Portsmouth (England) - 25, May, 2007 - Ericsson Racing Team announced today that the team will enter two boats in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, which brings the total number of entries in the event to six.
After recruiting skipper John Kostecki, designer Juan Kouyoumdjian and boat builder Killian Bushe last year, a second boat bearing the Ericsson colours will be raced by a Nordic crew and skippered by Swede Anders Lewander.
Alongside Kostecki's international crew, the second boat will be raced by an all Nordic team with a Swedish skipper, Anders Lewander. Lewander is a newcomer to the Volvo Ocean Race and his profile is different from the usual offshore professional sailor.
"We want to bring new people to the event", commented Ericsson Racing Team managing director, Richard Brisius. "One of our goals is to contribute to building experience of top level offshore sailing among sailors in Scandinavia. There are some very skilled sailors in the Nordic region and we want to give them the opportunity to gain the experience required in international offshore sailing."
Anders Lewander has a strong background in dinghy sailing, and has been a member of the Swedish National Sailing Team. Among different and very varied sailing experiences - ranging from windsurfers to 49ers - he has also sailed around the world on board Cheyenne/Playstation in the Oryx Cup 2005. He has been working for North Sails Sweden since 1994, and is a very experienced sail maker.
Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Glenn Bourke, himself formerly a top class dinghy sailor said: "I've always been a firm believer that great dinghy sailors can sail in any class and adapt quicker and better to the demands of different forms of racing. I expect the drive and determination from this team will be second to none. "
"I am very pleased to join such a strong and professional team", commented Anders Lewander. "This is a fantastic opportunity, which suits my personality. I am eager to learn and to share my knowledge. Make no mistake, not having done the race before does not mean I do not aim high. We will be a competitive crew and part of a very strong campaign. I am looking forward to taking on this great challenge."
The Nordic crew will benefit from five-time Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race veteran Magnus Olsson's experience. Technical Director for Ericsson Racing Team in 2005-06, Olsson has been appointed by Lewander as coach and advisor. "His experience will be of great benefit to our team and I am eager to get started", Lewander explained.
Ericsson Racing Team will build two boats and John Kostecki, former race winner and skipper of one of the boats concludes: "This is without doubt the best way to go about building a strong campaign. It will allow us to conduct full scale speed testing and will also help us with our sail development programme by allowing us to test different sail configurations."
Glenn Bourke agrees. "As we have seen with the ABN AMRO campaign in the last race (winners in 2005-06), the development that is possible through two-boat programmes and the extra interest that it brings to the spectating public makes it a huge benefit for the team and to the Volvo Ocean Race itself. "
The two crews will be part of one team and the two boats will compete on an equal basis. Both of them will be built by Ireland's Killian Bushe in a state-of the-art facility next to Ericsson's headquarters in Kista, Stockholm.
"Having two competitive crews in the next race will allow us to train efficiently and to improve a lot before the start of the race", commented Richard Brisius. "It will also give the opportunity to a Nordic crew to sail and, hopefully, perform well around the world."
The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, it will for the first time, take in ports in Asia. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, stopping at around 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier yacht race for professional racing crews.
For further media information, please contact:
Lizzie (Green) Ward/Volvo Ocean Race
Tel: +44 1489 554 832: Mob: +44 7801 185 320
Ola Rembe/Ericsson Racing Team
Tel : +46 730 244873
Ericsson Media Relations
Phone: +46 8 719 6992
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