Nice to see some new blood in the VOR…
A few days ago we said that Guangzhou would hardly put off any multi-nationals when it came to sponsoring a Volvo Ocean Race Team. Azkonobel, and if the name isn’t familiar to sailors, try International Paint, that’s one of theirs or Awlgrip – another.
They are pretty big in China – frankly they are pretty big anywhere and a global event like the Volvo Ocean Race is a good fit for their worldwide exposure.
In China, with the house ownership boom Dulux is one of their leading brands where they are in competition almost head to head with Nippon Paints judging by the ranges on the shelves of decor and DIY stores here.
I would reckon they have no excuse for a boring paint job on the boat when we finally see her.
The Skipper, Simeon Tienpont takes charge of a crew on a race around the planet for the first time but is no stranger to the sort of challenges the Volvo can dish out having joined the phoenix campaign of Vestas for the last two legs and cut his teeth as a rookie on with ABN Amro 2 in an earlier edition.
Simeon can also claim two America’s Cup victories in his sailing resume being with Oracle in the 33rd and 34th editions.
Can Tienpont and his crew make it a 4th Dutch victory in The Race. As the recipient of the Conny van Rieschoten trophy in 2013, the highest honour in Dutch sailing I am sure he knows only too well the expectations that now rest on his shoulders.
So now we have one entry, and it has come fairly early on in the cycle. Not much more than 1 year ago the sounds of the final prizegiving party were still ringing in people’s ears. All we need now is another six or seven and we have a race.