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Final Boat – Ericsson 4 – Unveiled for 2008/9 Volvo Ocean Race

  • Thursday, 10th July 2008
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

Ericsson Racing Team’s second race boat, ‘Ericsson 4’, which uses a range of ACG’s advanced carbon fibre products, was officially unveiled at the team’s boatyard in Kista, Stockholm.

Ericsson Racing Team created a bespoke boat yard right next to Ericsson’s global head office to build the two new boats, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, both of which were built using Advanced Composites Group’s (ACG’s) VTM264, – the Group’s long out life, intermediate viscosity epoxy resin matrix prepreg, and its associated VTA260 film adhesive.

The launch event marked the culmination of the build program for Ericsson 4. International crew skipper, Torben Grael and Nordic crew skipper, Anders Lewander, were present to see the final handover of the boat from the build team.

Grael commented: “”This marks the true start of race mode for the international crew’s campaign for the 2008/9 Volvo Ocean Race and we are really excited about getting out and sailing the boat in early July. We have got a great crew and good team, and we now have the boat.”

The build of the boats, which were designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, has been managed by Killian Bushe, a man who has been at the forefront of composite boat building since the early 1980’s, including, most recently, the ABN AMRO boats.

Bushe commented: “”Most of the other teams this time around have built their boats at an existing boat yard, so in that respect we are different in that we have created our own bespoke build facility from a blank canvas. At times there has been a team of up to 32 guys working on the boats and when we had the overlap period of some two months, we were able to fit in three 70ft elements in the yard – Ericsson 3 in the oven, the plug for Ericsson 4 and then the deck mould.”

The two boats have been built in just 15 months in the purpose-built 2600 m2 facility. For each build, 40,000 man hours have been used to apply 3 tonnes of ACG carbon fibre mix and 250 kilos of Nomex sandwich.

“”It is incredible that you can find a boatyard right here, in the middle of a capital city and next door to Ericsson’s global head office,”” added Juan Kouyoumdjian, the boat’s designer. “”This is a state-of-the-art facility and the boats are amongst the most technologically advanced that I have been involved with, which was, of course, one of the initial objectives of the campaign.””

Ericsson 4’s sea trials commence in early July with boat testing commencing off the coast at Nynäshamn in mid-July, after which Ericsson 3 and 4 will set sail for their training base at Lanzarote.

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