Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Chris Nicholson, skipper of the CAMPER campaign for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race has today confirmed the line up of the sailing team and key shore team members.

Collectively the CAMPER team, which is being run by Emirates Team New Zealand, brings a wealth of experience to the race. Team members have between them no less than three Olympic campaigns, 17 America’s Cups, 22 Volvo/Whitbread races and numerous world championship titles.

Alongside the initial crew announcements the team features America’s Cup and Volvo/Whitbread Race veterans Stuart Bannatyne, Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse, renowned offshore navigator Will Oxley and up and coming young talent. Nicholson also announced two key shore team roles: Neil Cox as CAMPER shore manager and world respected meteorologist Roger Badham as the team’s weather expert.

CAMPER Sailing Team
Skipper: Chris Nicholson (AUS)
Watch Captain: Stuart Bannatyne (NZL)
Navigator: Will Oxley (AUS)
Driver/Trimmer: Roberto Bermudez de Castro (ESP)
Driver/Trimmer: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Driver/Trimmer: Rob Salthouse (NZL)
Driver/Trimmer: Tony Rae (NZL)
Bow/Boat Captain: Mike Pammenter (RSA)
Bow/Sailmaker: Daryl Wislang (NZL)
Pit/Trimmer: Andrew McLean (NZL)
Media Crew Member: Hamish Hooper (NZL)

Just six months ago Camper, the Spanish footwear brand, announced that it would take part in this historic race, with Emirates Team New Zealand to manage the campaign. Camper is a family-owned company that started making shoes on the island of Mallorca in 1877. This is the company’s first entry in the Volvo Ocean Race and a big step onto the international sports sponsorship stage.

Dalia Saliamonas, Project Director, CAMPER in the Volvo Ocean Race, says: “Six months after announcing our participation, it is fantastic to announce this exciting team. We are incredibly proud to be working with such a talented, experienced and passionate crew, and we are looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Skipper Chris Nicholson said of his crew: “This is one of the hardest events to win in sailing and we set out to bring together the best sailing team possible.

“We have a great mixture of experience and youth; I have been lucky enough to sail with most of them over the years and we have a team that will work really well together.

“The spirit within the CAMPER team, and by that I mean everyone, from the design, office, management, build, sponsors, reflects a real genuine passion to achieve. I believe that we have created a team that can win the Volvo Ocean Race. We have a great sponsor in Camper and we are looking forward to sharing this race with them.”

Since announcing the entry, CAMPER and Emirates Team New Zealand’s principal designer Marcelino Botin and the build team at Cookson Boats have begun construction of the CAMPER yacht in Auckland. The build is currently well underway with the hull now complete. The team plan to have the boat in the water by late April 2011 where it will undergo sea trials before being shipped to Spain.

Chris Nicholson
Age: 41
Nationality: Australian
Position: Skipper
Overview: An electrician by trade, Nicholson has been sailing professionally for over 20 years. He has represented Australia at two Olympic Games (2000 & 2004), and has won no less than six world championships across the 49er and 505 classes. Nicholson is a veteran of three Volvo Ocean Races, his first as a watch captain in 2001-02 on Amer Sports 1, which was skippered by Grant Dalton. In 2005-06 he was a watch captain on board Spanish entry Movistar and in 2008-09 he was watch captain onboard Puma, which finished second.

Stuart Bannatyne
Age: 39
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Watch Captain
Overview: 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 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 4). He was named New Zealand Sailor of the Year in 2009.

Will Oxley
Age: 45
Nationality: Australian
Position: Navigator
Overview: A marine scientist by trade, Will spent 18 years working on the Great Barrier Reef, and other coral reefs of the world. He is respected offshore sailor with more than 200,000 nautical miles of ocean racing on his CV, including the BT Global Challenge (2000-01)skipper Compaq NonStop finishing second overall Oryx Quest Non Stop RTW (Doha 2005/6), Brunel Synergy as navigator (Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06), and Puma as the team’s land based navigation consultant (Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09).

Roberto Bermudez de Castro
Nationality: Spanish
Position: Driver/trimmer
Overview: An industrial engineer, Roberto (Chuny) has a wealth of sailing experience on his CV, including two America’s Cup Campaigns (1995 & 2000) and representing Spain at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He has notched up four circumnavigations of the planet, most recently as skipper of Delta Lloyd in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race, and also as watch captain on Brazil 1 (2004/05) and onboard the Spanish entry GaliciaPescanova in the 1993/94 Whitbread race. This will be his fifth Volvo Ocean Race.

Adam Minoprio
Age: 25
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Driver/trimmer
Overview: Minoprio has been a rising star in yachting. In 2009 he made his mark by winning the World Match Racing Tour as skipper and helm of the BlackMatch team. He led the young team to victory after only two years on the professional circuit. Minoprio and his team were recently named 2010 Singapore Airlines Sailor of the Year, this will be his first Volvo Ocean Race.

Rob Salthouse
Age: 45
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Driver/Trimmer
Overview: Rob, a sailmaker by trade, has a sailing career spanning more than 25 years. He has taken part in no less that eight Sydney Hobart races, five Admiral’s Cups, and four America’s Cups as part of Emirates Team New Zealand. This will be his third Volvo Ocean Race; his first was with Tyco in 2000/01 and most recently with Puma in 2008/09.

Tony Rae
Age: 49
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Driver/Trimmer
Overview: Tony Rae brings a wealth of experience to the CAMPER team, he has a professional sailing career spanning over 20 years. He was onboard Steinlager 2 during the 1989 Whitbread where the crew won every leg of the race, in 1993-94 he raced on board the winning maxi New Zealand Endeavour. A core team member of New Zealand America’s Cup campaigns since 1987, he was part of the winning team in 1995 and 2000.

Michael Pammenter
Age: 27
Nationality: South African
Position: Bowman
Overview: A finance and economics graduate, his first experience of the Volvo Ocean Race was in 2008 when he joined Telefonica Blue as one of the new “under-30s” and was the youngest sailor in the race. Mike has sailed on a range of big boats and holds several records including smashing the round the Isle of Wight record at Cowes Week aboard the 98ft super maxi Maximus. He was also crew onboard the Groupama Volvo 70 setting a new Round Britain and Ireland Course and Race record in 2010.

Daryl Wislang
Age: 29
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Bowman
Overview: A sail maker by trade, Daryl started sailing when he was ten and it is a passion that has turned into a career. His previous race history includes being sailmaker and part-time in-port racer with Movistar in 2005-06, and as bowman alongside fellow CAMPER crew member Mike Pammeter on board Telefonica Blue in 2008-09. In 2006 he won the Rolex Middle Sea Race onboard Morning Glory and in the same year also became world champion in the maxi class with the Wally 95 Magic Carpet. He was also a key member of the sail management team in the 32nd America’s Cup with United Internet Team Germany.

Andrew McLean
Age: 31
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Pit/Trimmer
Overview: A qualified mechanical engineer, Andrew was part of the winning Emirates Team New Zealand team during the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination series in 2007. He took part in his first round the world race onboard Green Dragon in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Since completing the race, he has competed in the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, sailed on board ECOVER Extreme 40, and on big boats such as Leopard and Ran during 2010. When he isn’t sailing professionally he works as an engineer for Southern Spars New Zealand.

Hamish Hooper
Age: 32
Nationality: New Zealand’
Position: Media Crew Member
Overview: Hamish had a background in TV commercials and advertising but a slight turn of fate one day found Hamish being involved in sailing television work. This was to change the direction of his professional career and he has been involved in filming sailing events and working alongside teams ever since.

Neil Cox
Age: 41
Nationality: Australian
Position: Shore Manager
Overview: Coxy has three Volvo Ocean Races to his name, he was boat captain of the winning entry ABN AMRO ONE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, and most recently Shore Manager for PUMA Ocean. He participated in the 1995 America’s Cup with One Australia and was build manager and shore crew team member on Aloha Racing in 2000. He is an accomplished sailor having served as boat captain for the Maxi Z86 Windquest and has competed in many offshore and inshore regattas around the world.

Roger Badham
Nationality: Australian
Position: Weather consultant
Overview: Roger Badham, or ‘Clouds’ as he is more commonly known, is a world respected meteorologist who specializes in sailing projects. He has been involved in numerous Whitbread Round the World Races and Volvo Ocean Races, four BOC races, as well as many major international ocean races, including the Admiral's Cup, Kenwood Cup, Sydney-Hobart, Transpac, Bermuda, Capetown-to-Rio, Melbourne-to-Osaka and the Global Challenge. He has been the Australian and New Zealand Olympic Yachting Team meteorologist and worked on many America’s Cup campaigns. He has been with Emirates Team New Zealand since 2001.