New crew for Abu Dhabi Racing Team
Seven nationalities from five continents are to make up the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, which today announced the latest additions to its crew.
Rob Greenhalgh joins as watchleader while Justin Ferris comes aboard as helmsman-trimmer and onboard sailmaker. Paul Willcox joins as an under-30s crew member. The USA’s Nick Dana, who was back-up MCM for Puma in the last race, will be the Media Crew Member.
Greenhalgh is a major coup for the Abu Dhabi outfit. As one of the UK’s most talented sailors, he won major championships in everything from small dinghies to round-the-world yachts. His previous Volvo Ocean Race winning experience will be critical to the team’s success: he sailed on board the winning ABN AMRO One in 2005-06 and on Puma Ocean Racing in 2008-09.
Ferris has spent the past 10 years living and breathing the Volvo Ocean Race. Starting as a sailmaker for the winning Illbruck Challenge in 2001, the Kiwi sailor made the step up to join Pirates of the Caribbean for the first edition in the Volvo Open 70 class in 2005, and then was subsequently with Puma Ocean Racing in 2008.
A former South African sailor of the year, Paul Willcox has been involved in successful keel boat campaigns, the latest of which saw him helm the Ker 46 Tonnerre De Breskens to become the 2010 Royal Ocean Racing Club Boat of the Year. Aged 28, he worked with Team Russia in the 2008-09 campaign as a reserve sailor and with the shore team.
“We said we wanted to be highly competitive on all fronts; we are close to making good on that promise,” said skipper Ian Walker, who has spent the last seven months in the United Arab Emirates capital.
The new crew members would join Walker, navigator Jules Salter, watch captain Craig Satterthwaite, Simon Fisher, bowman Justin Slattery, Wade Morgan and Emirati stars, Adil Khalid and Butti Al Muhairi. They are currently undergoing a multi-continent training and testing programme, which covers sail testing in New Zealand, navigation and weather training in North America, and sailing in Abu Dhabi.