Stu Bannatyne joins CAMPER/Emirates Team NZ for Volvo Ocean Race

Stuart Bannatyne helming in rough weather in the North Atlantic, onboard Ericsson 4, on leg 7 from Boston to Galway

CAMPER announced today the appointment of Stuart Bannatyne as a watch captain for its Volvo Ocean Race project.

Bannatyne has raced around the world five times, most recently in the 2008-09 VOR on board the winning yacht Ericsson 4.

The CAMPER campaign for the 2011-2012 round-the-world race is being run by Emirates Team New Zealand. The race starts from Alicante, Spain, in October 2011 and will finish at Galway, Ireland, in June 2012.

CAMPER, an international Spanish footwear brand, is is a family-owned company which started making shoes on the Spanish island of Majorca in 1877. Today CAMPER operates 320 retail stores and 'shop-in-shop' locations in 42 countries and distributes its products through 2800 independent retailers.

Bannatyne’s first round the world race was on board New Zealand Endeavour, skippered by Grant Dalton, in 1993-94. That was his first win and he has gone on to win twice more, on Illbruck in 2001-02 and then Ericsson.
He raced on an English entry Silkcut in 1997-98. In 2005-06 he was a watch captain on board a Spanish entry Movistar. His race came to a premature end when the yacht sank in the Atlantic Ocean.

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 60 (Illbruck) and VO70 (Ericsson).

Bannatyne, aged 39, was born at Christchurch, New Zealand. He is married with four children. His home is at Albany, Auckland.

Sailing background:

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 has sailed seven Fastnet races, six Sydney – Hobart races, two Transpac races.

Career highlights:

World Youth Laser Champion (1989)
Admiral’s Cup winner (1999) trimmer
IMS World Championship winner (1999) strategist
Pacific Cup winner and record holder Mari Cha 4 (2004) watch captain
Trans Atlantic Record holder, Mari Cha 4 (monohull) (2004) watch captain
Big Boat Series winner (1996, 2002, 2007) helmsman, tactician
Transpac winner, Samba Pa Ti (2007, 2009) tactician
Coastal Classic winner and record, Alfa Romeo (2009) tactician
Sydney Hobart winner, Alfa Romeo (2009) tactician
New Zealand Sailor of the Year 2009
Key West Race Week winner, Samba Pa Ti (2010) tactician
NZ IRC Nationals winner, Georgia (2010) trimmer