The construction of the Ericsson Racing Team Volvo Ocean Race VO70 is about to commence 9/3/07

After five months of research, computer simulations and tank tests, the construction of the Ericsson Racing Team Volvo Ocean Race VO70 is about to commence in Kista (Sweden).

Commenting on the build situation, Killian Bushe the construction manager said: “The build site is going to be state of the art. Since November, we have worked hard at putting the right team in place and getting all the necessary tools ready. This includes two ovens – one of them as big as the boat (25 meters) – and a smaller one for all the components. Our team is ready to start the construction and we are looking forward to this new challenge.”

In the meantime, Ericsson Racing Team principal designer Juan Kouyoumdjian and his team have been developing what they believe is the best evolution of the VO70 rule so far. Kouyoumdjian said: “We have put a lot of effort into CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis. We have based our work on the new route, and have run more than 6,000 virtual races around the world with several models. Today, we know precisely which boat we are going to build and why.”

Fifteen people have been fully involved in the design of the Ericsson yacht since November. Their best designs have been built as models and tested in France, at the Bassin d’essais de carènes de Paris. This tank testing unit belongs to the Ministry of Defence, and has been allocated exceptionally to the Ericsson Racing Team for the duration of the tests. “It is the best tank testing unit in the world,” added Kouyoumdjian. And the new design? “The new boat we have designed represents a clear generation jump from what we have known so far. Its performance will increase noticeably. This boat definitely announces the second generation of VO70s.”

In order to make sure that Ericsson’s customers can be part of the experience, the team will use the old Ericsson yacht, which raced in the last campaign, for extensive hospitality sailing around the world – starting in Scandinavia this spring. As a training and crew selection platform the team will use the old ABN AMRO One, recently acquired from ABN AMRO. The boat will be delivered to the team in mid-July 2007.

John Kostecki, the Ericsson Racing team skipper, competed (and won) the Heineken Regatta early this week in St Maarten (Caribbean) onboard ABN AMRO One. Chatting about the boat he said: “It was great to sail on this boat. What I have seen and learned comforts me in our choice. She is quite different to sail compared to my experiences so far on board VO70s. This boat is the current benchmark and will allow us to quantify the improvements we make with our new boat.”