Fresh from his resounding victory in The Race, Nautor Challenges Skipper Grant Dalton has wasted little time in making the first appointments to his Volvo Ocean Race crew and shore team.
Joining Grant and his co-skipper Bouwe Bekking (Holland), is navigator Roger Nilson of Sweden. Roger too has recently come ashore from The Race having competed aboard the second placed giant catamaran Innovation Explorer. Roger is a veteran of five Whitbread Race campaigns and now The Race. His round the world campaigns include 'Drum', 'The Card', 'Intrum Justitia', and 'Swedish Match'. He will assume responsibility for navigation and equipping the two-boat campaign next month, working closely with the team's already appointed meteorologist Roger Badham of Australia.
Shore Manager is Howard Gibbons (Great Britain), who has previously managed shore operations for 'Silk Cut', 'Heineken', and 'Maiden'.
Work on Nautor Challenges' two V.O.60 yachts proceeds apace at the Compositeworks France yard at La Ciotat, near Marseilles. Overseeing construction of one Mani Frers design and one from Farr Yacht Design on behalf of the team is Paul Quinn, the New Zealand boatbuilder who has worked with Dalton on the 'New Zealand Endeavour' and 'Merit Cup' round the world campaigns, and 'Club Med' for The Race. 'Quinny' was also involved in the building of the last RTW winning EF W60 in 1997-98.
When the first Frers designed V.O.60 is ready the team will move to Sanxenxo, near Vigo in north-western Spain to begin intensive sails trials and crew training throughout June, July and August. The second Farr designed V.O.60 will go to Spain for two-boat testing later in the summer. Further crew appointments will be made in the next few weeks.