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4 February 2005, 09:28 am
Brasil 1 Begins Sail Testing
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Auckland, New Zealand

Skipper Torben GRAEL is spending the week in Auckland, New Zealand, where, in the labs of Auckland University, Brasil 1 sails will face their first test. Since Monday, they have been tested in a wind tunnel to verify how the sails react to different velocities and angles of winds.

'It's an exhaustive job. We enter the lab in the morning and follow the tests until late at night', describes Grael. Sails coordinator Stuart WILSON, who lives three hours from Auckland, is also taking part in the tests, as are Spaniards Roberto 'Chuny' BERMUDEZ and Guillermo ALTADILL.

'The work is very technical, but interesting. So far, everything is positive. A lot of set ups have been tested and we already know what to expect during the race', Torben said.

The wind tunnel tests are being supervised by North Sails, Brasil 1 sails supplier. 'We can use limited number of sails during the whole race, so it is very important to have the right sail for the right weather', Brasil 1 director Alan ADLER explained.

A race rule limits each team to use 24 sails during the whole competition. In a leg or in-port race, boats can carry only 11 sails, plus the mandatory storm sails. The limitation will make teams modify used sails to new set ups. 'Each sail will be cut at least one time during the race', Wilson said.

Brasil 1 boat is being built in Indaiatuba. It will be ready in the end of May and will be christened in June. The complete crew was announced last week, in Rio. The team features Brazilians Torben GRAEL, Marcelo FERREIRA, Kiko PELLICANO, André FONSECA and Joca SIGNORINI, Australians Adrienne CAHALAN and Justin CLOUGHER, Spaniards Guillermo ALTADILL and Roberto 'Chuny' BERMUDEZ, New Zealander Stuart WILSON and Norwegian Knut FROSTAD.

Bruno Doro (As Amended by ISAF)
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