And then there were two

The hunt for Brunel's lone Dutch crewman continues reports Bruce Montgomery

Sunday March 26th 2006, Author: Bruce Montgomery, Location: Australasia
Mark van Gelderen (34) and Edward van Lierde (30) are the two short-listed Dutch sailors to join Grant Wharington’s Volvo 70 Brunel, when it rejoins the Volvo Ocean Race in Baltimore next month.

Van Gelderen and van Lierde will fly to Sydney this week to join the Brunel crew aboard Wharington's 98 foot maxi Skandia in next weekend's Sydney-Gold Coast race, after which the lone Dutch crew member will be chosen.

"It was a close call," according to Matt Humphries, whom Wharington delegated to decide the short list of two from an original squad of 13. Humphries trimmed the 13 down to six - Roeland Franssens, Mark van Gelderen, Eduard van Lierde, Onno Schenk, Mark Slats and Koen Smits - and then two.

"All of them have the right skills and are perfectly capable to step aboard," Humphreys said. "Unfortunately the jury had to pick two."

Van Gelderen and van Lierde will do a sea survival course before the Gold Coast Race. Having a high profile Dutch crew member on board their Volvo Open 70 was part of Brunel’s sponsorship agreement with Wharington.

The modified boat itself left Melbourne a month ago aboard a container vessel bound for Baltimore where she is due on about April 20.

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