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Volvo Ocean Race: Schouten backs Team Brunel with big plans of their own

Bouwe Bekking from The Netherlands will skipper Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. (Credit Volvo Ocean Race)

Bouwe Bekking from The Netherlands will skipper Team Brunel in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. (Credit Volvo Ocean Race)

Schouten Global, the professional training company, will back Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel as sponsors for the next Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 and have already revealed their ambition to launch their own team campaign in the following edition.

The Dutch company said that the Race and the challengers from the Netherlands make a natural fit for them as sponsors. It will be assisting Team Brunel in their crew recruitment process which starts next Monday (January 13).

Schouten CEO Marcel van Bronswijk added: “The sponsorship is in our opinion not a one-time affair. It is our ambition to be a main sponsor of a team in the Race in 2017-18.

“This is consistent with our approach to our training of employees and teams: set yourself a goal, make a plan, try it, learn from it, adjust your plan and do it again. This creates lasting improvements in organisations.”

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said he was delighted to welcome such a respected and ambitious company to the “family” of offshore sailing’s most prestigious professional event.
“Sailing Holland, who are driving the Team Brunel project, have a very strong partner to help them realise their ambitions for Dutch success in the next Volvo Ocean Race,” he said.

“Equally, I am delighted that Schouten are already planning well ahead and have revealed their ambitions to have their own boat in the following edition in 2017-18 as a main sponsor. With exciting partners like this coming through, we are building very strong foundations for the future.”
Schouten Global, a major player in the field of training, coaching, leadership and organisational development, is the parent company to training institute Schouten & Nelissen which is the market leader in the Netherlands.

Schouten will be assisting with the coaching of both the sailors and shore crew during the Race which starts in Alicante on October 4 and ends on June 27, 2015 in Gothenburg. In total, the event visits 10 ports and covers 39,379 nautical miles (72,930 kilometres).

Van Bronswijk added: “We were originally a purely Dutch company and therefore we support the Dutch team. Like them we will become an “around-the-world” team. It was time for us to get on board.

“We were founded 35 years ago by Jan Schouten with the slogan ‘The ship is only as strong as the crew’. That was and still is a call for organisations to invest in employees and teams in order to get the best out of their business.

“With the current set-up of the Volvo Ocean Race with identical boats, the match between the event and Schouten is ideal.”

For the first time in the Race’s 40-year history, all crews will compete in a one-design boat – the Volvo Ocean 65 – ensuring that teamwork and seamanship will be the deciding factors in performance.

Team Brunel’s campaign, the first Dutch entry in the Race since 2008-09, was launched in Amsterdam last month. It will be skippered by the experienced Bekking, 50, who will compete in a record-equaling seventh campaign.

He said: “Team building is a huge part of being successful in the Volvo Ocean Race and now we have the best in the business as part of our team. Also having them with us is going to help me professionally, I can become better as a team leader myself – you’re never too old to learn.”
The Netherlands has an enviable record in the Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Round the World Race) with three wins: Flyer I (1977-78), Flyer II (1981-82) and ABN AMRO ONE (2005-06).

So far, four teams have announced their participation in the next Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel.

By Corine de Hart

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