Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking is back for his seventh Volvo Ocean Race campaign but this one is particularly special for the Dutchman - he's sailing for his country. In our latest video, we interviewed Bekking and the other key people behind the Dutch team.
“It’s fantastic to sail for your own nation”, said Bekking. His crew will sail the next edition of the race under the Dutch colours and that gives the 2014-15 edition a big added incentive for the committed patriot who previously had competed in foreign or international teams.
“It’s fantastic news not only for myself but for sailing in general in The Netherlands. Today is our starting day. I haven’t spoken to any sailor right now except for Gerd-Jan Poortman, who will be one of the crew for sure. The next two months will be very busy.”
Poortman, 36, sailed as a bowman for ABN AMRO TWO in 2005-06 and Delta Lloyd in 2008-09. Once Team Brunel officially entered the race yesterday, he could barely contain his enthusiasm - or his nerves.
“We’ve been working on this for a year so it was very exciting. I also needed some quietness to take in what the next two years will bring us – a lot of hard work and a lot of excitement.”
“This is different from our other two campaigns,” said Brunel CEO Jan Arie van Barneveld, echoing Sailing Holland CEO Gideon Messink. “This time, it’s real. It’s a completely different story. We go for it.”
Click on the video to play.