Thursday, February 05, 2009

Telefonica Black heads for Rio de Janeiro

- Pedro Campos: “The safety of the crew is our biggest priority”

- “Telefónica Blue” first training session before the coastal race

“Telefónica Black” will be getting back in the Volvo Ocean Race with the coastal race in Río de Janeiro following team Director Pedro Campos’ announcement today on the decision reached by the sport and technical departments along with the sponsors: “The crew’s safety is our primary concern”, said the Spaniard in charge of the team. “That’s why we decided to deal with the faults on the boat not only guarantee the utmost safety of the crew, but also to let “Telefónica Black” get back in the running for victory, where they were before the boat damage occurred in the storm in the Philippines”.

The boat is due to be loaded onto a cargo transporter over the next few days which will take it to the port of Sepetiba, to the west of Río de Janeiro, and from there to the starting line of the sixth leg of the race. “In our Telefónica team base in Brazil we’ll be fitting the pieces that have been made in Valencia, Spain… in Alginet to be precise, where “Telefónica Blue” was built”, confirmed Pedro Campos.

The Spanish skipper continued: “We know that they crew would have liked to have passed Cape Horn, but it’s safety first now. After Río there are still half of the points available still in play”. He also confirmed that the Spanish entry is still firmly focused: “our aim is not only to win the legs and the coastal races, but also to give the crew the maximum possible experience of ocean sailing at the highest level”.

Speaking about the “Telefónica Black” transport, this morning Campos said: “The idea is to have the boat at our base in Brazil at the beginning of March, so that it will be one hundred percent up to scratch for the coastal race on April 4th”.

The Spanish team Director added his praise for the great job the “Telefónica Black” team have done over the past few days: “The crew have given one hundred percent to the boat and the team, giving up days and even weeks with their families in order to spend more time with “Telefónica Blue”, who will be attempting to move even closer to the leader position this weekend in the coastal race. Part of their success is also tanks to them, and I only have words of praise for those guys”.

Telefonica Blue trains in the mist. Qingdao, 5 February 2009. Photo copyright Maria Muiña / Equipo Telefonica

“Telefónica Blue”, prepares for the coastal race Back on the water yesterday and today “Telefónica Blue” was ready for her first training session in Qingdao. The conditions on this Thursday were not ideal, and the forecast isn’t looking good for the next few days either according to the meteorologist: little wind and lots of fog.

“It was like that even in the summer for the pre-Olympic races during the Olympic Games,” commented Skipper Iker Martínez, wo took home the silver medal in the 49er class back in August. “We had the same fog as we’ve got today, maybe even more, little wind and the opposite of what we’ve got today, lots of heat”.

In the place of Bowman Daryl Wislang onboard “Telefónica Blue” will be on of the team’s under-30s, also a bowman: Mike Pammenter. The New Zealander won’t be taking part in this race due to a shoulder injury in the previous leg that has almost healed. The team doctor Cristina Pérez explained from Qingdao: “Daryl won’t be taking part in the coastal race because he could risk aggravating the injury. As it is he has more than enough days to fully recover from this and be up to one hundred percent for Feb 14th”.

Wislang won’t be the only change in the Spanish team, as two grinders will also be joining them, as usual: Jorge Ondo and Rómulo Ranieri.

Telefonica Blue trains in the mist. Qingdao, 5 February 2009. Video copyright Equipo Telefonica

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