Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Irish Media Crew Member joins Team Sanya

Frankie Leonard from Galway, on board media crew member for Team Sanya. - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 is due to start on the 29 October in Alicante, Spain and will finish in Galway, Ireland in July 2012.

Team Sanya announced today the selection of Frankie Leonard, from Galway, Ireland, as their media crew member who will join the sailing team as they travel around the world competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.

Frankie made an immediate impact on the other Team Sanya team members when he joined the group for the delivery trip of their new boat from Spain to the UK.

Team Sanya are working in close partnership with ‘Lets Do It Global’, organizers of the Volvo Ocean Race Finish in Galway, Ireland. Under the ‘Discover Ireland.Com’ brand, Lets Do It Global are a team support partner and are delighted with the appointment in that it will assist in building a strong link with Team Sanya.

'The Volvo Ocean Race is the most historic offshore regatta in world sailing, it is considered by many to be the ‘Everest of Sailing’. It is a huge deal that this race is coming back to Ireland and that the final stopover will be in Galway, my hometown. I am extremely proud to be an Irishman onboard Team Sanya and it will be a proud day when we sail back into Galway Bay having completed the 39,000 nautical miles,' said Frankie Leonard, Team Sanya Media Crew Member.

Frankie carried on to explain his approach to his new role, 'My role as the Media crew Member (MCM), is something that I have been preparing for some time. The position requires communications and technical skills editing and filming, photography and journalism, all carried out in the extreme onboard conditions. I will be in charge of transmitting all of the onboard action and telling the world about life on board Team Sanya. My background as a sailor and professional cameraman will help me deliver this compelling story to our Chinese, Irish and international fan base.'

Mike Sanderson, Skipper for Team Sanya, added his comments on this announcement. 'The role of the MCM is a significant one, especially for Team Sanya. Our aim is to attract the largest following of any Volvo Ocean Race team and Frankie will play a key role in achieving that objective! We have a potential 1.2 billion Chinese fans out there, as well as our Irish and international fans, and so we need to find a unique way to engage with them, inspire them to follow us and get them into the sport of sailing.

Frankie’s personality as well as his technical abilities in film and photography means he is a perfect candidate for the job. He is supremely fit too from his rugby background and knows what it takes to work as part of a professional sports team and we are really looking forward to having him as part of our team.'

Frankie joined the team this week in the UK to start documenting the Team Sanya story as it unfolds and as the boat goes through its makeover. His first sailing experience with the team will be the Fastnet race which starts on 14 August 2011 which will take him from the Isle of Wight near to his home country of Ireland as the fleet will round the Fastnet Rock off Southern Ireland before finishing in Plymouth in the UK.

Rick Deppe, Media Crew Member Manager for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 event, added his thoughts on the new appointment.

'Like all of the MCM’s in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, Frankie has a big year ahead of him. Hopefully the hard work and enthusiasm he brings to the job will be a great asset to his team, the race and his own personal development. This time next year Frankie will have documented one team’s entire circumnavigation and will hopefully be coming home a hero to his home town in Galway'

Frankie Leonard Biography details:
Date of birth : 27 years old, 22/04/84
Grew up in Galway, Ireland
Qualifications : B.Sc in Information Technology and Telecommunications (University of Limerick), M.Sc in Interactive Media (University of Limerick);
Extensive film-making experience : go to www.frankieleonard.blogspot.com
Sporting history : Captained Ireland Rugby under 18s, played under 19s, Ireland Colleges, Ireland Universities; Played for Connaught under 19s and under 21s

For more information about Team Sanya click here.

Volvo Ocean Race website