Ian Walker with Eamon Conneely and Damian Foxall

Ian Walker with Eamon Conneely and Damian Foxall

Green Team announce crew

Top Irish sailors (and others) join Ian Walker's round the world troupe

Thursday June 12th 2008, Author: Lucy Harwood, Location: United Kingdom
Ian Walker, skipper of the Green Team, has officially announced the majority of the Green Team’s squad for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. The team along with 15 shore crew and boatbuilders are already hard at work at Endeavour Quay, Gosport, UK preparing their new Volvo Open 70 for sea trials. The next Volvo Ocean Race will be double Olympic medallist Ian Walker’s first ever round the world race, so he has ensured he has some of most experienced and respected ocean racers on the planet among the crew.

The sailing squad members announced are: Ian Moore IRL, navigator; Damian Foxall IRL, watch leader; Justin Slattery IRL, bowman; Tom Braidwood AUS, trimmer/driver; Andrew McLean NZL, bowman; Phil Harmer AUS, trimmer/driver; Scott Millar IRL trimmer; Freddie Shanks GBR, bowman. Among the crew, four of the team have competed in the Volvo Ocean Race previously - Foxall (Ericsson/Tyco), Slattery (ABN AMRO One/News Corp), Harmer (Brunel) and Braidwood (Ericsson/SEB).

Watch Leader Damian Foxall is the team-member with the most Ocean miles under his belt - 310,000nm to date. This year he was winner of the inaugural Barcelona World Race earlier this year with Jean-Pierre Dick aboard Paprec Virbac 2 and has sailed around the world five times in races and record attempts, as well as completed 18 transatlantic crossings.

Overseeing sailing matters for the Green Team is well known TP52 owner Eamon Conneely. Conneely says he is delighted with the squad chosen so far: “We are very fortunate to have secured the calibre of people that we have. We will be adding two more squad members including the second watch leader in due course, but I am pleased with the current mixture of youth (four under 30s) and Volvo 70 experience. In Damian and Justin we have proven offshore winners and the team will be turning to them for a lot of advice in our preparation as well as during the race.”

Walker is pleased to be working with Ian Moore in the all important navigator and skipper relationship. The pair have sailed together on and off for the last ten years. As Ian Walker explained: “Ian and I first sailed together as tactician and navigator on the IMS 50 Breeze in 1997. Last year we sailed together on Eamon’s TP52 Patches and I have huge faith in his ability.” Moore was navigator for Emirates Team New Zealand during the last America’s Cup and has been named as navigator for Team Origin.

The shore management team is an all Irish affair with Johnny Smullen as Shore Manager, Johnny Mordaunt as Technical co-ordinator and James Carroll taking the position of Boat Captain. The teams Media Specialist and further squad members will be announced over the coming weeks. “It is my intention to have a squad of 12 sailors plus the media representative which is the minimum we need for both the offshore and inshore races. Nobody’s place is set in stone and everyone, including me, will have to earn the right to represent this team. We will bring in extra help as and when we see fit. It is a long race and it will take a heavy toll on both mind and body” explained Walker.

Once initial sea trials have been completed the Green Team will sail to Ireland for an official christening in Dublin. The team will then be based in Galway until leaving for Alicante at the end of August.

Team biographies:

Ian Walker
Age: 37
Nationality: GB (Hampshire)
Position: Skipper
Ian Walker is one of Britain’s most accomplished sailors with five world championships, two Olympic silver medals and two America’s Cup campaigns to his credit. The two Olympic medals came in the 470 dinghy (Atlanta 1996) and Star keelboat (Sydney 2000). Ian then went onto coach Shirley Robertson and her Yngling Team to gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics. When Britain launched its first bid for the America’s Cup in 14 years in 2000, Walker was named as the skipper. Then in the 2007 America’s Cup he joined fellow Olympic medallist Iain Percy as the navigator of the Italian team +39. America’s Cup commitments were combined with the highly successful World Championship winning TP52 campaign as skippers of Patches 1 and 2, owned by Eamon Conneely.

Ian Moore
Nationality: IRL
Position: Navigator
Ian cut his teeth as a navigator for illbruck, the winning Volvo Ocean Race campaign in 2001-02. He spent three years with Emirates Team New Zealand as Ben Ainslie’s navigator on the ‘B’ boat and in 2007 was named as Navigator on the British America’s Cup Challenge; Team Origin.

Damian Foxall
Age: 39
Nationality: IRL
Position: Watch Leader
Damian most recently won the doublehanded Barcelona World Race with Jean-Pierre Dick aboard the Open 60 Paprec-Virbac 2. He has crossed the Atlantic 17 times, sailed rounded the world four times and clocked-up over 310,000 nautical miles. This will be Damian’s third Volvo having sailed previously on Ericsson and Team Tyco. He has circumnavigated the globe tiwce times on two hulls aboard Cheyenne for the successful non-stop round the world record attempt, as well was with Brian Thompson on Doha 2006 in the Oryx Quest.

Justin Slattery
Age: 34
Nationality: IRL
Position: Bowman
Part of the winning ABN AMRO One Volvo Ocean Race team in 2005-06. This will be Justin’s third Volvo having sailed on News Corp in 2001-02. As comfortable on two hulls as one, Justin was bowman on the winning Extreme 40 Basilica in the 2007 iShares Cup and in 2004 set a new non-stop round the world record aboard Cheyenne, circumnavigating the globe in 58 days - slightly longer than the 10 months it will take the Volvo Ocean Race boat to do a lap of the planet!

Tom Braidwood
Age: 36
Nationality: AUS
Position: Driver/Trimmer
Tom is a Volvo Ocean Race veteran having competed in two editions of the race. In the 2005-06 he raced with Ericsson and was bowman on SEB in 2001-02. As well as being renowned as an offshore sailor, Tom has also campaigned with two Admiral Cup Teams and has competed in several Farr 40 European and World Championships. Tom has more recently completed the Mini Transat and project managed the Green Team’s new Volvo Open 70 in conjunction with McConaghy Boats.

Andrew Mclean
Age: 29
Nationality: NZ
Position: Bowman
Andrew is a graduate of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth program and was a shore team member of Team New Zealand for the 2003 defence. In 2004 he joined the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing team as mid bow/grinder. A mechanical engineer with first class honour from Auckland University by trade, Andrew has also had spells for both North Sails and Southern Spars. At 100kg Andrew will be one of the Heavy weight members of the team.

Phil Harmer
Age: 28
Nationality: AUS
Position: Driver/Trimmer/ Sailmaker
Phil competed in the last Volvo Ocean Race aboard Brunel before moving on to the shore side of Team ABN AMRO. He has recently trimmed for the RC44 Team Aqua and the Farr 40 Groovederci but cut his teeth with the Young Australia America’s Cup Team and in 18ft skiffs

Scott Miller
Age: 25
Nationality: IRL
Position: Trimmer
At 25, Scott is the youngest on the sailing squad, but he is no stranger to responsibility having worked on the design side of UK Sails and having skippered the Farr 45 John Merricks. Scott is a graduate of the Volvo RYA Keelboat squad and has raced numerous boats from Beneteau 25s all the way up to Maximus. At 6ft 4in and 96kg Scott can expect plenty of hard work, but as a former representative rugby player that will come as no shock.

Freddie Shanks
Age: 28
Nationality: GBR
Position: Bowman
A product of the Bear of Britain Academy. Freddie was a regular crewmember on the TP52 Patches being both winner and runner up in the World Championships with the team. Freddie has also won the Swan Worlds on J One and the Rolex Commodore's Cup on the Farr 52 Bear of Britain. Freddie has sailed with Ian Walker on numerous other boats including several Farr 40s and has recently twice completed the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

Shore Team

James Carroll
Age: 31
Nationality: IRL
Position: Boat captain
James first worked with skipper Ian Walker when he project managed the build of the TP52 Patches 2 build in China. He oversaw sea trails and race preparation of the boat last year in Valencia. In 2006 James raced the Sydney Hobart aboard Maximus and has also won the Maxi World Championships aboard both Alfa Romeo and Black Dragon.

Johnny Smullen
Age: 44
Nationality: IRL
Position: Shore Manager
Trained in composite yacht construction and management, Johnny has knowledge of all aspects of a modern yacht racing campaign. Johnny has been part if three America’s Cup campaigns Team Dennis Conner, 1992 Swedish America’s Cup and Nippon Challenge.

Johnny Mordaunt
Age: 36
Nationality: IRL
Position: Technical Coordinator
Johnny is a professional yachtsman of the highest order; his latest victory was as crew boss aboard the 140ft ketch Hetairos winning the 2007 Superyacht Cup. Johnny was Boat Captain for Ericsson in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06. He has worked on the Artemis Ocean Racing Open 60 campaign and was part of Ellen MacArthur’s Jules Verne record attempt.

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