Brunel Teamwork will be the new name for Grant Wharington´s VOR team 25/1/06

At a press conference held in the Volvo Ocean Race village in Melbourne today it was announced that Brunel Teamwork will be the new name for Grant Wharington´s team in the event.

Details were also revealed about the cooperation between Brunel and the Australian entry led by Wharington, a past winner of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

To enable a fully competitive challenge in the event, the racing programme will include the In Port Race at Melbourne next Saturday 4 February and possibly the short leg to Wellington. The boat will be shipped to the United States following improvements and modifications and will continue racing from Baltimore to the finish at Gothenburg, Sweden.

“We will make the boat as good as it should have been before the start of the first leg and will leave no stone unturned to make it better: ‘Fully cocked’ as we say it here,’ said Wharington: ‘We like to be a serious threat and we want to make Brunel and our supporters all over the world proud. It is a difficult decision, but we would rather win one leg than be just a number in the race.”

Wharington stressed that his boat is very reliable: “Our confidence has even grown in the last few weeks. We could finish each leg, and maybe even be in the top three in the final classification by just doing that. But that is not what we want. We need major modifications to be competitive with the others. And we want to be the first boat to do 600 miles in 24 hours.”

No further details of construction work will be made at this time.

A revised crew panel will be based on the existing team and possibly some new people.

The new sponsorship arrangement includes a commitment to have at least one high profile Dutch sailor on the crew: “We will be looking for a strong person on the foredeck and in the pit,” specified Wharington. Up to four or five people will be invited to come to Australia for a selection process.

Loek Hogenhout marketing director of Brunel International stressed that the sponsor fully supports Wharington’s decision to have a time out: “It is in the best interest of the team, the sponsor and the Volvo Ocean Race. We are convinced that Brunel Teamwork will put up a challenge for the second part of the race.”