Team Brunel is the Dutch boat that will battle for victory in the Volvo Ocean Race

Around the world in the toughest race in the world

The Volvo Ocean Race is the toughest sailing event in the world and is held every three years. For every sailor it is the biggest challenge to participate in this around-the-world sailing race. Professional sailors challenge each other on high tech racing boats across thousands of miles of the unforgiving ocean: the freezing and mountainous seas of the Southern Ocean, the roasting heat of the doldrums and the extreme conditions of the Atlantic.

Dutch Team Brunel fought the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15, headed by skipper Bouwe Bekking, the only one who had participated in six earlier editions of the race. Besides the Dutchmen Bouwe Bekking and Gerd-Jan Poortman, the crew members of Team Brunel were Pablo Arrarte (Spain), Jens Dolmer (Denmark), Andrew Cape (Australia), Rokas Milevicius (Lithuania), Louis Balcaen (Belgium), Laurent Pagès (France), Adam Minoprio (New Zealand) and Stefan Coppers (Netherlands) as the on-board reporter.

With only five points behind the winner, Team Brunel finished second in the final port of Gothenburg.

The most important thing is the team spirit

The motto of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 was "Human Edition" and invited all participants, sponsors, crew and fans for fair play and team spirit. It was the first time that all participants competed with the same boat: the nearly 20-meter long yacht "Volvo Ocean 65". Plus this time the audience could follow the crews via video live stream and satellite on their journey around the world. The Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15 had nine legs and stopped in ten different ports in ten different countries around the world: Spain, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, China, New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Portugal, France and Sweden. Plus there was a 24h stopover in The Hague, Netherlands for the first time. Seven teams started on 4 October 2014 in Alicante, Spain. On 15 June 2015 after 71,745 km Team Abu Dhabi entered the harbour of Gothenburg in Sweden as overall winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015.

Having twice finished runner-up and skippered two campaigns, Bekking is more eager than ever to win with a Dutch team. The team is based on experience, with twice-Volvo Ocean Race participant and great team player Dutchman Gerd-Jan Poortman named in the crew.

All of the candidates have undergone a stringent selection procedure during the last months. Besides the Dutchmen Bouwe Bekking and Gerd-Jan Poortman, the crew of Team Brunel consists of Pablo Arrarte (Spanish), Jens Dolmer (Danish), Andrew Cape (Australian), Rokas Milevicius (Lithuanian), Laurent Pagès (French), Louis Balcaen (Belgian) and Stefan Coppers (Dutch) as the Onboard reporter.

The route for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18 shows not only well-known ports such as Cape Town, Auckland and Lisbon, but also new stops like Newport (USA) and The Hague (Netherlands).

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