Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ericsson Racing presents new Danish crewmembers

[Source: Ericsson Racing Team] Ericsson Racing Team is pleased to announce that Danish sailors Rasmus Køstner and Jann Neergaard have joined the Nordic crew for the inshore races of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Køstner (Århus, Denmark) and Neergaard (Valencia, Spain) are veteran America's Cup Class and match-race sailors. Køstner participated in the 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup with Italy's Mascalzone Latino syndicate, while Neergaard, born and raised in Copenhagen, was with BMW Oracle Racing.

"We're very happy to welcome Rasmus and Jann to Ericsson Racing Team," said Nordic crew skipper Anders Lewander. "Rasmus will add valuable strength to the afterguard, and Jann's strength and experience will strengthen the whole team even further. They're very accomplished and talented sailors."

The 30-year-old Køstner was in the afterguard of Italy's Mascalzone Latino, helping with pre-start strategy and mainsail grinding, and he'll fill a similar role aboard Ericsson 3. Køstner jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Nordic crew.

"I was really thrilled and happy that they could use my expertise in the short course races," said Køstner. "I know many of the guys. We've been racing in the America's Cup and in Scandinavia. To have an opportunity to sail with them is pleasing. I'm happy to be part of the team"

Neergaard, 44, also finds many friends in the crew. Since the conclusion of the Cup last year he's been match racing and sailing aboard an 86-foot canting keel maxi. The Volvo Open 70 is also a canting keel boat, and he found them exhilarating during his first sail on the team's delivery to Alicante.

"I think they're great boats," said Neergaard, who'll be a grinder. "They live up to their expectations. I'm really impressed with the handling and the way they react. They're very responsive boats and fun to sail."

The 10-man Nordic crew features skipper Anders Lewander (Stockholm, Sweden), navigator Aksel Magdahl (Oslo, Norway), watch captains and helmsmen Magnus Olsson (Stockholm, Sweden) and Richard Mason (Stockholm, Sweden), trimmers Thomas Johanson (Espoo, Finland), Stefan Myrälf (Hellerup, Denmark), Jens Dolmer (Nyköbing Falster, Denmark), Anders Dahljsö (Onsala, Sweden), and bowmen Martin Krite (Lund, Sweden) and Martin Strömberg (Gothenburg, Sweden).

There are seven inshore races planned for the Volvo Ocean Race. The points awarded will count for approximately 20 percent of a team's overall score.

Twelve days remain until the Volvo Ocean Race begins with the first inshore race in Alicante, Spain, host port for the start, scheduled Oct. 4. The first offshore leg, to Cape Town, South Africa, is scheduled to begin one week later, Oct. 11.

This is 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.

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