Three-time Volvo Ocean Race winner Brad Jackson has been announced as skipper of the Dutch Volvo Ocean Race entry team AkzoNobel for the 2017-18 edition of the 83,000-kilometer around the world race.
The forty-nine-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand is competing in his seventh Volvo Ocean Race after coaching the Swedish all-women entry Team SCA in the 2015-16 edition.
Jackson will take on the skipper role as well as his watch captain commitments shared with three-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran and 2008-09 edition winner Joca Signorini (BRA). Jackson’s appointment follows the recent departure of Simeon Tienpont (NED) from the team.
Jackson is one of the world’s most experienced and highly regarded professional ocean racers and his name is synonymous with the Volvo Ocean Race.
He was 25 when he won the 1993-94 Whitbread Round the World Race (the Volvo Ocean Race’s previous title) aboard the maxi yacht New Zealand Endeavour, skippered by fellow Kiwi Grant Dalton.
Jackson finished second in the 1997-98 Whitbread Race on Dalton’s new maxi Merit Cup and then fourth in the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race, racing under Kevin Shoebridge (NZL) aboard Team Tyco, before pulling off back-to-back wins in 2001-02 – with Mike Sanderson (NZL) on ABN AMRO 1 – and in 2005-06 with Torben Grael (BRA) on Ericsson 4.
In 2011-12 Jackson finished third in the Volvo Ocean Race as watch captain aboard Ken Read’s Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg.
As well as never having finished lower than fourth in any of his six Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, Jackson’s record of three race victories is matched by just two other sailors, fellow New Zealanders Stuart Bannatyne and Mark Christensen.
As well as Signorini, Jackson’s crew includes three-time Volvo Ocean Race competitor and 2008-09 edition winner Jules Salter (GBR), 2005-06 competitor Luke Molloy (AUS), Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Martine Grael, Danish match racing skipper Nicolai Sehested, young up-and-coming New Zealand sailor Brad Farrand, and 23-year-old Bermudian Emily Nagel – the youngest female sailor in the current edition of the race.
“It’s a privilege to lead a team of people as talented and committed as this one – both on the water and on shore,” Jackson said. “The credit for the quality of team AkzoNobel should go to Simeon Tienpont.
“We have been through a difficult time since Simeon’s departure, but I’m proud of the way everyone at team AkzoNobel has responded and now it’s time for us to focus on the race, which begins in just six days’ time.
“I’m grateful for the support I have received from within the team. It’s not the ideal preparation for the race that we had hoped for, but I know we can move forward quickly and be racing hard on start day.”
The team will announce the ninth crew member for Leg 1 in the coming days.
Team AkzoNobel sailing team line up:
Brad Jackson (NZL) – skipper
Brad Farrand (NZL) – bowman, sail trimmer
Martine Grael (BRA) – sail trimmer
Luke Molloy (AUS) – helmsman, sail trimmer
Emily Nagel (BER) – sail trimmer
Jules Salter (GBR) – navigator
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) – boat captain, helmsman, sail trimmer
Joca Signorini (BRA) – watch captain, helmsman, sail trimmer
Brad Jackson profile
Volvo Ocean Race participation:
2014-15: Team SCA – manager and coach
2011-12: Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg – 3rd
2008-09: Ericsson 4 – 1st
2005-06: ABN AMRO 1 – 1st
2001-02: Team Tyco – 4th
1997-98: (Whitbread Race) Merit Cup – 2nd
1993-94: (Whitbread Race) New Zealand Endeavour – 1st
2016: Sydney to Hobart Race overall victory aboard Volvo Open 70 Giacomo
2009: New Zealand Sailor of the Year