Back in March 2017 we reported that one of C-Job’s founding partners, Job Volwater, had taken on the additional role of Sailing Team Director for Team AkzoNobel’s participation in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race. His experience leading a multidisciplinary team from various different backgrounds, combined with the technical prowess of a Naval Architect, making him a very suitable candidate. With less than a month to go until the starting gun is fired for this 16-month long spectacle of sailing, Job answers a few questions about his work preparing for the yachting world’s most coveted prize.
What is your role in Team AkzoNobel?
As Sailing Team Director, my job is to act as a bridge between the sport team and the sponsors. The team has well-defined aims; it is my responsibility to offer guidance and help them achieve these goals. After all, every sailor dreams of winning the Volvo Ocean Race.
How is this organised?
There are 30 people in the sailing team. It’s an international group that includes people from Denmark, England, America, Australia and New Zealand as well as from the Netherlands. 11 of these 30 people are sailors; 9 on board and 2 in reserve. The remainder of the team divide their skills into various areas of responsibility – which is actually very similar to how we work at C-Job.
Regarding the boat itself, we have split the skills into Technical, Rigging and Sailing divisions. And, in terms of onshore support, they are specialised in Performance, Logistics, Medical, Food, and Safety. It is therefore my job to coordinate each of these divisions of expertise.
How important is the human aspect of racing?
The Volvo Ocean Race is special in that it is a ‘one-class’ sailing race. It’s like the Formula One of the sailing – everyone races with the same material. It is for this reason that the physical fitness and motivation of the team are so important. What you sometimes see as a race progresses is that the team becomes tired and performs below its best. My aim for Team AkzoNobel is for them to have the same levels of physical and mental fitness at the end of the race as they had at the start. Maintaining that fitness will make all the difference.
The Volvo Ocean Race starts on 14 October. How are the final preparations going?
We have completed some training races which have been extremely productive in terms of handling, performance and equipment. We are happy to say that these races have yielded good results; it allows us to look at the future in a very positive light. Most importantly, everybody knows what they have to do, and they give their all to get the job done. We are like a well-oiled machine! And, more importantly, we have a team with the very real potential to win the race.