'We will use the best international resources available to put together a competitive team in the 16 months we have available to design and build the boat and then have full training and sail testing programme,' commented HANAKAMP, who also confirmed that there will be a strong Russian element to the campaign.
ZHEREBTSOV, founder and chairman of Russian hypermarket chain Lenta, said, 'The boats and the new course make the race a challenge, an adventure and a competition that I am excited about taking part in.'
Commenting on the announcement, Glenn BOURKE, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, said, 'We are delighted to have another confirmed entry in the race and we our especially pleased to have a Russian boat, which will further broaden the global interest of the race.'
The team plans to launch their new Volvo Open 70 in April next year to allow a full programme of sail testing and crew training in the North Atlantic before the start in Alicante, Spain in October 2008.
Prior to April, the team will use a Volvo Ocean 60 (the former Merit Cup), for crew selection and plans to develop new talent in order to create a crew of youth and experience.
The Russian announcement brings the number of confirmed entries in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 to seven. Both Ericsson Racing Team from Sweden, and Pedro CAMPOS's (ESP) team from Spain will enter two boats each, joined by the USA-flagged Puma Racing Team and Mean Machine from the Netherlands.
The 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race will be the 10th running of this iconic ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, it will for the first time, take in ports in the Middle East and Asia. Spanning some 39,000 nautical miles, stopping at around 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world's premier yacht race for professional racing crews.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.
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