Sailing The Solent with AkzoNobel
Sneak preview of The Superyacht Forum Live Digital Dialogue instalment with the team at AkzoNobel…
SuperyachtNews visited the team at AkzoNobel UK ahead of their brand re-launch to discuss their vision for coatings, their sustainability targets for 2030 and the technological innovations and acquisitions that may make this possible ( And maybe a quick sail on the 24-hour distance record-holding AkzoNobel Ocean Race yacht).
Our time onboard also gave us a chance to speak to Bilal Salahuddin, Global Business Director for AkzoNobel remotely, about the focus for the company looking forward to 2030 - despite the technical challenges trying to get a reliable signal through a full carbon fibre superstructure! As Salahuddin explained: “The COVID pandemic may even have had a mildly positive impact on the industry, in terms of new entrants to the yachting and new investment into the yachting sector. We believe the demographic is changing also, and with the acquisition of Seahawk, it is a good point in time for us to establish clarity around what we stand for, and also be at the forefront of communication.”
The centrepiece of the day was the opportunity to sail a mini leg on the AkzoNobel Volvo Ocean race yacht on the Solent. An impressive yacht and crew; in the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race, Team AkzoNobel clocked up 602.51 NM in a single 24-hour period, averaging 25.1 knots and setting a new record. Fair to say it's fast, and Captain Liz Wardley and the crew were fantastic with us - even if our helming occasionally left something to be desired…
As well as the sailing, SuperyachtNews spoke to technical support team manager Gareth Thomas about the evolution of coatings below the waterline, global technical manager Richard Jennings spoke about topcoats, testing and repairability, and Emma Churchill, marketing excellence manager, broke down the importance of effective communication in the coatings sector. Because, as highlighted by Churchill:
“People can trust corporations like us more than governments. Therefore, we have a responsibility to protect all our oceans and businesses as much as we can. Our product is literally in contact with water, so it's our responsibility to make sure that we can help our customers reduce the impact, and then also be proud of what we are helping to achieve from a carbon reduction point of view.”
The full Superyacht Forum Live Digital Dialogue will follow shortly, with our interviews and in-depth analysis of the yacht coating sector. Please see our full library of Dialogues here, in the lead up to The Superyacht Forum Live in Amsterdam this November.
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