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22 March 2005, 11:55 am
ABN AMRO Crew Selection Narrows
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Portimao, Portugal

Twelve sailors have been selected for the final week of trials for the eight available positions on the second ABN AMRO boat in the Volvo Ocean Race. The final crew selection of twenty has already been whittled down and now there are just a few days left for the young sailors to prove themselves worthy of a place on the boat skippered by Sebastien JOSSE (FRA).
The twelve sailors selected were:

· Phil HARMER (AUS)
· Luke MOLLOY (AUS)
· Lucas BRUN (BRA)
· Andre MIRSKY (BRA)
· Edgardo VIEYTES (BRA)
· Gerd-Jan POORTMAN (NED)
· Simeon TIENPONT (NED)
· Eduard VAN LIERDE (NED)
· Simon SHAW (GBR)
· Andrew LEWIS (USA)
· Jan MAJER (USA)
· George PEET (USA)

After spending weeks together, first in a regional selection process and later in a final selection week in Portugal, the candidates have formed strong bonds of friendship and loyalty to one another. They wanted not only themselves to succeed, but all of their regional team members. However, this was not possible in this selection process.

All of the original 20 candidates knew that only eight sailors would make it aboard the ABN AMRO second boat, and that there would be some who would fall by the wayside.

Yesterday the twelve sailors began their second week of crew selection turning their schedules upside down. This week will consist of offshore sailing in shifts: night shifts, day shifts, graveyard or midnight to dawn shifts. The sailors will begin to feel the boat at night, feeling the winds, feeling the water but without the normal visual cues that will tell them what is up ahead.

The sailors will draw on reserves of instinct, experience, faith in the influence and blind faith in the other guys who are sailing with them. Just like a large plane flying from Europe to New Zealand, this boat will fly for long stretches. Unlike this jumbo jet, they will not have all the equipment normally used to navigate it's way.

Part of the test will be to see how well these teams can communicate with each other when they make their crew changes. Also, each leg has a pit stop in the early hours of the journey to get an opportunity to check in with the judge and skipper JOSSE.

ABN AMRO Bank N.V. (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© 2004-2005 ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
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