Charlie Enright says that he’s delighted with the preparations with just a few months remaining until the start line.

MAPFRE will be joined on the start line by Dongfeng Race Team (skippered by Charles Caudrelier), team AkzoNobel (Simeon Tienpont), Vestas 11th Hour Racing (Charlie Enright), Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (David Witt), Turn the Tide on Plastic (Dee Caffari) and Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking). The race departs from Alicante on 22 October 2017.

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