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24 March 2005, 02:54 pm
Experience Onboard Brasil 1
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
São Paulo, Brazil

Brasil 1 may be the first Brazilian team to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race but that does not mean the crew is short of experience. Torben GRAEL (BRA) is but one of the sailors in a line up that features stacks of Olympic and ocean race experience.
Australian Adrienne CAHALAN, Brasil 1's navigator, was a bit intimidated when she first looked at her crewmates' resumes: 'Everywhere I look there is Olympic glory. I'm the only one without Olympic experience in this crew. In fact, Juggy [Justin CLOUGHER (AUS)] and Stu [Stuart WILSON (NZL)] and I are the only ones who never sailed in Olympic Games', she said.

CAHALAN has a strong argument. Skipper GRAEL, is the current Star Olympic champion and has won five medals in six Olympic Games, a record in sailing and Brazilian Olympic history. His bowman Marcelo FERREIRA (BRA), has three medals, two of them gold. Guillermo ALTADILL (ESP) is also an Olympic Champion, as coach for the Spanish team that finished first overall in the Tornado class in the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. Kiko PELLICANO (BRA) is another medallist, with a bronze in the Tornado class in Atlanta, sailing with GRAEL's brother, Lars GRAEL (BRA).

Not even the younger members of the Brasil 1 crew are strangers to the Olympics. André FONSECA (BRA), 26, and Joca SIGNORINI (BRA), 27, both sailed in Athens last year. FONSECA was sixth overall in the 49er class and SIGNORINI finished tenth in the Finn. 'You see, even the boys have Olympic experience', CAHALAN said with a laugh. 'But we have another thing to offer: experience. Something they don't have'.

The only woman in the Volvo Ocean Race so far, CAHALAN is one the most respected sailors in the world. She has been nominated for ISAF World Sailor of the Year four times and was the first woman to break the around the world speed record, onboard Cheyenne in 2004. CLOUGHER is the only round the world champion in the team (he was first overall with EF Language in 1997-1998) and WILSON was second overall in the last Volvo Ocean Race, onboard Assa Abloy. According to a confident GRAEL, 'this is a proof of our team's potential.'

Brasil 1, sponsored by VIVO, Motorola, QUALCOMM and Apex, is being built in Indaiatuba, São Paulo. Construction is scheduled to finish in May.

Brasil 1 Crew
Torben GRAEL (BRA)
Adrienne CAHALAN (AUS)
Guillermo ALTADILL (ESP)
Roberto 'Chuny' BERMUDEZ (ESP)

Bruno Doro (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Team Brasil 1's Crew:© Brasil 1 2005
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