A hotly awaited in-port in which Team Telefónica hopes to get a good result, “I hope we'll at least make the podium,” said Iker Martínez. This is the sixth in-port race of this Volvo Ocean Race and it will take place tomorrow, Saturday, with the boats racing a course at Itajaí (Brazil), setting off at 17:00 UTC. Six more points are up for grabs and after making it over halfway round the world, on “Telefónica” they know that every point counts: “The in-ports might not carry as much weight, but you just never know in the end if the final result might rest on one, two or more points... so you have to fight for every single point.” So said Iker Martínez, the team's skipper.
The race will last approximately an hour and the final choice of course will depend largely on the wind speed. Initial forecasts indicate that the breeze is likely to be light, which isn't something that “Telefónica” is too happy about, although as Martínez says, “We're happier in the in-ports when we've got some medium strength breeze, but whatever we get we'll be putting up a good fight.”
The Spanish boat has been preparing for the race and on Monday 16th April, with the boat having been off the water for over ten days, the team began to train in Itajaí. “We've been training during this week and yesterday we were out doing manoeuvres with them filming us from the rib. This morning we got the footage up on screen to analyse it,” explained bowman Antonio “Ñeti” Cuervas-Mons.
According to Xabi Fernández, trimmer on “Telefónica”, “we've prepared as best we can. We've all and the shore crew have all gone to great efforts to get the boat back on the water a couple of days ago after the tough previous leg and we have been able to train for three days on the water ahead of the in-port, and at this point in the regatta that's quite a luxury.”
With two previous in-port wins in the bag up to now for “Telefónica”, two for “Abu Dhabi”, who have not yet confirmed their participation, and a win for “Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand”, the line-up of potential winners is open wide. Pepe Ribes backed that up: “It's definitely going to be a tricky one because 'Groupama' and 'Puma' always make it tough. All of the races in this regatta are tough because of the incredibly high level of competition.”
To find out more about where to watch the in-port race, please go to the official regatta website www.volvooceanrace.com
IKER MARTÍNEZ, skipper.
The legs are going to get shorter and shorter from here and this type of sailing will be increasingly important. Now, more than ever we have clear in our minds that we need to improve in this kind of race and to be more consistent. We are working on that and I hope we'll see the first fruits of that here in Brazil.
XABI FERNÁNDEZ, trimmer.
I don't think that this is a bad place to sail and we'll get good weather but are likely to get some light winds, with an expected six to ten knots. Let's see if we can manage to sail another good in-port this time and continue to notch up some more points.
PEPE RIBES, boat captain.
It's a fairly difficult race course and few of us are familiar with this area. We've got Horacio on the team who is from Florianópolis, slightly further south, who has been able to give us a few pointers.
It'll be an in-port with strong currents. Currents are important when it comes to sailing the race and making it a good one. The organisers want to make the legs for this race shorter in length, which would make our jobs even more difficult. We've been training for a couple of days now and we've prepared as best we can to try to get up to the top spots.