Date — 30 September, 2011
click here to open a slideshow of Photos from the Boat Reveal
Today it is, quite simply, the "Everest" of sailing
Meet Ian Walker, Skipper: A two time Olympic silver champion, is one of Britain’s foremost sailors and sailing managers, and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s skipper.
Residing in Southampton, he is setting sail and leaving behind his two children, with hopes to bring them home the gold.
This is Walker’s second round of VOR, having lead the 2008/9 VOR outfit, Green Dragon, and having finished every leg of the race with no assistance.
Meet Rob Greenhalgh, Watch Leader: having won several sailing championships, Robert Greenhalgh is talented multi disciplinary sailor, hailing from the UK.
Having mastered several categories of sailing on different vessels from a very young age, Rob can easily surpass many sailing legends.
Greenhalgh is a veteran of VOR, having won both a victory and second place in previous races.
Meet Wade Morgan, Bowman: An outgoing character standing 6 feet four inches (1.94m), Wade Morgan started sailing when he was just six in his native homeland of South Wales, Australia.
He has sailed in several championships, and is a great asset to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s title hopes.
He is also the father of one. And he’s not even 30 yet.
Meet Justin Slattery, Bowman: A 37-year-old Irishman and father-of-one, has won some of yachting’s most prestigious trophies, including ABN AMRO One in the 2005/06 Volvo Ocean Race, and on American businessman Steve Fossett’s record-breaking 2004 world circumnavigation, which he followed up the next summer by breaking the record for the famous Fastnet Race onboard ICAP Leopard.
He even – at the tender age of 23 – held the trans-Atlantic record on Nicorette – then joined Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s current skipper, Ian Walker of Great Britain, on-board the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race outfit, Green Dragon.
Together with this team, he hopes to win again.
Meet Jules Salter, Navigator: Our team’s navigator, has already won VOR once, with the Volvo Ocean Race 2008/09 Ericsson 4- and this was just one of his big wins.
Salter, a 42 year old father of two who comes from the Isle of Wight, UK, brings a wealth of experience to the race (including technical yachting knowledge and race meteorology), is one of the most revered navigators in top-level yacht racing.
Meet Craig Satterthwaite, Watch Leader: a tough and dexterous 38 year old from Auckland, New Zealand, Craig Satterthwaite was part of the victorious 2007 America’s Cup Alinghi team, and other such successful teams.
His competitive spirit promises to push the team that much farther towards the big win, while he also mentors the United Arab Emirates national due Adil Khalid and Butti Al Muhairi in their first grueling, nine month race.
Meet Justin Ferris, Helm/Trim: Starting as a sail-maker for the winning ‘illbruck Challenge’ in 2001, Justin Ferris, an energetic New Zealand native joined the Pirates of the Caribbean team for the first edition of the Volvo 70 class in 2005, and returned three years later with the Puma Ocean Racing team.
It seems he cannot get enough of the VOR, as he is now back, for the third time. Ferris’ teams finished second in both his previous runs. Now, he is back to win first.
Meet Nick Dana, Media Crew Member: Nick Dana is is one of the United States’ top young offshore sailors, hailing from Newport, Rhode Island.
In his hometown, he grew up with a passion for yachts and a camera in his hands. Like Ferris, Dana was also a member of the Puma Ocean Racing’s onshore team.
It was in that race that he discovered his fascination for filming offshore sailing and the personalities involved.
Meet Paul Wilcox, Reserve Race Team: Wilcox, a veteran sailor, managed to become one despite growing up in land locked Johannesburg, South Africa.
These days he is based in CapeTown, having helmed his way to several team yacht racing victories, incliding The Ker 46 Tonnerre De Breskens – to become the 2010 RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) Boat of the Year.
Paul also experienced the gruelling Volvo Ocean Race when he worked with Team Russia in the 2008/09 campaign as a reserve sailor and with the shore team in the sail loft.
Adil Khalid, United Arab Emirates Team Member: Adil Khalid is one lucky and talented 22 year old, having beaten 120 other Emirati hopefuls to participate in this year’s VOR.
Butti Al Muhairi, United Arab Emirates Team Member: Butti Al Muhairi comes from a long line of dhow sailors, who plied their trade on the historic silk routes to India.
We hope that, together with Adil Khalid and the Abu Dhabi Volvo Ocean Race team, they make their own sail to victory.