27 April 2006 – This Saturday, 29 April, the Ericsson Racing Team will take to the water for the Annapolis in-port race under the captaincy of John Kostecki (USA). The race, scheduled for kick off at 13.00 EDT, will take place in the Chesapeake Bay; an area well know for its tricky sailing conditions. Ericsson, currently sixth overall but lying third in the in-port race standings, will compete with nine out of the ten crewmembers that took the team to a podium position in Rio.
The Ericsson Racing Team has been training hard in the Chesapeake this week, in order to bring the sailors up to speed with the light tricky conditions of the bay. Local expert from Annapolis, Chris Larson, has been assisting the crew with his knowledge of the area.
“Chris has been very helpful”, comments John Kostecki. “We had a full day’s training out in the race area on Tuesday, followed by more training yesterday and today. It’s a tricky area so the more time we spend there, the more comfortable we will be on Saturday. There is a lot of current, which is not very well documented, and the race course is surrounded by land so conditions can be very shifty.”
The course for Saturday’s in-port race will be three to four windward-leeward legs, and the current forecast is a light easterly breeze.
The line up onboard Ericsson will be very similar to the team which finished third in Rio de Janeiro. The only exception is the addition of Jonathan Taylor (GBR), whilst Guillermo Altadill (ESP) steps off due to an injury to his left hand.
“The crew work in Rio de Janeiro was good and we are feeling confident for Saturday’s race,” says Kostecki. “I haven’t sailed much with Jonathan Taylor, but from what I have seen and the experience he has got, I believe he will be a good addition to the team.”
Guillermo Altadill (ESP), who has sailed onboard Ericsson since the race start in Spain, damaged two tendons in his hand during leg one, and the decision has been made to undergo surgery today. It is uncertain when he will be fully recovered, and if he will return to the Volvo Ocean Race.
Following the in-port race, Neal McDonald (GBR) will return as skipper. He will shortly decide on the final crew positions and announce the crew list for legs six and seven. While the crew has been training for the in-port race, American sailors Mark Rudiger and Ken Read have already begun preparing for the coming legs. Ian “Barney” Walker (AUS) will join the team in Baltimore next week.
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