|RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL-(16-3-2006) Team Basilica, the only British owned, crewed, and sponsored boat taking part in either the Volvo Ocean Race or the Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix series, will take to the waters of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday 21 March for the second leg of the Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix Series. Following the difficulties encountered by the team during the first leg in Sanxenxo, Spain in November, Team Basilica will be sporting a new look in Rio with new crew member Jonathan ‘Boycey’ Taylor, and new Team Director Robin Gray having joined the set-up and aiming to propel Basilica up the results table.
Team Basilica encountered a troublesome start in Sanxenxo when damage to its hull in race one prevented it starting the second and third races. Following a spirited comeback Team Basilica rests at the foot of the table on 67 points, 12 points behind fourth placed Motorola-CHR. However, only 28 points split first placed Tommy Hilfiger and Basilica in fifth, leaving everything to sail for next week in Rio.
The Volvo Extreme 40 Grand Prix Series is an in-shore racing series that takes place during five of the stopovers of the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean Race (Sanxenxo, Rio de Janeiro, Baltimore, Portsmouth and Rotterdam). Teams race 40-foot catamarans, specially designed for the series for speed and high-adrenalin action by Yves Loday and Mitch Boon. Crews consist of four plus one non-specialist participant in one of the most exciting forms of sailing ever.
Racing is scheduled to start at 14:00 on Tuesday 21 March and will take place at the same time on Wednesday 22, Thursday 23, Friday 24 and Sunday 26. Crews will aim to complete four races of approximately 20 minutes each per day with prize giving to take place immediately after the final race on Sunday 26. In each race ten points are awarded for first place, eight for second, six for third, five for fourth and four for fifth.
New Team Basilica crew member Jonathan ‘Boycey’ Taylor will take on the rigger’s role and bowman onboard the VX40, with Alistair Richardson moving to helm, Peter Greenhalgh moving to mainsheet, whilst James Grant remains as crew manager and trimmer. Commenting on his new crewmate, Team Basilica helm Alistair Richardson said:
“Boycey is a fierce competitor whose vast experience in a variety of different classes including the America’s Cup can only stand us in good stead. His racing pedigree is second to none, and the immense power that we will bring to the boat along with his can-do attitude will make us even more competitive”.
New Team Director Robin Gray, who also has a strong racing pedigree having been Director of Pindar Ocean Racing from 2002 to 2005, commented on the forthcoming Rio venture:
“The whole team is looking forward to Rio. We have a very exciting new crew set-up – Boycey is an extremely experienced sailor and his strengths will complement the existing team dynamic. We will make up the previous lost ground and win some races, moving ourselves up the overall leader board”.
After Rio, the teams will pack up the VX40s and head to Baltimore, USA for the third leg from 28th April to 3rd May.