The International and Nordic crews for Ericsson Racing Team yesterday departed their training base in the Canary Islands nearly one year after it was opened. Their destination: Alicante, Spain, in preparation for the start of the 10th Volvo Ocean Race.
The two crews embarked on their estimated five-day voyage late in the afternoon. In the morning they were feted by dignitaries including the Canary Islands Government Regional Minister for Tourism, Rita Martín, and members of the Calero family, who hosted the team at the Puerto Calero Marina.
'As time goes by and you get closer to the start, you get anxious to get going,' said Brazilian Torben Grael, skipper of the International crew. 'We've had a wonderful time here and we're going to miss it.'
Magnus Olsson, watch captain and helmsman for the Nordic crew, opened the base last year and said the time on the island was invaluable.
'The decision to have the base here has been very good,' said Olsson. 'When we made the decision we were afraid that it was an island, and people would get bored and lose motivation. But we've had a lot of good sailing.'
The Lanzarote base has been good because it offers a multitude of things for the team. It takes no longer than 10 or 15 minutes from when the crews leave the dock to when the sails are hoisted and their into the day's testing program.
With the crews leaving for the start, the base is in dismantle mode. The remaining containers and offices will be shipped out within a few days, some going to Alicante others to Cape Town, South Africa, which is the first port of call for the race.
There are 25 days until the Alicante inshore race. Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race is scheduled to begin one week later, Oct. 11.
This is Ericsson's second foray in the Volvo Ocean Race, which it sees as a valuable platform to meet clients and customers around the world while also showcasing its technology. www.ericssonracingteam.com