The two crews of Ericsson Racing Team arrived yesterday in Alicante, Spain, host port for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. The International and Nordic crews are part of a two-boat effort from Ericsson for the 10th Volvo race.
Ericsson 3, skippered by Sweden's Anders Lewander, arrived mid-afternoon. Ericsson 4, skippered by Brazil's Torben Grael, arrived a bit later during the evening. The journey from the team's training base in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, took about four days.
'To leave Lanzarote was terrible,' said Magnus Olsson, watch captain and helmsman for Ericsson 3, the Nordic crew. 'But that was Chapter 1, and it's done. Now comes reality. Now we see how well we've done our homework.'
Brad Jackson, a watch captain and helmsman aboard Ericsson 4, also was happy to arrive with boat and crew in good shape. The trip was mostly in light air, although they did experience a bit of rough, upwind work today which made for a bumpy ride.
'It's a big milestone in the campaign, finally getting here to get on with the race we've been building up for a long time,' Jackson said. 'The boat, both boats are in good shape. We can focus on the race instead of running around doing a million jobs.'
Jackson also liked what he saw of the facilities in Alicante.
'First impressions are it looks like a big place, it looks like shore facilities are very good and the teams' bases are good. It looks like a great setup,' Jackson said.
There are 22 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.