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13 March 2007, 12:07 pm
Ericsson Back To The Future
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Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09

Ericsson Racing Team have raised the stakes in their efforts to produce a successful campaign for 2008-09 with an intensive research and analysis programme. The purchase of previous race winner ABN AMRO ONE as a training boat, has also added to their armoury.
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Under the eye of designer, Juan KOUYOUMDJIAN, the team has been busy conducting five months of computer simulations and tank tests with the construction of the new Ericsson Volvo Open 70 starting shortly in Kista, Sweden.

According to construction manager Killian BUSHE, the build site will be state of the art. 'Since November, we have worked hard at putting the right team in place and getting all the necessary tools ready,' BUSHE said. 'This includes two ovens - one of them as big as the boat [25 meters] - and a smaller one for all the components. Our team is ready to start the construction and we are looking forward to this new challenge.'

Meanwhile, KOUYOUMDJIAN is confident they have made great strides in developing a boat capable of challenging for overall honours. 'The new boat we have designed represents a clear generation jump from what we have known so far,' he said. 'Its performance will increase noticeably. This boat definitely announces the second generation of VO 70s.'

Extensive Testing

Ericsson are leaving no stone unturned. Fifteen people have been fully involved in the design of the Ericsson yacht since November. Their best designs have been built as models and tested in France, at the Bassin d'essais de carenes de Paris. The tank test unit, which belongs to the Ministry of Defence, has been allocated exclusively to the Ericsson Racing Team for the duration of the tests.

KOUYOUMDJIAN adds, 'We have put a lot of effort into CFD [computational fluid dynamics] analysis. We have based our work on the new route, and have run more than 6,000 virtual races around the world with several models. Today, we know precisely which boat we are going to build and why.'

ABN AMRO ONE will be used as a training and crew selection platform once it is delivered in mid-July. Meanwhile, the team will deploy the 2005-06 Ericsson Volvo 70 for extensive hospitality sailing around the world - starting in Scandinavia this spring.

John KOSTECKI (USA), the Ericsson Racing Team skipper, had an early taste of the performance of ABN AMRO ONE as a member of the winning crew in the Heineken Regatta in St Maarten. 'It was great to sail on this boat,' he said. 'She is quite different to sail compared to my experiences so far on board Volvo Open 70s. This boat is the current benchmark and will allow us to quantify the improvements we make with our new boat.'

The Volvo Ocean Race is an ISAF Special Event. For more information on the Volvo Ocean Race, the Volvo Open 70 and the teams competing, visit the official Volvo Ocean Race website - www.volvooceanrace.org.

For a complete list of all the news about the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 CLICK HERE.

Volvo Ocean Race (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Ericsson have bought 2005-06 race winner ABN AMRO ONE:© Oskar Kihlborg/Volvo Ocean Race
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