Volvo hot shot chosen

Stu Bannatyne appointed Camper watch leader

Friday May 7th 2010, Author: James Boyd, Location: New Zealand

The person many thought would skipper the Camper entry in the Volvo Ocean Race has been named as it watch captain. One of the hottest properties in the event, Stu Bannatyne most recently raced the 2008-09 VOR on board the winning yacht Ericsson 4.

A contemporary of Mike Sanderson and Brad Jackson, Bannatyne’s first round the world race was on board New Zealand Endeavour, skippered by Grant Dalton, in 1993-94. That was his first win and he has gone on to win twice more on illbruck challenge in 2001- 02 and then Ericsson.

He raced on an English entry Silk Cut in 1997-98 with Lawrie Smith and in 2005-06 he was a watch captain on board the Spanish entry movistar on which Camper skipper Chris Nicholson also raced. His race came to a premature end when the yacht sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

Bannatyne is the only person to have won the Volvo Ocean Race, previously the Whitbread, on three different classes of yacht – maxi ketch (New Zealand Endeavour), Volvo Ocean 60 (illbruck) and VO70 (Ericsson).

Bannatyne, 39, was born at Christchurch, New Zealand. He is married with four children. His home is at Albany, Auckland.

Stuart Bannatyne has been a professional yachtsman for 16 years, specialising in ocean racing. In addition to five circumnavigations he has competed on the Grand Prix regatta circuit for 15 years, winning numerous inshore championships and ocean races. He has sailed on yachts that have broken the 24-hour world record distance for a monohull on five separate occasions (the most by any person). He has sailed seven Fastnet races, six Sydney – Hobart races, two Transpac races.

Career highlights:

World Youth Laser Champion (1989)
Admiral’s Cup winner (1999) trimmer
IMS World Championship winner (1999) strategist
Pacific Cup winner and record holder Mari Cha 4 (2004) watch captain
Trans Atlantic Record holder, Mari Cha 4 (monohull) (2004) watch captain
Big Boat Series winner (1996, 2002, 2007) helmsman, tactician
Transpac winner, Samba Pa Ti (2007, 2009) tactician
Coastal Classic winner and record, Alfa Romeo (2009) tactician
Sydney Hobart winner, Alfa Romeo (2009) tactician
New Zealand Sailor of the Year 2009
Key West Race Week winner, Samba Pa Ti (2010) tactician
NZ IRC Nationals winner, Georgia (2010) trimmer

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