Dry-Ice Boat Cometh

Amidst clouds of a very corporate-looking dry ice bonanza, Ericsson yesterday unveiled their second new Volvo Open 70. The new stead, designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian and built by Killian Bushe and his team in Ericsson headquarters, Kista, Stockholm, Sweden, is the fourth Volvo Open 70 penned by the brilliant Argentinean designer. As the team’s press release pointed out, the day was doubly significant as it marked exactly 100 days before the 2008/2009 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race kicks off in Alicante, Spain, on October 4. The unveiling took place at the Ericsson team’s boatyard — conveniently located next to their corporate headquarters — in front of an audience of employees and invited guests.

Ericsson’s first new boat for the 2008/2009 event, Ericsson 3, is being sailed by a Nordic crew led by skipper Anders Lewander. Ericsson 4 is an all-out international attempt to win the Volvo Ocean Race, and is being led by Torben Grael

“This marks the true start of race mode for the international crew’s campaign for the 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. Killian [Bushe] and his team here in Kista have done a fantastic job. And for me this will be, I hope, the perfect boat,” commented Grael.

“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 70’ elements in the yard – Ericsson 3 in the oven, the plug for Ericsson 4 and then the deck mould, commented Bushe.

“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.”

Finally, here are some key figures related to both boats’ build time:

Key facts and figures from Ericsson Racing Team build

2600 m2 boat yard space

15 month for two-boat build

40,000 man-hours per boat

3 tonnes of carbon fibre mix per boat

250 kilos of Nomex sandwich per boat 110 hours of cooking time for each hull


Posted: June 27, 2009

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