We ask top sailors and marine industry gurus to choose the coolest and most innovative yachts of our times. Here, Stu Bannatyne nominates the Volvo 70 Ericsson 4

“Ericsson 4 holds a special place in my history of boats sailed. I was fortunate to be part of a very talented team that resulted in the fastest Volvo 70 of its era and it gave us many happy moments; along with some very stressful ones too!”

The Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Volvo 70, Ericsson 4 won the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race, skippered by Torben Grael. During the very first leg of that race the crew showed her potential by setting a 24-hour monohull record, covering 596.6 miles, something Bannatyne recalls as giving “a great sense of satisfaction, both personally and for the team.”

Photo: Oskar Kihlborg/Ericsson Racing Team

He adds: “The Volvo 70 was the best of all the Volvo Ocean Race classes and the same boats are still very active, and winning races globally.

“It’s fantastic to see so many generations of them still being campaigned across the world, whether with a full professional team or a pay-to-play charter operation. The sailors always come back with wide smiles knowing they have experienced racing on the best ever Volvo Ocean Race boats!”

Ericcson 4 stats rating:

Top speed: 41 knots
LOA: 21.50m
Launched: 2008
Berths: 8
Price: €5m
Adrenalin factor: 85%

Stu Bannatyne

Known as the ‘King of the Southern Ocean’ for his exceptional ocean racing abilities, New Zealand sailor Stu Bannatyner has competed in eight Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races and won it four times, including the most recent edition with Dongfeng. He has also broken the 24-hour monohull world speed record on five occasions.

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