ALICANTE, Spain, July 7 – Eight new crew for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 were today unveiled in separate announcements from Team Alvimedica and the Spanish Team challengers.
The Team Alvimedica crew will include Italian Alberto Bolzan, American Nick Dana, Australian Will Oxley plus New Zealanders Ryan Houston and Dave Swete. Another American, Amory Ross, will be the Onboard Reporter (OBR). They will join skipper Charlie Enright and co-founder Mark Towill in their final race crew.
The Spanish team, which has yet to announce its main title sponsors, will include Spaniards Rafa Trujillo and Antonio ‘Neti’ Cuervas-Mons plus Frenchman Nicolas Lunven in their line-up alongside the previously announced Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández.
The five recruits to the 2014-15 crew leave Team Alvimedica needing to fill just one more gap before the first event of the 12th edition, the Alicante in-port race on October 4.
Their recruitment confirms Team Alvimedica’s ambition to use a young crew of sailors since all are in their 20s or early 30s with the exception of the hugely experienced Oxley, 49, who has already been navigator in two previous Volvo Ocean Races.
Bolzan, 32, from Trieste, is a rookie in the race but has four world championships under his belt (see biographies below) and is the first Italian to be named in this edition’s crews.
The other four sailors all competed in the last edition including Nick Dana who was OBR (then known as media crew member) for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Amory Ross was Puma’s OBR in 2011-12.
Three of the crew – Enright, Dana and Ross – are from Rhode Island which will host the race when the boats visit Newport in May 2015.
“With only eight race crew positions each role on board is vital,” said Enright. “Sailing skill is the main requirement but equally important is the team chemistry and ability to work together in a confined space for 38,000 miles around the world.
“To achieve great results on the water we need a collaborative group who will look after each other’s safety and well-being throughout a range of challenging conditions.”
The team next sets out from Newport on Wednesday (June 9) for a transatlantic training run to the United Kingdom. The team will line up against Volvo Ocean Race rivals Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing for a promotional start out of Narragansett Bay.
Meanwhile, Neti Cuervas-Mons was celebrating his third call-up for a Volvo Ocean Race at the age of just 32 for the Spanish team after competing in the 2008-09 and 2011-12 editions.
A big change for him this time is that his responsibilities will go far beyond just sailing. “Besides being a key player in the team, he is also in charge of the mast and everything that ‘goes up’. He will train the under 30 crew members and other members of the crew as well,” said Fernández.
Trujillo, 38, from Cadiz is a four-time Olympian and won silver in Athens in 2004. Additionally, he has competed in the America’s Cup but this is his first Volvo Ocean Race.
Frenchman ‘Nico’ Lunven, 31, is a well-known Brittany sailor having won the Solitaire du Figaro in 2009. He will be responsible for navigation for the Spanish team.
Said Fernández: “Nico is a very young sailor and a very talented navigator. In this edition we will have to push even harder because of the fact that we are sailing on one-design boats and the navigator’s profile changes a bit.
“Besides Nico being ultimately responsible for the navigation, he is also another driver, another trimmer and in critical moments he can give a hand on deck.”
Confirmed crew for Team Alvimedica
Charlie Enright, 29 (USA) – Skipper
Mark Towill, 25 (USA) – General Manager
Alberto Bolzan, 32 (ITA)
Nick Dana, 28 (USA)
Ryan Houston, 31 (NZL)
Will Oxley, 49 (AUS) – Navigator
David Swete, 30 (NZL)
Amory Ross, 30 (USA) – Onboard Reporter
Confirmed crew for the Spanish Team
Iker Martínez, 37 (ESP)
Xabi Fernández, 37 (ESP)
Nicolas Lunven, 31 (FRA) – navigator
Rafael Trujillo, 38 (ESP) – trimmer/driver
Antonio “ñeti” Cuervas-Mons, 32 (ESP) – bowman