News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Erle Williams signs on for yet another Volvo Ocean Race

Erle Williams signs on for yet another Volvo Ocean Race

'Erle Williams in 2009 about to embark on another Round the World race aboard Puma Racing.'    Volvo Ocean Race/Sally Collision    Click Here to view large photo

New Zealand's Erle Williams cancelled a month-long family cruising vacation to take up a role as helmsman on PUMA Ocean Racing for the next two legs or maybe more, of the Volvo Ocean Race.

'I am not popular at home but you have to go when you have to go,' said the 50 year-old racing veteran who has four Whitbread and Volvo campaigns under his belt

Erle Williams became known for his aerobatics as bowman aboard KZ-7 in the 1986/87 Louis Vuitton Cup in Fremantle. -  Alan Sefton   Click Here to view large photo
'Luckily I have a family that understands and I have promised to make it up to them tenfold when I get back.'

From the early stages of the PUMA campaign, Williams was on standby while he pursued other projects.

'Ken mentioned being a reserve for the team because of injuries and crew changes and I said yes. Then next thing I got the call about six weeks ago, so I am back again and it's fun to be back.

'I was about to do Cape to Bahia with Rambler and was looking forward to a nice light run but now I am finding myself going on a little upwind beat.

'I have sailed a lot with Ken and the guys on the boat so it should be an easy slide into the programme. We are in a great position so it is very exciting.'

Williams started his Whitbread career in 1981 when as a 21 year-old boatbuilder he joined the team of Flyer, skippered by race legend Cornelius van Rietschoten. There, he worked alongside another dynamic Kiwi and Volvo Ocean Race legend, Grant Dalton.

It was a winning campaign yet it was another 16 years before he returned to the race, this time as co-skipper with Gunnar Krantz on Swedish Match, which finished third overall.

He donned the vibrant pink overalls for three legs as tactician and watch leader on Djuice Dragons in 2001-02 then in 2005, a week before the race started, he joined Paul Cayard's Pirates of the Caribbean as helmsman.

In between races, he also took part in four America's Cup campaigns and as a result has earned a reputation as one of the best drivers in the business.

'I enjoy Volvo Ocean racing more than America's Cup racing - smaller, tighter teams and much more exciting sailing. You get to work on the bow and the helm and do a bit of trimming whereas on America's Cup you get stuck in one job. It's pretty boring.

'I have been brought in as driver/trimmer so I will just slide in and help them out. I am concerned on this leg that some of the boats will not reach Qingdao because these boats are not designed to go upwind in 30 knots, so for us it is a case of just getting there.'

Sail-World: Erle Williams started sailing career sailing Flying Ants, before moving in 18ft skiffs sailing with John Lasher. He began his Round the World Race career aboard the Dutch yacht Flyer , skippered by Cornelius van Rietschoten in 1981 along with feloow 18ft skiff sailors, Joe Allen and Grant Dalton. He then sailed aboard KZ-7 in the 1986/87 Louis Vuitton Cup as bowman, before resuming his Round the World racing. He is one of the few people in the world to have helmed a monohull at over 40kts - a feat he achieved in the last Volvo Ocean Race.

by Volvo Ocean Race Media


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

9:26 AM Sat 17 Jan 2009 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

Related News Stories:

01 Sep 2014  Rough & Reddy wins Marsden Cove event in E5.9 Traveler Series
31 Aug 2014  Images of the Waitemata: More from RNZYS Winter Series - Gallery 3
31 Aug 2014  Images of the Waitemata: More from RNZYS Winter Series
31 Aug 2014  Images of the Waitemata: RNZYS Winter Series - Ginger Photography
31 Aug 2014  Inaugural Auckland Women Laser Cup at Panmure Lagoon Sailing Club
26 Aug 2014  Sailing to feature in AIMS Games from 2015
25 Aug 2014  Wakatere takes home the silverware in the MRX Youth Pathways Regatta
25 Aug 2014  Loving our midwinter pit stop in NZ, nothing like home
19 Aug 2014  NZL Sailing Team in the Media Spotlight
17 Aug 2014  NZL Yachting Trust Optimists: A World’s First at French Bay

News - USA and the World

Express 27 National Championship overall + Video by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,

America's Cup: Louis Vuitton Cup's Yves Carcelle dies at 66 *Feature by Richard Gladwell/,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - ‘Samba Pa Ti’ crowned champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do
Ronstan Bridge to Bridge 2014 - Images by Erik Simonson
Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Australian Sailing Team signs up
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 3
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA sailors place on world regatta circuits
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2
PWA Alacati World Cup - Intense competition on day 3
America's Cup: 'The Doc' appointed as Commercial Commissioner
Wake Park Triple Crown - Registration open for final stop
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 2 images by Stefano Gattini
Volvo Ocean Race - Two more join Dongfeng Race Team
OHPRI Teen Summer Camps make a splash
East to West: A profile of Volvo Ocean Race crew Team Dongfeng
Extreme Sailing Series - First-ever Turkish team to race in Istanbul
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Race 4 images by Max Ranchi
New Around Britain and Ireland Monohull 40ft and less world record
Detroit Cup - Fifth place finish a difficult result for Neptune Racing
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads
Volvo Ocean Race: Call of Duty comes first for Team Alvimedica
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
Helping boaters understand weather basics   
PWA Alacati World Cup - Exciting finish on day 2   
Match 40s find the surface again + Video   
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi   
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director   
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition   
IFDS World Championship overall   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series   
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2   
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda   
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14   
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing   
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa   
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video   
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic   
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?   
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta   
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT