Gala ceremony in Barcelona World Race to launch first new generation VO70
To coincide with the giant 3GSM trade show, so Ericsson 3, the first of Ericsson's two entries in the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race, was christened this evening in Barcelona. With just 235 days to go before the racing yachts set sail round the world, the ceremony was attended by key guests from the telecom industry and sailing community.
A large, glowing sphere suspended in mid-air displayed a journey from the sun to earth, zoomed in on Barcelona and then the World Trade Center, where Ericsson skippers Torben Grael and Anders Lewander stood by Ericsson 3 along with Ericsson's Senior Vice President Communication Henry Sténson, and Torbjörn Possne, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales & Marketing.
Henry Sténson said: "This is a race that we are proud to be associated with. For a company like Ericsson, leading the way in technology and innovation, there is no better way to express our goals and ambition than to go right out there and compete in one of the toughest yacht races the world has ever seen."
While the audience watched images from the boat-building process, crew training sessions and challenges from the previous race, Ericsson's two crews entered the courtyard and the skippers were invited onto the stage.
"The naming of Ericsson 3 is a milestone in our campaign," commented Torben Grael. "We have had great offshore tests and we feel very confident on this boat. Juan K did a great job and we are very proud of the new boat. But with 235 days to go it is important to make every day count."
Anders Lewander concurred: "There will be some very competitive teams in this race. We feel good about where we stand right now, but make no mistake: this is going to be a tough race where we will need to do our best at all times."
At 9:30pm, Gordana Kovacevic, President, Ericsson Croatia, broke the champagne over the yacht's bow officially christening her Ericsson 3. Guests were then invited to look at the boat for the first time (the boat strongly ressembles ABN AMRO One, but with more pronounced chines and a transom less immersed…but more in due course…)
The team will now head back to its training base in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, and continue training until the race sets sail in Alicante, in October.
Ericsson's participation in the Volvo Ocean Race is a platform for driving sales. The race gives the company an unrivalled opportunity to reach customers around the world, spend quality time discussing joint opportunities and challenges, as well as showcasing how Ericsson's solutions can help them develop relationships with enterprises and consumers. With the new race course taking the fleet to stops in the India, South East Asia and China, Ericsson will be able to reach further into these important growth regions.