Latest news from VOR fleet including Ericsson redress news and official Leg 3 crew list 10/2/06

The final week of the Melbourne stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race has been full of incident as last minute preparations are made for the next two legs of the race.

An international jury for the Volvo Ocean Race today threw out Ericsson’s request for redress after being recalled for an early start in Saturday’s In-Port race in Melbourne. The jury did not have to resolve the question of whether Ericsson had actually crossed the start line early because it found that the team’s request was invalid. Ericsson had taken 30 hours instead of two minutes, as stipulated by the race rules, to notify the race committee it felt aggrieved.

The international jury, chaired by New Zealander Jack Lloyd, found that Ericsson did not raise a red flag and waited too long – 2200 Sunday local time – to claim redress.

Because of the extent of the modifications that Grant Wharington’s Brunel wish to make they need to re-enter the race, which means the existing boat officially withdrew from the race today. Wharington will sit out the next three legs of the race and the new entry will rejoin for the legs from Baltimore to Göteborg.

“Back in November we had just a week to get to the start line and measure the boat and the fact that we got there was amazing in itself,” explained Wharington, “but this is not a game and we are up against the most professional, competitive sailing teams in the world. We need some time to regroup and finish this race as we hoped we could have started it – at 100 per cent capacity. All we needed was some more time and budget and now Brunel has committed to us as our new Title Sponsor we have it. We will ship the boat to Baltimore, perhaps bolster the team with some different crew and come out punching.”

Wharington continued: “It’s an unusual approach, that’s for sure, but there is nothing in the rules that precludes us from doing this. We just have to comply with all the rules and pay another entry fee. We are confident that we can be much more competitive and are looking forward to getting to Baltimore looking quite different.”

The final week has seen many of the teams back out practicing and training for the next leg. Ericsson participated in an overnight boat test heading out on Port Phillip Bay; Pirates of the Caribbean have been out on the water training, as have ABN AMRO ONE and TWO. The Spanish entry movistar have put the most days in on the water this week and this afternoon saw Brasil 1’s only outing onto Port Phillip Bay.

Looking forward to the next leg, many of the teams are treating leg three and four of the race with a unified approach, as, unless they want to take a two-hour time penalty in New Zealand, they will have to load the boat with all of the sails, food and equipment to see them through to Rio de Janeiro.

Pirates of the Caribbean’s Paul Cayard explained: “There is the option to treat these as two separate legs and you could not take food and fuel and instead incur a two hour time penalty but it is a hard call. It would be hard to stay on the dock for two hours and watch the fleet go, as it could turn into several hundred miles if you get on the wrong side of a weather system.”

He continued: “We are planning on racing in the mode of the fourth leg and in that way the legs are tied together. It will be a short stopover, so there is not much we can do to the boat. It will be a pit-stop, we will do some basic cleaning and maintenance and try to rest up for what will be a hard 20 days from Cape Horn to Rio.”

It has been a hard week for the race navigators as they have had to prepare for both of the legs as they are uncertain of how much time they will have in Wellington to ‘study’. Steve Hayles, navigator on Ericsson, explained the challenges: “We have over 8,000 nautical miles to sail to Rio de Janeiro over two legs and very tricky conditions in various parts. There are very technical aspects to both legs and so I have done lots of studying and there has also been a lot of work for our meteorology team. We will see almost everything on this combined leg. It will be as hot as it is ever going to be, as cold as it is ever going to be, and I am sure we will have some light winds and I am also sure we will have some gales. There is going to be absolutely everything the Volvo Ocean Race can give you.”

The crew lists for the next stage of the race also arrived today and there are just two changes, Mark Christensen (NZ) returns to the crew of ABN AMRO ONE after taking injury time, and technical director Horacio Carabelli (BRA) replaces Marcelo Ferreira (BRA) onboard Brasil 1 for the next leg.

Leg three starts off Station Pier, Port Melbourne at 1300 (local) on Sunday 12 February. The teams will cover 1,450 nautical miles on their way to Wellington, expecting to arrive on the 16 February. They will then restart to Rio de Janeiro on the 19 February.

Crew lists for Leg Three

(Melbourne-Wellington 1,450 nm)


Mike Sanderson (NZ) – Skipper

Stan Honey (USA) – Navigator

Brad Jackson (NZ)

Mark Christensen (NZ) [replaces Brian Thompson (GBR)]

Tony Mutter (NZ)

Sidney Gavignet (FRA)

David Endean (NZ)

Jan Dekker (RSA)

Robert Greenhalgh (GBR)

Justin Slattery (IRL)


Sebastien Josse (FRA) – Skipper

Simon Fisher (GBR) – Navigator

Andrew Lewis (USA)

George Peet (USA)

Gerd Jan Poortman (NED)

Hans Horrevoets (NED)

Luke Molloy (AUS)

Nick Bice (AUS)

Scott Beavis (NZ)

Simeon Tienpont (NED)

Brasil 1

Torben Grael (BRA) – Skipper

Marcel Van Triest (NED) – Navigator

André Fonseca (BRA)

Andy Meiklejohn (NZ)

Henrique Pellicano (BRA)

João Signorini (BRA)

Horacio Carabelli (BRA) [replaces Marcelo Ferreira (BRA)]

Roberto Bermudez (ESP)

Stuart Wilson (NZ)

Knut Frostad (NOR)

Ericsson Racing Team

Neal McDonald (GBR) – Skipper

Steve Hayles (GBR) – Navigator

Damien Foxall (IRL)

David Rolfe (NZ)

Guillermo Altadill (ESP)

Jason Carrington (GBR)

Magnus Woxen (SWE)

Richard Mason (NZ)

Thomas Braidwood (AUS)

Timothy Powell (GBR)


Bouwe Bekking (NED) – Skipper

Andrew Cape (AUS) – Navigator

Chris Nicholson (AUS)

Jonathan Swain (USA)

Mike Joubert (RSA)

Noel Drennan (IRL)

Pepe Ribes (ESP)

Peter Doriean (AUS)

Stu Bannatyne (NZ)

Xabier Fernandez (ESP)

Pirates of the Caribbean

Paul Cayard (USA) – Skipper

Jules Salter (GBR) – Navigator

Craig Satterthwaite (NZ)

Curtis Blewett (CAN)

Erle William (NZ)

Anthony Merrington (AUS)

Justin Clougher (AUS)

Justin Ferris (NZ)

Rodney Ardern (NZ)

Dirk de Ridder (NED)

Current Leaderboard

1. TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 32.5 pts

2. TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 25 pts

3. Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED) 18 pts

4. Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA) 16.5 pts

5. Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 16 pts

6. Ericsson Racing Team, Neal McDonald (GBR) 14.5 pts