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26 March 2005, 07:42 am
Team ABN AMRO Makes Final Selection
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

TEAM ABN AMRO has selected its final eight sailors who will form the core crew for the ABN AMRO second boat in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005/06.

These eight young professional sailors are:

Phil HARMER - Australia
Luke MALLOY - Australia
Lucas BRUN - Brazil
Andre MIRSKY - Brazil
Gerd-Jan POORTMAN - the Netherlands
Simeon TIENPONT - the Netherlands
Andrew LEWIS - United States
George PEET - United States

These eight sailors have been chosen from an initial group of 80 candidates who competed in crew selections all around the world. These sailors were selected from four regional crew selections: one Dutch, Brazilian, American and international.

Five sailors out of each of these four selections came to Portugal to compete, beginning on 15 March. After a week of sailing tests, 12 were chosen to compete in a final week of selection.

TEAM ABN AMRO originally received over 1,800 resumes from young sailors under 30 who wanted to be a part of the team and receive the chance to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Two judges, Maurice PAARDENKOOPER and Hans HORREVOETS, have chosen the sailors with the right balance of judgement, teamwork, all-round sailing experience and technical knowledge required to be able to successfully sail in the Volvo Ocean Race.

This past two weeks twenty high potential young sailors under the age of thirty competed for a seat on board the Volvo 70 to race in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005/06.

The first week of this final crew selection involved morning and afternoon sailing sessions, medical testing and crew meetings. All sailing was done on the 60 foot 'Pindar' boat, which is famous for its solo round-the-world travels under skipper Emma RICHARDS. The second week, which concluded on 24 March, included long-distance offshore sailing.

The candidates sailed 24 hours a day without stopping for several days. The boat has a watch system, where there is always a crew working and a crew resting. These sailors were on the water for 18 hours a day and on land for six hours a day.

Sebastien JOSSE (Skipper), Nick BICE, Simon FISHER (Navigator) and Scott BEAVIS, the four second boat crew members announced earlier this week, attended the final selection to welcome their future crewmembers to TEAM ABN AMRO. They later went out and sailed with their new teammates aboard the Pindar, alongside the ABN AMRO first boat.

TEAM ABN AMRO will be sailing two boats in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005/06. The first boat is comprised of fully professional crew members with many years of experience.

The second boat is largely comprised of young professional sailors under 30 who have yet to sail around the world, but who have extensive sailing experience. They will be given the same equipment and provisions as the first boat. This is the first time that two boats will race under one banner in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Volvo Ocean Race is the toughest off-shore race in the world, covering over 32,000 nautical miles.

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