Team Averda focus on food in bid to nail their first EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour victory

Monday, 16 January 2017


After six years competing in EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour, Team Averda skipper Marcel Herrera has come up with a secret weapon that he believes might prove the difference between winning and coming second. Performance food!

Twice now, Herrera, an insurance claims handler from Plymouth in the UK, has campaigned his young team of aspiring professional sailors to the runners up spot and in 2016, when they started with a bang, winning the opening leg it looked like they might go one better and finally nail the win.

But as the 760nm race went by, their stamina started to flag and although a 6th place in the last leg secured them a podium place it was not the one they wanted. This year, they have made stamina their number one priority in order to maintain a 100% work rate right to the finish.

So there will be no professional navigator on Team Averda in 2017 but there will be bags full of pre-prepared nutritious meals together with a carefully thought out schedule of eating and sleeping. It will mean tip top vigour and endurance, says Herrera and give them their best chance of converting second and third places into wins.

“We are a young team with a lot of offshore experience so if we can get the balance right between the amount of calories we take in and the energy we burn, we should be able to push harder for longer and that could make all the difference.

“So that is why we have taken all the catering in house and will make our own arrangements with the navigation software. We would love Averda to win and believe we are in with a very good chance.”

Sponsored once again by Averda, the largest integrated waste management service provider in the MENA region, Herrera has put together a formidable team of amateur sailors who are talented enough to earn crew spots on some of the fastest boats on the planet such as the MOD70s Team Concise and Phaedo amongst others. 

Andrew "Hammy" Baker and Robin Elsey are both graduates of Britain’s Artemis Offshore Academy with Solitaire Bompard Le Figaro campaigns in 2015 and 2016 in their lockers while Hugh Brayshaw is a member of their current squad.

Liam Gardner was a member of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s triumphant shore crew in the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, Irish solo sailor Dave Kenefick was Irish Sailor of the Year in 2013 and Ed Davison, part of Alex Thomson’s shore crew and a graduate of the British Keelboat Academy.

Ollie Mellor has an additional responsibility since he has been put in charge of the team’s media equipment, which they hope will capture the magic of the Straits of Hormuz to share with others in the sailing community who have not been lucky enough to have raced there.

“For us, this is a big part of why we do EFG Sailing Arabia - The Tour,” said Herrera.

“We get to see some amazing places and some extraordinary sights. The schedule is pretty demanding but there is a real incentive to finish first in each leg because you then get to spend more time in the stopovers.

“So, if things go well for us, we could end up Go Karting in Doha, skiing in Dubai or lying on a beach at any of these places. That sounds like a lot of fun.”

For more information on Arabia's no.1 offshore race, please go to: http://sailingarabiathetour.com 

About EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour

Launched by Oman Sail in 2011, EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour was designed to reignite the Gulf region’s maritime heritage by celebrating the fast-growing sport of sailing and the opportunities that it represents. The regatta is also an opportunity to showcase the region as an ideal winter sailing destination and international stage for high-calibre sailing events. EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour is contested in a fleet of identical Farr 30 yachts on a course that stretches each crew to the full, testing their skill, teamwork and versatility. In its short history, EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour has gained global recognition, attracting top amateur and world-class professional sailors from four continents. Now in its seventh year, as the only annual event that offers a mix of inshore and offshore competition, The Tour has become one of the most respected and dynamic sailing regattas on the international circuit. For more information on the event, please go to www.sailingarabiathetour.com.  

About Oman Sail

Oman Sail is a national initiative established in 2008 that uses the power of sport to contribute to the development of the Omani people. The equal opportunity project runs sailing programmes for thousands of young Omani men and women, inspiring a new generation to discover sailing. It encompasses a national sailing squad and high achieving inshore and offshore racing teams, all of which benefit from world-class coaching and whose ultimate objective is to win an Olympic medal for Oman. The programme aims to build seven sailing schools around the country, four of which are already operational. The goal is to rekindle Oman’s maritime heritage while raising the country’s regional and international profile as a high-end tourist and foreign investment destination, through competitive sailing at home and abroad. Oman Sail seeks to instil confidence and to teach valuable, transferable life skills to a generation of Omanis.

About EFG International - title sponsor

EFG International has been title sponsor of Sailing Arabia – The Tour since 2013. In addition to their commitment as event partner EFG participates with their own team, EFG Monaco, named to reflect their EFG Sailing Academy partnership with the Monaco Yacht Club. EFG International is a global private banking group headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, offering private banking and asset management services. EFG is active across a broad range of sporting and cultural sponsorships, designed to reflect the diversity of their clients. 

Daphne Morgan Barnicoat | Global PR 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 16 January 2017 )