For leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race which starts this Sunday in Auckland, Team SEB, currently in sixth position overall, has hired French solo and trimaran sailor Pascal Bidegorry, aged 34.
"Pascal with his extensive ocean racing knowledge and experience is the person we have been looking for. He fits in well as helmsman in our team, says skipper Gurra Krantz.
Bidegorry, a professional sailor since 1993, has so far specialized on solo and trimaran sailing. During the year 2000 he won the well known French solo race "The Figaro", with a course from France to Ireland, via Spain and England.
During 2001, he has been on the winner's stand several times sailing on the French trimaran "Groupama" where he met Team SEB's navigator Marcel van Triest. On Groupama he won the French Grand Prix du Cap d'Agde and also the ORMA 60 foot multihull Championship.
"I am looking forward to competing across the Southern Ocean and it is very motivating doing it with Team SEB", Pascal Bidegorry said at a press meeting in Auckland today.
More crew changes throughout the fleet are expected later in the week when the final crew lists for the 6,700 nautical mile leg to Rio de Janeiro are announced.