Friday, June 27, 2008

Green Team gets Chinese sponsorship; to be named Green Dragon Team

[Source: Green Team] The Green Team has officially been re-named after securing title sponsorship from a syndicate of Chinese companies.

The team will now be officially known as The Green Dragon Team for the 2008-09 race. The team livery will be unveiled over the coming weeks.

The team already holds strong Chinese links with construction of the boat taking place at McConaghy Boats in Zhuhai. It is the first Volvo Open 70 boat to be built in China.

“We are delighted to be able to finally announce our title sponsorship,” said Jamie Boag, CEO of The Green Dragon Team, at the official announcement in Beijing.

“Having built the boat in China we have developed a close relationship with a number of companies who were interested in being involved in the Volvo Ocean Race. The exposure that this sponsorship will bring the team, and our current and potential sponsors within the Chinese and Asian markets is enormous.”

The boat will be skippered by double Olympic medallist, Britain’s Ian Walker. Following the Green Dragon sponsorship announcement the search is now on for a Chinese crewmember to join Walker’s squad.

The team will be co-ordinating the search and Walker has outlined what he is looking for in the Chinese crewmember. “We would like to see Chinese sailors who are competing at this summer’s Olympics applying along with members of Team China America’s Cup syndicate,” he said.

“However this does not preclude any sailor who is not already established from applying for the position if they feel they have what it takes. We will bring up to 5 potential Chinese crewmembers to Ireland in August to train with the team; from there we will select the final crewmember.”

The build of the Green Dragon Volvo Open 70 was financed through a syndicate of private Irish investors, who remain in place with the project.

“For the syndicate who have financed the construction of the boat, it is the culmination of two years of support and commitment,” said Eamon Conneely, Sailing Director and Syndicate member. “The boat itself sailed for the first time last week and we are thrilled with the results of our first sea trials,”

The team will now head to Ireland in early July for two months of training before leaving at the end of August for Alicante and the race start.

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