Two familiar faces are back in the Team SEB fold as Aucklander David “Dingo Rolfe” returns for the fourth leg.
Rolfe, who temporarily left the crew in Sydney, is joined by Anthony Merrington from Australia who spent last winter with Team SEB at its training camp in Portugal.
During the winter of 2000/2001 Team SEB had an established training base in Cascais, outside Lisbon in Portugal, where Anthony Merrington was a part of the team. Merrington has a vast experience of ocean racing including several Sydney-Hobarts, Kenwood Cups and Admirals Cup. During the last year he has been sailing on Kingfisher.
"During my time with Team SEB in Portugal I got to know everyone in the team very well and I am excited to be here and I am looking forward to the Southern Ocean", Anthony Merrington says.
However, for Matthew Humphries, the British sailor who made the difficult decision to walk away from Team SEB earlier in the stopover, future plans are still unclear.
"I've never resigned from anything in my life and for me to do this was the hardest decision that I have ever had to make and it is a very, very sad decision.
"I have to continue with what I do and my life as a professional sailor still continues and, during the next days, weeks and months, that will all get sorted out. Always open to offers!
"My future lies in any sort of sailing, I love the round the world race, this is my fourth time in the race and ultimately, I do want to win it. I could be back on the start line with my own campaign in four years time, but I also may not be back. Maybe I will be doing something else. I am a professional sailor and I am a very competitive person so I don't see this break I'm taking now as being something long term.
"It was the hardest, saddest, in a way the bravest decision that I have ever made and of course there will be a tear in my eye when the boat leaves on the 27th January. I am leaving the Volvo Ocean Race here but I'll be back, but maybe not yet."