Volvo Ocean Race: Tributes flow for Magnus Olsson

Magnus Olsson celebrating - Ericsson 3 finish third boat into Cape Town on leg 1 of the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race. Image by Rick Tomlinson:

Two former Round the World race skippers, now heading America's Cup teams, Paul Cayard and Grant Dalton have paid tribute to Magnus Olsson (SWE).

Fisher & Paykel skipper Grant Dalton - Volvo Ocean Race 1989/90
© Jamie Lawson-Johnston/PPL
The six times Volvo OR and Whitbread Round the World Race competitor, who died last week aged just 64 years.

Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton competed against Magnus Olsson in five round the world races and added his thoughts on www.etnzblog.com:

'Today the sport lost one of its greatest. Today I lost a very good friend and so did many others of us at Emirates Team New Zealand. Magnus Olsson, the kindest guy I ever knew. The biggest smile I ever saw, the loudest laugh I ever heard.

'When people think of personalities of the Whitbread and the Volvo Ocean Race they think of Conny and Peter but for me Magnus was the Whitbread Race. I sailed against him five times; we became good friends.

'But that wasn’t at all unique Every one was his friend. You will not hear, in the days that follow, one single word about Magnus or sentence written that is not filled with admiration for this happy, smart, resilient and determined guy. He was EF Language, Ericison, Intrum – he was the round the world race as I know it.

'To Magnus’s family, we at Emirates Team New Zealand send all our love and sympathy, sailing is a sadder place today and in the future. We have been blessed to know him, and I personally will mourn his loss for a long time. Rest in peace my old mate.'

For EDITORIAL USE only, please credit: Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race Skipper Magnus Olsson onboard Ericsson 3, on leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Singapore to Qingdao, China The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon. Starting from Alicante in Spain, on 4 October 2008, it will, for the first time, take in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race. Spann

Artemis Racing CEO and Volvo Ocean Race winner, Paul Cayard wrote this of his friend 'whose glass was always full':

SAILING - Volvo Ocean Race 2005/06 - Arrival Leg 2 - Melbourne (AUS) - 24/01/2006 Pirates of the Caribbean (USA) skippered by Paul Cayard (USA) crosses the line in the fourth place on the second leg of the race Cape Town to Melbourne Skipper: Paul Cayard (USA) Photo : Andrea Francolini/Reuters Pirates of the Carribean Volvo Ocean Race
'Magnus Olsson was a giant bottle of 'Positive Attitude' that you could pour on anything and make it shine.

'For Magnus it wasn't a matter of the glass half full or half empty. The glass was just full all the time.

'His personality and enthusiasm were magnetic. He was the center of gravity of every boat, every meeting, every project. From heads of state to children sailing optis, Magnus could hang with them all.

'He is one of the very few people I have ever known who everyone liked.

'It is very sad to lose a guy like Magnus. Irreplaceable.... most definitely one of a kind, a legend!

'But it is fair to say that few, if any, got more out of their time on this planet than Magnus Olsson.

'For those of us who were lucky enough to have shared part of his life with him, we are blessed.

'Thank you, Mange. We are all smiling thinking of you!'

Magnus Olsson is greeted by Watch Captain Richard Mason (NZL) who missed out on leg 5 due to injury

Ericsson 3, skippered by Magnus Olsson (SWE) (pictured) finish first into Rio de Janeiro on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race

Ericsson 3, skippered by Magnus Olsson (SWE) finish first into Rio de Janeiro on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the line at 10:37:57 GMT 26/03/09, after 41 days at sea

Magnus Olsson helming on a beautiful morning with perfect breeze, 12-16 knots. Image by: Gustav Morin/Ericsson Racing Team: