American Rome Kirby joins team AkzoNobel for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race
CHICAGO: Team AkzoNobel announced today that American under-30 sailor Rome Kirby has joined the team for the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race which starts from Alicante, Spain on Sunday, October 22.Kirby, 28, from Newport, Rhode Island, won the 34th America's Cup in 2013 with Oracle Team USA and last sailed the Volvo Ocean Race in 2011-12 alongside team AkzoNobel skipper Brad Jackson (NZL) on Puma Ocean Racing, finishing third.
He will serve as a helmsman and sail trimmer for the team and is the team's fifth under 30-selection, alongside boat captain Nicolai Sehested, 27 (DEN), Martine Grael, 26 (BRA), Brad Farrand, 28 (NZL) and 23 year-old Emily Nagel (GBR/BER) - the youngest female sailor in the race.
Professional sailing is in Kirby's blood. His father Jerry Kirby had a distinguished career as a professional sailor in the America's Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race, and the pair are believed to be the only father and son to both win the America's Cup.
"I'm excited to be joining the team AkzoNobel crew and look forward to setting out on another Volvo Ocean Race," Kirby said. "I was delighted when the phone rang and it was Brad. We know each other pretty well, so there wasn't much discussion to be had and here I am."
"Rome ticks all the boxes as far as a Volvo Ocean Race sailor is concerned," said Jackson. "He's young and strong, but also knowledgeable about how tough this race can be.
"His helming and trimming skills make him a real asset to the team and despite joining us late in the program, with just two days to the start, I'm confident he will hit the ground running."
In Alicante, team AkzoNobel will line up against six other international teams at the start of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 to Lisbon, Portugal.
The course for the 2,494-kilometer leg takes the fleet out of the Mediterranean Sea via the Gibraltar Strait and around the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, 43 kilometers north-east of Madeira and is expected to take up to seven days to complete.
Kirby will get the opportunity to visit his hometown of Newport when the Volvo Ocean Race arrives there during the first week of May 2018 for a two-week stopover. He and the rest of the team will have time to recover and will also participate in the festivities planned for the Newport Race Village.
AkzoNobel creates everyday essentials to make people's lives more livable and inspiring. As a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals, we supply essential ingredients, essential protection and essential color to industries and consumers worldwide. Backed by a pioneering heritage, our innovative products and sustainable technologies are designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet, while making life easier. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as a leader in sustainability, we are dedicated to energizing cities and communities while creating a protected, colorful world where life is improved by what we do.