Ericsson Racing team have appointed Brazil's Torben GRAEL as skipper of their international entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09.
The 47 year old Torben GRAEL
(BRA), who led the Brasil 1 boat to third place overall in an eventful 2005-06 campaign, replaces John KOSTECKI (USA) who left the Ericsson two-boat project in August this year.
Richard BRISIUS, Managing Director of Ericsson Racing Team
, said he was delighted to add GRAEL's pedigree to the campaign. "Torben brings experience and a world-class track record,"
BRISIUS said. "Together with our experienced watch captains, Stu BANNATYNE and Brad JACKSON, the international crew is almost complete and Torben will continue to build on the strong set-up already established."
GRAEL's achievements make impressive reading. Gold medals in the Star class at the Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996) and Athens (2004), silver in the Soling in Los Angeles (1984) and Star bronze in Seoul (1988) and Sydney (2000). He also boasts a string of world and European titles.
He has also been involved in three America's Cups campaigns including the role of tactician for Luna Rossa Challenge
in Valencia at this year's event. Prior to the 2005-06 Volvo, GRAEL was a member of the Innovation Kvaerner
crew in the 1997-98 Whitbread.
GRAEL said: "Sailing around the world is one of the most difficult things you can do in the sport. Having done the Volvo Ocean Race last time and getting a good result, and having a good possibility of doing even better this time is what drove me to do the race again.
"The Ericsson team has a lot of structure, everything is in place. They have the time to do things the way they should be done and that's the main reason that I decided to join them."
Meanwhile, Ericsson's Nordic entry, headed by Swedish skipper Anders LEWANDER
, has been strengthened with the signing of two Danish crew members Stefan MYRALF
and Jens DOLMER
The Ericsson Racing Team
is currently based at their training base in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote.
Ericsson Racing Team
will participate with two boats in the next Volvo Ocean Race. One will have an international crew and the other will be all-Nordic crew. Both boats will be built by Killian Bushe next to Ericsson's headquarters in Kista, Stockholm.
The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the tenth running of the famous ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante, it will for the first time, take in ports in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, China and India. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, 8,000 more than the previous edition in 2005-06, it will stop at around 11 ports and take more than nine months to complete.