Januari 06, 2009 @ 18:59:48   Foto Photos by Gustav Morin-Ericsson Racing Team/Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Magnus Olsson celebrating

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Magnus Olsson celebrates his landmark 60th birthday by stepping into Anders Lewander's shoes on Ericsson 3 for the fourth leg and for the first time in a distinguished career, earning his skipper's stripes.

After more than 30 years as a professional sailor, the irrepressible Swedish veteran is not daunted by these new responsibilities though hopes there will be ‘no crazy incidents' on this leg.

"We will miss Anders but a good team has to be prepared to substitute whoever is injured," he said.

"So I think we can cope okay and we hope that Anders will be good as soon as possible so he can come back.

"I will do nothing differently. I will stay as watch captain. If something crazy happens I am responsible but hopefully things will go pretty smoothly. I hope I won't have to make any crazy decisions because I am hoping there won't be any crazy incidents.

"I don't see this as a big chance or a big promotion for me. I will go on as I have always done. I have never been skipper. I have always been watch captain or second in command but for me, the step up isn't that great."

His other watch captain Richard Mason will be given additional responsibilities while Klas "Klabbe" Nylöf from Stockholm will join them for the leg. He competed in 1997-'98 onboard race winner EF Language and 2001-02 onboard second-placed Assa Abloy.

"It is never good to change anyone in the original crew but a well prepared crew has to understand that there is always a possibility of injuries and sometimes you have to take someone from outside," said Olsson.

"It's not a big drama if the skipper gets injured, If Torben gets injured on Ericsson 4, they would have to readjust but it's not the end of the world. Not at all."

Olsson was determined that his 60th birthday would be an understated affair so he went to Malaysia with his wife for a low key but idyllic break.

Things did not go entirely to plan, he explained.

"I went to Malaysia and got a terrible stomach bug so was throwing up and was sick everywhere and my wife was mad with me so it was not a good birthday."

Here's hoping his birthday present from the team - command of Ericsson 3 - goes better than the birthday itself.


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