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31 August 2005, 02:54 pm
ABN AMRO Christens Second Boat
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Rotterdam, Netherlands

With much fanfare, the second ABN AMRO boat was christened in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Saturday, after 16 months of preparation and over two years of planning. Skipper Mike SANDERSON (NZL) was more than excited to finally be on board the boat he will be sailing during the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006.

'This boat is the highest quality boat of any I know,' SANDERSON enthused. 'I've never seen anything like it. It really has been taken to a whole new level!'

The ABN AMRO ONE was officially christened in the Royal Yacht and Rowing Club de Maas, right next to the city's crowning landmark, the Erasmus Bridge.

ABN AMRO employees helped to kick start the event by releasing confetti and to the steady and throbbing beat of a drum band, Slagerij van Kampen, the black boat docked with all the flags of the sailors of TEAM ABN AMRO.

After a speech commemorating the rich maritime history of the Dutch, the boat was wished well on its journey and officially christened by the traditional bottle of champagne against its bow.

The first TEAM ABN AMRO boat to be put on the water was christened in Portugal and that first generation Volvo Ocean 70 will be used by the sailors of crew TWO.

This latest boat is the only second-generation VO70 in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. The two-boat campaign has allowed the crew ONE sailors time to sail the first VO70 boat on the water and to work out even better ways to design their next boat.

SANDERSON commented, 'The new boat is very much crew ONE's baby. We were involved in the decision making all the way through. We really made sure we used the advantage to be able to build a second boat.'

He is clear the boat is the lightest and strongest it could possibly be. 'There is absolutely no filler on this boat! What is black is carbon and what is painted is painted right over the carbon.'

Henrik OTTERSEN, a boat builder who worked to build the ABN AMRO ONE said, 'This boat was built very close to perfection! At one time I was working on a fitting to spare some weight. After three 15 hour days, we measured it again and I had saved 23 grams of weight.'

Jan DEKKER of crew ONE had one wish for the audience present at the christening. 'I hope everyone who is here tonight really gets to see the new boat here. And that they appreciate it! She will be fast…'

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image:© Jon Nash/Sacha Oswald
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