The Netherlands back in the Volvo Ocean Race

Skipper Bouwe Bekking tells us about his seventh Volvo Ocean Race campaign
The Netherlands is back in the Volvo Ocean Race this year with the return of Brunel, the Dutch recruitment giant that employs 11,000 people in 107 branches in 41 countries around the world. Also back, after not being involved in the last race, is Dutch round the world legend Bouwe Bekking, who is both running the team and will also be skipper of Team Brunel. For Bekking, 50, this will be his seventh Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race, equalling the record of Swede Roger Nilson. It will also be the first Dutch round the world race campaign Bekking has been involved with since his first lap of the globe co-skippering Philips Innovator with Dirk Nauta in the 1985/6 Whitbread. In between he sailed as a watch captain with Brad Butterworth on Dennis Conner’s Winston, then followed this with the Merit Cup and Amer Sport campaigns with Grant Dalton and then as skipper of the ill-fated movistar and then Telefonica Blue for Pedro Campos. “We have been working for a long time on this, over a year,” says Bekking of the Team Brunel campaign. “When we started we said we have to have a Dutch team otherwise, it is going to die and sailing in general will lose a lot back home. “Of course there are a lot of companies in Holland. We have been banging on doors and it takes time to get the right doors open. It always looks positive and in the end maybe only 1% of the time do you get something. It is hard work, sometimes it is frustrating - you do all the work and most of the time you get a ‘no’. But that is part of the game - you just have to keep going and ultimately it’s been very satisfactory for us of course.” Bekking has been