Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ericsson 4 presented today

[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] Ericsson Racing Team has today presented the final piece of the puzzle for the Volvo Ocean Race. Ericsson 4 was officially unveiled to an invited audience of Ericsson employees and guests, at the team’s boatyard next to the Global Headquarters in Kista, Stockholm.

The day was doubly significant in that it marks 100 days to the opening race in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008/09 on October 4, 2008.

Ericsson Racing Team created a bespoke boat yard right next to Ericsson’s global head office to build the two new boats, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4.

Ericsson 3 was launched last year and today’s event marks the culmination of the build program for Ericsson 4. International crew skipper, Torben Grael and Nordic crew skipper, Anders Lewander were present to see the final handover of the boat from the build team.

“This marks the true start of race mode for the international crew’s campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race and we are really excited about getting out and sailing the boat in early July. We have got a great crew and good team, and we now have the boat. Killian [Bushe] and his team here in Kista have done a fantastic job. And for me this will be, I hope, the perfect boat,” commented Grael.

The build of the boats, which were designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, has been managed by Killian Bushe, who has been at the forefront of composite boat building since the early 1980’s, including most recently the boats for ABN AMRO.

“Most of the other teams this time around have built their boats at an existing boat yard, so in that respect we are different in that we have created our own bespoke build facility from a blank canvas. At times there has been a team of up to 32 guys working on the boats and when we had the overlap period of some two months, we were able to fit in three 70’ elements in the yard – Ericsson 3 in the oven, the plug for Ericsson 4 and then the deck mould, commented Bushe.

“It is incredible that you can find a boatyard right here, in the middle of a capital city and next door to Ericsson’s global head office,” added Juan Kouyoumdjian, the boat’s designer. “This is a state-of-the-art facility and the boats are amongst the most technologically advanced that I have been involved with, which was, of course, one of the initial objectives of the campaign.”

Some 17,400 visitors have come to visit the boatyard since the build started, giving both Ericsson colleagues and customers the opportunity to interact with the build team and see, first hand, how a technologically advanced racing yacht is constructed.

The yard was based in a building owned by Klövern, a real estate company that has hosted the team offices and boat yard during the build phase. Their commitment to the team formed part of their activities to market Kista as an attractive area for business.

Ericsson 4 is due to leave the boatyard at Kista on 5th July for sea trials off the coast at Nynäshamn. In mid July both Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4 will begin two boat testing and will return back to the training base at Lanzarote.

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