Moore and Henriksen sign for illbruck

Ian Moore is confirmed as co-navigator on illbruck while Morten Henriksen signs up as match racing coach

Wednesday January 24th 2001, Author: Ed Gorman, Location: United Kingdom
Ian Moore, the talented young British navigator, is expected formally to sign for John Kostecki's illbruck Volvo Ocean Race and America's Cup teams on January 25th, completing a spectacular rise to the very pinnacle of world keelboat racing for the Southampton-based Northern Irishman.

Moore's confirmation as co-navigator on the Volvo boat alongside Juan Vila of Spain - Moore will also play a role in the America's Cup set-up - comes as the team announces the signing of the top Danish match-racer Morten Henriksen to oversee the building of a competitive match racing team while Kostecki concentrates on the Volvo.

Moore, aged 29, has been training with the iIlbruck Volvo team since November when he joined them at their winter training base at Fremantle. He then sailed on the main training boat - the former EF Language which won the last Whitbread - when it made the passage to Auckland and he worked alongside Vila in the Sydney-Hobart which illbruck won in the Volvo class.

Moore originally broke into the big time when he navigated on the Italian class-winning Mumm 36, Breeze, in the 1997 Admiral's Cup. Since Cowes Week 1999, he has also been the navigator on Jim Dolan's immaculate ILC maxi, Sagamore. But the illbruck job is a real step up for a man who until recently was still holding down a job as a naval architect.

"It's a high-profile job but I am working with Juan who is tremendously experienced," he told madforsailing. "I was quite scared in a way to start with. I told them I am very enthusiastic, I have technical skills but I do lack experience. John said 'we want you as a navigator but you are also a good sailor and you've got experience in other areas.'"

Kostecki has no doubt Moore is the right choice to work alongside Vila for whom the Volvo comes after three previous Whitbreads and experience in the Admiral's and America's Cups. "He's obviously one of the top navigators around and he's young and keen and so that will fit in well with Juan. Ian's talents, I think, offset Juan's and vice versa," he added.

Henriksen, meanwhile, will recruit mainly German sailors for a match racing team which will compete on the world circuit. "Morton is a great addition to the team," said Kostecki. "Not only is he one of the most respected match racers in the world, he is is also a talented and respected coach. While our round-the-world race crew focuses on delivering the best possible performance in the Volvo Ocean Race, Morten will be building a strong match racing team. By the time the Volvo Ocean Race is over, we will merge all of our sailing talent for the final stage of America's Cup preparation."

Like Henriksen, Moore is going to be busy for a long time to come. "It's going to be a huge year," he said. "I'm really looking forward to doing all the training and getting ready for the race."

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