Early this Tuesday morning on the pontoons at the Real Club Náutico de Vigo (the Spanish city of Vigo's royal yacht club), there was a sense that something important was in the air. Everything was perfectly prepared for the Volvo Open 70 “Telefónica”, skippered by Iker Martínez to reach port at Vigo, following over five days at sea to cover the almost one thousand miles separating Marina Rubicón (Lanzarote, Spain) and the port of Vigo, Spain.
With perfect punctuality, the Spanish representative in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 set to start in Alicante on October 29th, made her way into the mouth of the estuary at Vigo. Despite cloudy skies and some lingering fog, boats with sailing fans on had laid in wait to welcome the crew on “Telefónica”.
With the horn sounding, “Telefónica” moved into port and at 11:30 local time she docked at the pontoon of the Vigo yacht club, where she was greeted, among other figures and authorities, by the Director General for Sport for the Xunta de Galicia, José Ramón Lete Lasa, Vigo's Sports Councillor, Manuel Fernández, Lucía Molares, the Xunta de Galicia's Territorial Delegate in Vigo and Manuel Ángel Alonso, Regional Director of Public Matters for Telefónica.
Those attending from the Real Club Naútico de Vigo itself included the President Franco Cobas and Commodore Ramón Ojea. Franco Cobas seized the occasion to hand over the club flag to the team, which Iker Martínez and Pedro Campos, Director General of Team Telefónica hoisted on “Telefónica”.
“We are really happy about reaching here, Vigo, and later today Sanxenxo, where we have spent a lot of the time over the past few years and where we have prepared most of this Volvo Ocean Race,” said the Olympic champion and Skipper on “Telefónica”, Iker Martínez, once on the pontoon. “What we want to do here is to sail and to make the most of the conditions here to improve the boat.”
The Director General of the Spanish team, Pedro Campos highlighted that about Vigo that: “We wanted this to be the first place for the boat to touch shore, especially as we have the memory of the start at Vigo six years ago, so this too is a vote of thanks to the fans in Galicia and to the Real Club Naútico because we are really happy to be here. We will try to make the most of the exceptional conditions here and of the good food and the friendliness of the people. Here you can sail with the conditions you'll find at Cape Horn, as well as those found on a lake. There are few places in the world where you can get all of that,” he said.
Iker Martínez backed those sentiments up and said that at the Galician base: “We will be able to really get a lot done. We can sail, we'll have somewhere to raise the boat and carry out repairs and get the boat back onto the water quickly and efficiently. Galicia also always treats us so well and we are really happy here, so it's a situation as a whole which makes the projects going well.”
Team Telefónica responds!
Once the team had greeted all of those attending and those covering the Spanish round the world boat's arrival, the entire team made their way to one of the meeting rooms at the Real Club Náutico de Vigo, where, in the name of the whole team, CEO Pedro Campos, Skipper Iker Martínez and Technical Director Horacio Carabelli chatted openly to the public.
People of all ages heard about the details of Team Telefónica's preparation, beginning a new and final training phase for the Volvo Ocean Race now in Galicia first hand. They heard about how he boat was built, what sort of daily routine a round the world sailor has and how to become part of a project like this.
Sanxenxo, final destination
At 15:00 today, the eleven “Telefónica” crew members will head back on board the boat to complete the 17 miles separating Vigo and Sanxenxo, where the Team Telefónica offshore base can be found. The Mayoress of Sanxenxo, Catalina González, will be there to greet them. At 18:00, the team will also hold an open forum chat with the public at the yacht club facilities.
The first night on the route to Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) wasn't easy on Iker Martínez and “Telefónica”, nor was it easy on the rest of the fleet. ...
Spanish boat “Telefónica” dominated today in a brilliant coastal race in Table Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. Basque Skipper Iker Martínez and his crew have now added six new ...
On Sunday the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will kick off, with 30 new points to play for and over 5,400 miles of racing ahead between the South ...
16 days after winning the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race and setting a milestone in Spanish sailing history by becoming the first Spanish boat to take the lead ...
Pirate attacks in the conflict-ridden waters off the East coast of Africa, in particular opposite Somalia have unfortunately been big news in the national and international press over the past ...