ETNZ finds shoes that fit their ambition

Camper, the Spanish-based international footwear brand, has confirmed that it will field an entry in the 2011-12 race. The campaign will be run by Emirates Team New Zealand.

The Volvo Open 70 will be known as Camper and will carry the burgees of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Real Club Náutico de Palma.

Camper is a family-owned company which started making shoes on the Spanish island of Majorca in 1877. Today Camper has a global footprint with 320 stores and “shop-in-shop” locations in 42 countries.

In announcing the Volvo Ocean Race project, a Camper company statement read: “The history and the authenticity of the race, the human adventure, the effort, the desire to improve and the teamwork fully fit the Camper values.

“For us it is a privilege to take our first steps in the Volvo Ocean Race together with Emirates Team New Zealand, undoubtedly one of the most professional sailing teams in the world. Despite New Zealand being in the antipodes of Majorca, we feel very close to them sharing their way of thinking and so ETNZ makes us feel confident when undertaking this project.”

The collaboration with Emirates Team New Zealand sees the return to the race of Grant Dalton, the ETNZ managing director.

New Zealander Dalton has competed in the Whitbread/Volvo six times. He was part of the winning crew onboard Flyer in 1981-82, and took the maxi class honours with New Zealand Endeavour in 1993-94.

He finished second on Fisher & Paykel in 1989-90 after an epic battle with eventual winner and fellow-Kiwi Peter Blake on Steinlager 2. His most recent appearance was aboard Amer Sports One in 2001-02.

Dalton said a Volvo Ocean Race campaign was a natural fit for the team. “Our objective was always to diversify, once the team had re-established its credentials, as a means of keeping our people busy, focused and creative,” he said.

“With Louis Vuitton, the team started the Louis Vuitton Trophy, Dean Barker and the team campaigned successfully on the Audi MedCup TP52 circuit last year and now we have a Volvo Ocean Race campaign to organise from scratch”.

Grant Dalton, Dean Barker and the ETNZ Team in a months time will be highly visible again in the Med when racing their TP52 in the AUDI MedCup, defending last years title against increasingly strong competition.

Good Luck ETNZ and Camper with the Volvo campaign.