For the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Ireland’s Justin Slattery, Australia’s Phil Harmer, Britain’s Simon Fisher and New Zealand’s Andrew McLean have joined Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s crew.
ADOR Skipper Ian Walker, under 30 crew member Luke Parkinson, OBR Tom Bushell and crew member Adil Khalid with the latest team recruits Simon Fisher (GB), Phil Harmer (Aus), Justin Slattery, and Andrew McLean (NZL) - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
Joining Ian Walker’s crew this Monday are four sailors with a combined total of 12 Volvo Ocean Race campaigns between them.
They join Emirati crewman Adil Khalid, Australian under-23 recruit Luke Parkinson and British onboard reporter Tom Bushell.
All four have previously raced with Walker, Abu Dhabi’s double Olympic silver medalist skipper.
ADOR performance manager Neal McDonald was instrumental in the selection process. 'I’m confident we have the right people. It’s a solid mix without any big egos. This is an international lineup, but the common factor is that they are all very much focused on winning.'
For bowman Slattery, this will be his third lap of the world with Walker and his second Volvo Ocean Race as an Abu Dhabi crew member. Likewise navigator Fisher will be racing for Abu Dhabi for the second time after competing as a helmsman and sail trimmer in the last race.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Skipper Ian Walker gets a lift from latest team recruits (from left to right), Simon Fisher (GB), Phil Harmer (Aus), Justin Slattery (IRE) and Andrew Mclean (NZL). - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15
McLean and Harmer previously raced around the world with Walker two editions ago. In the 2011-12 race Harmer was part of the winning Groupama crew and McLean finished second on Camper - this time both plan to use their experience to help Abu Dhabi’s quest for a Volvo Ocean Race victory.
'Phil, Andrew, Simon and Justin each bring unique skills and invaluable experience to the team and I couldn’t be happier to have them aboard,' said Walker. 'We all enjoy sailing together and that can an important factor in the pressure cooker environment of a nine-month yacht race around the world.'
The final member of the nine-man crew list will be announced in the coming weeks. After visiting the Emirati capital this week, next on ADOR’s agenda are safety tests and sea trials aboard their new Volvo Ocean 65.
The one-design boat will hit the water in Southern England in the next weeks. Trials should be completed by the beginning of March when the team will sail to its training base near Lisbon, Portugal.