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Ericsson Hopes to Build on Recent Success

26 May 2006 – The Ericsson Racing Team is now ready to get back out on the water to train for Monday’s in-port race. The race will commence at 13.00 local time on 29 May. The team welcomes a new navigator, Andrew Cape (AUS), who previously sailed on movistar. Cape replaces Mark Rudiger (USA), who was only able to sail legs six and seven due to other commitments.

After seven offshore legs and five in-port regattas, the Volvo Ocean Race is nearing its conclusion, with two in-port regattas and two ocean legs remaining. After an excellent second place during the Atlantic crossing from New York (USA) to Portsmouth (UK), and with 21 points still up for grabs, the Ericsson Racing Team has everything to play for.

“I look forward to sailing the in-port race in my home waters,” comments skipper Neal McDonald (GBR). “We have a very solid team and we really showed our true potential on the previous leg. A good result in Monday’s in-port race would set us up nicely for the remainder of the race.”

The crew for Monday’s in-port race will be similar to that which crossed the Atlantic, with the addition of Jason Carrington (who has sailed all the in-port races and all the legs until Rio de Janeiro), whilst Andrew Cape takes over from Mark Rudiger as navigator. Andrew Cape was movistar’s navigator until their dramatic rescue during the previous leg.

“After all that has happened with movistar, it is great to be able to continue in the Volvo Ocean Race,” says Cape. “I am very happy that the Ericsson Racing Team has asked me to become its navigator. It is a very talented team, and I look forward to racing with them until Gothenburg.”

The stormy weather which has battered the Solent for the past ten days is expected to ease off by Sunday, bringing a gentler weather pattern for Monday’s in-port race. A light north-westerly breeze is expected in the morning, becoming gusty and shifty through midday and building to 15-20 knots by mid to late afternoon.

Depending on the conditions, the fleet will sail either a triangular course followed by three windward-leeward legs, or a windward-leeward course consisting of four laps. For McDonald, together with Tim Powell (GBR), Jason Carrington (GBR) and Andrew Cape, The Solent is a familiar training ground.

“The team set up worked very well on the previous leg, and so we have decided to continue with the same crew, with the addition of Capey. Between us, we certainly have a good deal of local knowledge around the Solent. However, the in-port race is to be held in an area where none of us have done a lot of racing,” says McDonald.

The in-port regatta will take place five nautical south off Portsmouth Harbour, in the area of water bounded by the Nab tower to the east and Bembridge, Isle of Wight, to the west. This Monday is a Bank Holiday in England and hundreds of spectator crafts are expected to come and enjoy the show.

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This entry was posted on Friday, May 26th, 2006 at 9:21 am and is filed under Main Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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