Monday, July 14, 2008

Three new sailors for Equipo Telefonica

With less than 3 months to go until the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, the Telefónica team continue to unveil the main players in Spain’s attempt to bring home the first Round-the World victory in Spanish history. David Vera, Laurent Pages and Roger Nilson are now officially the latest additions to the Telefónica team.

David Vera (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. 19/07/1970) is diving into the first Round the World race of his career. This might be his first Volvo, but this 37 year-old Spaniard’s CV reveals an experienced yachtsman right across the sport, in classes ranging from Olympic sailing to the America’s Cup. David has been World Champion and first European runner-up in the Soling class, and he made an Olympic
appearance at the Atlanta Olympic Games in the same class. He was also a semi-finalist in the recent 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia with the Desafío Español challenge, his most recent large-scale project.

Like most of his team-mates, David Vera knows exactly why he wants to be on the starting line on October 11th: “I’ve always had this race in my mind. This race means a lot to me, because I think that the Olympic Games, the America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race are the three most important events for any sailor in this sport. I’ve done the first two, and now I’m going Volvo”.

Then there’s Roger Nilson (Gothenburg, Sweden. 5/03/1949) who along with Simon Fisher will be the navigator on one of the Spanish boats, and will without doubt be one of the crewmembers to bring the most experience to the Telefónica team. The 59 year-old has seven circumnavigations under his belt, six of them competing in the Volvo Ocean Race. This Swedish doctor and expert yachtsman didn’t hesitate for even a second in signing up for his eighth circumnavigation with the Telefónica team: “I enjoy very much to be with the Spanish team for the Volvo Ocean Race, I enjoy the more latin way to do this races.” Besides, despite his broad experience he says that everyday learns something new: “Since I was in the ‘Volvo’ in 2001-2002 there has been a really big jump, much bigger teams, much more support, the boats are lots faster and also the technology in the navigation area is completely different…So I have to learn new things everyday .”

Casting a glance at his extensive CV, one can’t help being impressed. He’s the most veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 sailors, except for Magnus Olsson, he knows what it’s like to compete on a global level in many events, such as the Admiral’s Cup, the Sardinia Cup, the Fastnet, Jules Verne or the America’s Cup, for example.

The other official sign-up for the Telefónica team is Laurent Pages (St. Georges de Didonne, France. 20/10/1976), who’ll be one of the watch captains in the Telefónica team.

Over the last few years this 31 year-old Frenchman has been sailing extensively in the Farr-40 class. He started his career among the 420s and then moved up to 470 to then go on to sail on Open 60, Maxi One-Design, Swan 45, Mumm 30 and Melges 24 boats, mainly in the role of helmsman, tactician and trimmer. Pages has never ruled out any boat, even calling the tactics on Spain’s “Bribón” in 2004. He’s sure he’ll do a great job on board the second generation Volvo Open 70 that’ll be flying the Spanish colours.

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