Tienpont starts on AkzoNobel in Volvo Ocean Race after all.

Simeon Tienpont, as intended, started in Alicante as the skipper of Team AkzoNobel. Tienpont and his company Steam were in a hard-fought conflict with their sponsor last week. The Dutchman was initially set aside as skipper. An appeal to a Dutch arbitration panel resulted in Tienpont being reinstated just in time to start Leg 1 from Alicante to Lisbon.

By Edward Swier

After being reinstated as skipper during an arbitration case at the Dutch Arbitration Institute, Tienpoint returned to Alicante Saturday evening 21 October. Early Sunday morning, he briefed his crew for the first Leg, a relatively short trip to Lisbon.

Just after eleven on the 22 October it was clear to the audience that Tienpont was back. On the dock next to the AkzoNobel-boat he changed his white t-shirt for a blue-white t-shirt with his name largely written on the back. Tienpont had returned. 

Tienpont was straight to the point during a press release. “It is without a doubt been an incredible difficult time for everybody in our team for the past 10 days. Personally I’m very relieved to be back and that I am able to start the Volvo Ocean Race. An agreement with AkzoNobel has been signed and everybody who was involved wants to leave this behind them. From now on we will all be focusing on the campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race of 2017/2018.

Brad Jackson was designated as the new skipper after the hasty departure of Tienpont. The New Zealander attended the official skippers press conference on Friday 20 October. But Jackson did not want to continue. Together with him, Jules Salter and Joca Signorini stepped of the boat. They want to reconsider their future plans. Even Rome Kirby, the sailor that was hired by Jackson at the last moment, did not go jump on board.

Tienpont during the press release: “I want to thank Brad Jackson for stepping up during this challenging moment and ensuring that the preparations for the race continued. I would also like to thank Joca Signorini, Jules Salter and Rome Kirby for their contribution. But most of all we are most grateful to Seng Huang Lee, the owner of the Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag-team and their captain David Witt. It is most fantastic that we are able to borrow their back up crew Antonio Fontes for the first Leg.”

The crew of Team AkzoNobel for the first Leg:

Simeon Tienpont (NED) – skipper, watch captain

Brad Farrand (NZL)

Antonio Fontes (POR)

Martine Grael (BRA)

Luke Molloy (AUS)

Ross Monson (GBR) - navigator

Emily Nagel (BER)

Nicolai Sehested (DEN) – watch captain


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