Kostecki and Kouyoumdjian Join Ericsson Racing Team for Next VolvoThe Ericsson Racing Team will participate for the second consecutive time in the world premiere Ocean Race. The last edition, concluded in fifth place, has been thoroughly debriefed, and with the appointment of skipper John Kostecki and designer Juan Kouyoumdjian the team believes they have a potent mix for building a strong and competitive team. “We are delighted to welcome John and Juan to the Ericsson Racing Team”, comments Richard Brisius, Managing Director, Ericsson Racing Team. “John is a truly professional skipper whose outstanding track record has earned him significant respect within the sailing world. John shares our vision and values for what is needed to be successful in the next VOR. Juan is a world class yacht designer with an unmatched experience in the VO70 Class. We have had great discussions with Juan, involving John and other members of the team, where the outcome was the decision to join forces with Juan K Yacht Design for the next VOR.” John Kostecki is universally recognized as one of the best sailors in the world. He is also a proven leader, who achieves results on the water and excels in developing winning projects. Winner of the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race as skipper onboard Illbruck, Kostecki was part of the Ericsson Racing Team in 2005-06, competing as inshore races tactician before stepping in as skipper between Rio de Janeiro and Baltimore. He now joins the team as skipper and will play a key role in the team build up, its preparation, training and development throughout the race.For more from the Volvo Ocean Race, click hereGolding Closes The Gap in VeluxTwenty-two days into the Velux 5 Oceans Race, Mike Golding has regained much of the ground lost by his early-race pit stop and now trails leader Bernard Stamm by 220 miles. The leaders are enjoying fair weather as they head into the Southern Ocean with 7,000 miles to go before reaching Fremantle, Australia. Golding reported smooth sailing on Saturday. “Now we are again on spinnaker, trucking southeast at 14 knots in bright sunshine and sparkling blue seas,” he said (speaking of himself in the first person plural). “Easy miles, at least for now!”On Thursday, American entrant Tim Troy announced his withdrawl from the race. Troy had been delayed in La Rochelle, France, preparing his boat for IMOCA certification. For the latest news from the Velux 5 Oceans Race, click here. Railey, Sanderson Named World Sailors of the YearAt the organization’s annual conference in Helsinki, Finland, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) named American Laser Radial sailor Paige Railey and Kiwi ocean racer Mike Sanderson 2006 World Sailors of the Year. To read about the winners, click here.ISAF Conference The council also announced a number of changes to ISAF rules, including reducing the number of Olympic medal classes to 10 from 11, and limiting the total number of Olympic sailors to 380. The council will determine which classes compete at the 2012 Olympics at the 2008 ISAF conference. For more about these and other rulings, click here.Numbers Wins IRC East Coast Championship The second-ever IRC East Coast Championship, hosted November 3-5 by the Storm Trysail Club in Annapolis, Md., yielded a familiar victor from the big-boat racing arena. Sailing the Farr 60 Numbers, Dan Meyers and crew won a Chesapeake-touring distance race and the second of two short windward/leeward races. Seven races had been planned, but conditions did not allow. A total of 33 boats, divided into four classes, competed in the regatta.For results, click here.Grand Finale in GuadeloupeOn Friday, France’s Roland Jordain closed out an exciting finale in the IMOCA Open 60 class of the Rhoute de Rhum, crossing the finish line in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, just 30 minutes ahead of Jean Le Cam. For complete race results, click here.