Wednesday, 25 March 2009

VOR: Delta Lloyd Beef Up Crew

Delta Lloyd's new crew. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Riath Al-Samarrai

Team Delta Lloyd's bid for a winning return was enhanced today with the confirmation that two-time Olympic champion Marcelo Ferreira will join their crew for the in-port race.

The Brazilian, who won Star Class gold with Torben Grael in 1996 and 2004, as well as bronze in 2000, returns to a Volvo Open 70 for the first time since claiming third with Brasil 1 in the last race.

He is joined by Ed van Lierde, who left the crew in Singapore but has been recalled to sail the inshore course and the remaining offshore legs of the race.

"I love these boats and this race, the people," Ferreira said. "I could not do the whole race as I have two young boys and it is not nice to be away from home for so long. But I had a call about three weeks ago from Chuny (skipper Roberto Bermudez) and it was a nice opportunity to go sailing."

The in-port race on April 4 will see the 43-year-old reunited with Bermudez, Stu Wilson and Andre Fonseca, who all sailed on Brasil 1.

"I am really excited to be sailing with some good friends again," he said. "For me, the thing I have missed most is being with all these good people. The race has a nice atmosphere, a good spirit."

It remains to be seen if Ferreira, a trimmer, will play any further part in the race, but he refused to rule it out.

"I will start with the in-port race and then we will see," he said. "Maybe. You never know. It's possible. It is now not like at the start, when you have eight months away."

Dutchman van Lierde is the third new face announced in the offshore line-up for leg six. He joins Nick Bice and Ben Costello onboard, while Guillermo Altadill, Ed O'Connor and Martin Watts have all stepped off the boat.

Van Lierde is impressed with the changes to the team's set-up, which also includes a new shore manager, mast and fresh sails.

"I am happy to be back," he said. "It looks good with the new people and structure. It is certainly a new start for us with a strong boat and great sailors.

"The intention has always been to return in Rio, but you never know. I think my break was good for me. I feel renewed energy."

The team has not sailed since retiring from leg four with severe damage in January. However, the boat is scheduled to return to the water tomorrow, with a training sail pencilled in for March 28.

Volvo Ocean Race

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