Ericsson Racing Team’s International crew plans to work on its inshore racing technique Sept. 1-6 at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Sardinia.The crew, led by Brazilian skipper Torben Grael, has been training and testing for the Volvo Ocean Race the past year in the Canary Islands. Grael and crew see the Maxi Worlds as an opportunity for some live, close-quarter action.
Grael will be accompanied by his full crew, including navigator Jules Salter, watch captains Stu Bannatyne and Brad Jackson, trimmers Tony Mutter, João Signorini and Horácio Carabelli, trimmer/pitman Dave Endean, bowmen Ryan Godfrey and Phil Jameson, and media crewman Guy Salter.
‘We thought it’d be a good opportunity for us to get some real racing before the start of the Volvo race,’ said Grael. ‘It’s a different boat (from the Volvo Open 70), but similar kind of size. And it’s racing. We need to do some racing, so it’s a good opportunity.’
They’ll race the new 69-footer Alfa Romeo 3, built for New Zealand and Australian businessman Neville Crichton. The boat is entered in the Mini Maxi Division, for yachts between 60 and 79 feet, and which has 18 early registrations.
The regatta is scheduled Sept. 1-6. Racing is planned Sept. 2, 3, 4 and 6. Sept. 5 is a scheduled lay day or reserve racing day. Up to two races a day may be sailed, depending on the conditions.
Ericsson Racing Team has entered two crews in the Volvo Ocean Race, beginning in October. Grael leads the International crew, with sailors representing Australia, Brazil, Great Britain and New Zealand. Swedish skipper Anders Lewander leads the Nordic crew, with sailors from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
It is now 37 days to go to the start of the first in port race of the Volvo Ocean Race, scheduled for October 4, in Alicante, Spain.
The entries mark Ericsson’s second foray in the Volvo Ocean Race, which it sees as a valuable platform to meet clients and customers around the world while also showcasing its technology.