Jackson replaces Tienpont as skipper
Brad Jackson has been announced as the new skipper of Dutch Volvo Ocean Race racing syndicate Team AkzoNobel whose crew includes Bermudian sailor Emily Nagel.
New Zealander Jackson has been drafted in as a late replacement for Dutch predecessor Simeon Tienpont who was sacked at the weekend for a breach of contract.
Jackson will take on the skipper role as well as his watch captain commitments shared with Joca Signorini, a former Volvo Ocean Race winner, according to a team statement.
The Volvo Ocean Race was to be two-times America’s Cup winner Tienpont’s first as skipper.
He is no stranger to controversy, having been implicated in the cheating scandal that marred Oracle Team USA’s successful defence at the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.
The 35-year-old admitted illegally altering one of the team’s AC45s used during the America’s Cup World Series, which resulted in Oracle being fined $250,000 and docked two points in the America’s Cup Match.
Jackson is one of the world’s most experienced and highly regarded ocean racers and is synonymous with the Volvo Ocean Race, having won the event three times, once on board the maxi yacht New Zealand Endeavour skippered by Grant Dalton, owner of America’s Cup holders Emirates Team New Zealand.
Nagel was selected after two months of trials with the Dutch entry during which she sailed several thousand offshore training miles and took part in all four legs of the Volvo Ocean Race’s “Leg Zero” qualifier series — including the classic Rolex Fastnet Race.
Nagel, who gave up her place on Bermuda’s Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team to work for America’s Cup challenger Softbank Team Japan, will serve as a sail trimmer on board Team AkzoNobel.
The first stage of the 11-stage Volvo Ocean Race, covering about 45,000 nautical miles, starts on Sunday and will extend 1450 nautical miles from Alicante, Spain, to Lisbon, Portugal, via Porto Santo.