Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Holly Grael joins Ericsson

Ericsson have turned to the mercurial talents of Torben Grael to skipper their ‘international’ crew in the 2008-09 race.
The 47-year-old Brazilian, who led Brasil 1 to third place overall in an eventful 2005-06 campaign, replaces John Kostecki who left the Ericsson two-boat project in August.

Grael’s achievements make impressive reading. Gold medals in the Star class at the Olympic Games in Atlanta (1996) and Athens (2004), silver in the Soling in Los Angeles (1984) and Star bronze in Seoul (1988) and Sydney (2000). He also boasts a string of world and international titles.

He has been involved in three America’s Cups campaigns including the role of tactician for Luna Rossa Challenge in Valencia at this year’s event. Prior to the 2005-06 Volvo, Grael was a member of the Innovation Kvaerner crew in the 1997-98 Whitbread.

This time he is back to lead a stellar line-up assembled for Ericsson’s international boat with his sights fixed on overall honours. “Sailing around the world is one of the most difficult things you can do in the sport,” he said. “Having done the Volvo Ocean Race last time and getting a good result, and having a good possibility of doing even better this time is what drove me to do the race again. More @ Volvo Ocean Race