Stockholm, May 25, 2007 – The Ericsson Racing Team will enter two boats in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. After recruiting skipper John Kostecki, designer Juan Kouyoumdjian and boat builder Killian Bushe last year, the team announces today that a second boat bearing its colours will be raced by a Nordic crew and skippered by Swede Anders Lewander.
The Ericsson Racing Team has decided to build two boats in its bid to conquer the Volvo Ocean Race in 2008 – 09. “This is without a doubt the best way to go about building a strong campaign”, comments John Kostecki, skipper of one of the boats. “It will allow us to conduct full scale speed testing and also helps us with our sail program by allowing us to test different sail configurations.”
Alongside Kostecki’s international crew, the second boat will be raced by an all Nordic team with a Swedish skipper. Anders Lewander, who will lead this team, is a newcomer in the Volvo Ocean Race and his profile is different from the usual offshore professional sailor. “We want to bring new people to the event”, comments 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 dinghies sailing, having been a member of the Swedish National Sailing Team. Amongst different and very varied sailing experiences – ranging from 49ers to Archipelago Raid – 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.
“I am very pleased to join such a strong and professional team”, comments Anders Lewander. “This is a fantastic opportunity, that 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 look forward to taking on this great challenge.”
Lewander’s crew will benefit from five time Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race veteran Magnus Olsson’s experience. Technical Director for the Ericsson Racing Team in 2005-06, “Mange”, has been appointed by Lewander as coach and advisor to the Nordic crew. “His experience will be of great benefit to our team and I eager to get started”, comments Lewander.
The two crews will be part of one same team and the two boats will compete on an equal basis. Both of them will be built by Killian Bushe next to Ericsson’s headquarters in Kista (Stockholm).
“The fact of 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”, comments Richard Brisius. “It will also give the opportunity to a Nordic crew to sail and hopefully perform well around the world.”
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