Designed for short stretches and intense periods of competitive sailing. A
new deck layout, with a broad and spacious cockpit and two gangways below
deck. These were some of the novelties presented today, as Team SEB's entry
for the Volvo Ocean Race slid into the water for the first time. A boat
designed for the new points system applied to this round-the-world race, she
was launched from Sune Carlsson's Boatyard in Saltsjöbaden, near Stockholm.
"It's great that the boat is now ready. We can now concentrate on optimising
the boat and our suit of sails during the spring, in time before the race
starts," says Team SEB skipper Gurra Krantz, obviously well pleased as he
supervised the launch.
For the past six months, the boatyard where the Team SEB boat has been built
by a multinational team of specialists has observed strict secrecy. Today
was the first time the boat had been brought out into the daylight, before
the inquiring eyes of the assembled onlookers.
The cockpit is arranged so that all functions can be handled simply
and from a central location. Everything is designed down to the smallest
detail to ensure fast and competitive sailing. This is because the new
racing regulations for the Volvo Ocean Race mean that the same number of
points are awarded for each leg, whatever the length. The relatively high
number of shorter legs has had a major impact on the design of the boat.
"This spacious cockpit will mean that we can utilize every member of the
crew to achieve the best possible performance. Everyone will be able to
function effectively and without fuss, without colliding with each other or
items of equipment," says crew member Rodney Ardern, in charge of deck
Team SEB's challenger for the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in the autumn,
has been designed by Farr Yacht Design. On the Team SEB side, comments and
ideas as to how the new boat should look and function have come mainly from
Gurra Krantz, Rodney Ardern, Tony Mutter (Sail Coordinator) and Sam Murch
(Technical Manager). During the construction period, every single member of
the crew has contributed input about specific details.
The new boat is fitted with a "T" keel. Both "L" and "T" keels can be
Another novelty for all the boats in this first Volvo Ocean Race (formerly
the Whitbread) is that carbon fiber masts will be allowed. Earlier, masts
had to be of aluminum. The combination of carbon masts and other new
regulations introduced by the organizer has made the boats even
"The building of the boat during the winter has gone very well, right on
schedule. It has proved a good move to build the boat at home and we've felt
very secure with construction managers Tim Smyth and Richard Gillies, who
are both from New Zealand, keeping a steady hand on the tiller," says Pelle
Norberg, Managing Director of the Team SEB syndicate.
Team website: www.teamseb.com