The Spanish-flagged Volvo Ocean Race team, Telefonica, this week announced the addition of two gold-medalist heavy hitters to their already-strong team of sailors. Spaniards Xabi Fernndez and Jordi Calafat — the former from Palma de Mallorca, the later from the Basque country — have signed on to sail under the leadership of Bouwe Bekking on the team’s Farr-designed VO70. Interestingly, Fernndez and Calafat are the current Olympic 49er champions, which will certainly give them the best tools imaginable for knowing how to sail fast together in stressful situations. Impressively, Fernndez and Calafat will defend their Olympic title in China in August, before setting their massive masthead Genoas for Cape Town in October.
Fernndez sailed aboard moviestar in the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean race, with Bekking as his skipper. "I found that each day was completely different from the other,” Fernndez said. “This time I know about the offshore sailing and how to face all sorts of conditions and I am really excited with this new challenge.”
This has been a big week for Telefonica, as their new VO70 was shipped to Spain from Aukland, New Zealand this past Tuesday. Pieces are moving the liquid chessboard known as the Volvo Ocean Race, which will be hitting high gear in early October as the in-port races start on 4th of the month, and the first leg (to Cape Town) is set to begin on the 11th.
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Posted: June 5, 2008