The skippers of the two boats have also been clarified slightly with Bouwe Bekking the 'team skipper' while Telefónica Blue has a crew led by Iker Martinez, while Telefónica Black has Fernando Echavarri in charge of a predominantly Spanish team. The former was christened by H.R.M. Elena, the latter was blessed by H.R.M. Cristina.
“We are delighted to have H.R.M. Infantas Cristina and Elena here with us today,” said Echavarri. “H.R.M Cristina is an accomplished sailor and she has always been a good luck signal for us so it is a real pleasure to have her here as a Godmother for our team.”
Team CEO Pedro Campos took the opportunity to reflect on the hard journey it has been just to get to the starting line for a second time.
“Today is an important day for the Telefónica team,” he said. “During the last Volvo Ocean Race we had some big successes, as well as some really tough situations. For us it was an incredibly positive experience overall and the final evaluation was that we had to try again. So reaching this point today is a big part of what we are celebrating tonight.”
Following the christening (a bottle of San Miguel beer was smashed over the bow of each boat), the Infantas presented Pedro Campos and team skipper Bouwe Bekking each with a Royal flag which was promptly hoisted on each boat in the fading twilight of the evening while the Infantas greeted the two crews.
More photos on the following pages....