by Bindy Lockhart
The well known sailor Will Oxley will be Brunel’s navigator for the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race. The 40 year old Australian will take over from Matt Humphries, who however stays on board as watch captain.
Oxley sailed with Grant Wharington on Skandia since 2001 and was meant to be the navigator for the Volvo Ocean Race from the start. However obligations prevented Will to take part in the first and second leg. That there would be an opportunity to step onboard after the Melbourne stopover came unexpected for the navigator: ‘It is great that the Brunel team can go on and that I will be part of it. I am looking forward to use the navstation that I designed myself.’ It is Oxley’s first Volvo Ocean Race but the Australian can rely on his experience in many prestigious yacht races. His last achievement was a fifth place in the 2005 Transat Jacques Vabre, sailing the Open 60 Skandia with Brian Thompson. Earlier last year Will navigated the giant catamaran Doha2006 to victory in the Oryx Quest non-stop round the world race.
Oxley has also competed in seven Sydney to Hobart races and was the weather coordinator for the Swedish VICTORY Challenge America’s Cup Team.
The Brunel Sailing Team members for the inport race this coming Saturday are:
Ian 'Barney' Walker
Mark ‘Becksie’ Bartlett
Casey Smith Bowman
Dutch Crew Member
No decisions have been made on the Dutch sailor that will join the team from Baltimore. A small group of sailors will be invited in the next few weeks to take part in a selection process. Their names will be released as soon as a short list comes available. All names mentioned in the media so far are purely speculative.
Final results of the selection are not expected before the end of March.
After the cooperation between the team lead by Grant Wharington and Brunel, entered a next phase, the hull has changed its colours according to the new sponsorship. The operation was completed just in time for the inport race. The branding on the sails will be adjusted at a later moment.
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9:15 PM Thu 2 Feb 2006 GMT
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