Ericsson Racing Team (STO:ERIC) CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Nov 10, 2008) - Ericsson Racing Team skipper Anders Lewander today announced crew changes to Ericsson 3 for Leg Two of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Returning to the crew is trimmer Martin Strömberg (Gothenburg, Sweden), who had to stand down on Leg One due to injury. Also returning to the crew is helmsman Eivind Melleby (Oslo, Norway), who filled in on Leg One for Strömberg. Melleby replaces Stefan Myrälf (Hellerup, Denmark), who has decided to leave the crew.
Strömberg, 26, has been a member of the Nordic crew for the past year. He crewed aboard Ericsson 3 during the Alicante In-Port Race, but was injured before the start of Leg One. Now recovered, he's looking forward to joining his mates for Leg Two, scheduled to start Saturday.
"It was difficult, having trained so long, not to be on the boat," Stromberg said. "But I am really looking forward to getting back and sailing to India."
Ericsson 3 placed a credible third on Leg 1. After finishing the leg, Lewander consulted with Myrälf, and the skipper and trimmer/helmsman decided jointly that he would stand down for the remainder of the race.
"It has not been an easy decision to make but I think it's best that I leave my place for someone who is more suited to the role onboard," said Myrälf, 48. "It has been a very exciting time with Ericsson Racing Team, but during this leg I increasingly felt ill at ease with my role as I normally have a bigger area of responsibility."
"Stefan and I have sat down and discussed his position onboard the boat and we have decided that it is best that he steps down at this stage in the race," Lewander said. "He has been a very valuable member of the team to date, and has been instrumental in getting the boat to the level of preparation that we had at the start," said Lewander.
Myrälf will be replaced by 36-year-old Melleby of Norway. Melleby has raced a number of one-design boats, including the Star, Melges 24, Laser and Europe. He won a bronze medal at the Laser World Championship in 1995, and earlier this year he was the world's No. 7-ranked Star sailor.
"I am very glad that Anders has asked me to stay in the team," Melleby said. "I think I have a lot more to give and am very happy to continue and will do my best to make the boat sail as fast as possible."
Although stepping aside, Myrälf plans to follow the race closely.
"I will, of course, follow the race very closely and I really wish my friends in Ericsson Racing Team all the best of luck," said Myrälf. "And I am sure the guys on Ericsson 3 will be fighting for a podium position on many legs to come."
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