The 2nd official entry for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 was confirmed today 18/9/06
The second official entry for the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 was confirmed today as the Mean Machine syndicate under the leadership of Dutchman Peter de Ridder, following Ericsson confirming last week that they were taking place in the round the world race.
The announcement of the Mean Machine entry was made at a press conference in the Balearic port of Ibiza, Spain, where de Ridder and his team are contesting the TP52 Breitling MedCup.
De Ridder, who has overseen 20 years of competition for the Mean Machine outfit, is relishing the challenge presented by the Volvo Ocean Race.
De Ridder commented: “There is no life without a challenge, and competitive sailing is my passion. I think that the combination of these two elements, sailing and a new challenge gives me the positive energy to enjoy life to the full in a demanding and exciting atmosphere. It also gives me the chance to bring together my passion and my experience as a businessman. I’m sure that all these ingredients will be a winning combination for Mean Machine to do well in the next Volvo Ocean Race.”
“We are aiming to have the budget to allow us to have the very best design team, the best sail development programme and the best support team. We don’t want a “rock star” crew – we want the best. Even Real Madrid with its team full of superstars was unable to bring home the goods last season due to the fact that they weren’t able to build a strong and solid team.”
Ray Davies, the Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup veteran, a highly regarded helmsman and tactician on the international sailing circuit, was named as skipper while Dirk de Ridder will combine the roles of watch captain and operations director.
Davies and de Ridder were team-mates aboard second-placed Merit Cup in the 1997-98 Whitbread Round the World Race and both sailed on illbruck, the winner of the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race. De Ridder was also a crew member on Pirates of The Caribbean in 2005-06.
Davies (a member of the current Emirates Team New Zealand America’s Cup crew), said: “The possibility of developing the Mean Machine culture and identity on a grander scale is really exciting. I have learned a lot from the successful projects I have been involved in, and I know what we have to do. I am looking forward to getting to grips with this new, bigger Mean Machine project and can’t wait to get out there and sail the Volvo Open 70 with a team that’s going to give 100 per cent to win.”
The confirmation of the Mean Machine entry, following last week’s announcement that Ericsson would be on the start line again after their 2005-06 campaign, was welcomed by Glenn Bourke, CEO of the Volvo Ocean
Bourke said: “We are delighted that a syndicate under the management of a sailor of the calibre of Peter de Ridder will be competing in the Volvo
Ocean Race. Peter brings with him a wealth of experience in elite competition and I’m sure that Mean Machine will provide tough opposition for their Volvo Ocean Race rivals. Peter’s participation extends a long and distinguished history by Dutch competitors in the race”.
“With today’s announcement, the confirmation of the Ericsson, and news of further entries in the coming weeks, it is clear that the 2008-09 Volvo
Ocean Race is in great shape.”
The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will start from the Spanish port of Alicante in autumn of 2008.