Team SEB Plan Build and Training
They will be building the boat in Sweden, construction beginning in September and estimated launch in April next year, at Nacka Strand, Team SEB's home base and home port. They will use an international team of builders, headed by Richard Gillies and working in premises provided for the purpose by a local boatyard in Saltsjobaden, Stockholm. This is precisely the way the winning boats were built in the last race, when Gillies managed construction of the Team EF boats - again in Sweden.
Sam Murch will be the Team SEB member with technical responsibility during the construction of the boat. He's worked in Sweden for many years, on the island of Orust, building boats with his own company. He had the same responsibility for the boat in the Swedish Match Global Team project, third in the last Whitbread.
Meanwhile, the team will also establish a training camp in Cascais, outside Lisbon, Portugal, where it will sail the two training boats from the 1997-98 Whitbread - previously called Silk Cut and Toshiba. Gurra Krantz commented, "The training camp on the Atlantic coast with the sailing conditions offered there, together with the climate in Portugal during the winter, will provide us with excellent conditions for implementing a development and evaluation programme for our range of sails on the two training boats. The training camp will, of course, also provide ample opportunities for some serious sailing training. I will also make use of the winter training camp to make the selection of the rest of the crew."
The crew signed so far include New Zealander Tony Mutter as sail coordinator, and David Rolf as sailmaker - both sailed with Krantz on Swedish Match. As did Swede, Magnus Woxen, also now on the crew of SEB where his responsibilities will be trimming, steering and the electronics and media communications. And we shouldn't forget Steve Hayles, navigator on board Silk Cut during the first three legs of the last Whitbread. Steve has also joined Team SEB. He will be focusing on the navigation and weather analysis, as well as running the testing and analysis programme in Portugal.
The two training boats will also acquire new carbon fibre masts, one of the areas most open to innovation and development, as this is the first time that carbon has been allowed in the race. A first generation carbon fibre mast for a V.O.60 has been purchased from the American mast producer Omohundro. The sails will come from both North and Quantum in the USA.