Martinez and Fernandez commit to Volvo Ocean Race

Spanish Olympic legends confirmed with Telefonica team

Tuesday April 19th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

No great surprise, but Spanish double Olympic 49er medallists Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez have confirmed they will lead Team Telefónica, in the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Spanish sailing heroes won gold in the Olympic skiff in Athens in 2004 following this up with a silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympiad. The duo will be competing in their third consecutive Volvo Ocean Race following on from movistar and finishing third aboard Telefónica Blue in the last race.

The duo are freshly returned from taking the runner-up spot doublehanded in the Barcelona World Race. They were the first team to complete the course non-stop. Martinez and Fernandez will focus all of their attentions on the Volvo Ocean Race from now on.

Iker Martinez has been designated as skipper of the boat. “The Volvo Ocean Race is the Formula 1 of ocean sailing," he said. "It has the highest technology, the best boats, the best people there. So really looking forward to going there. At the same time, a big responsibility to be the skipper. It’s a huge responsibility. I really didn’t want to do this before, because I thought I was not prepared to do it.

"But now with more time, actually with 2 Volvo’s – the first one I didn’t sail much but was involved, the second one I sailed. Now the Barcelona World Race was a very good thing to learn how to do this on the ocean like the racing side from the Olympics, which was pretty good. But we needed to learn the Ocean spirit, the Ocean experience: how to manage the boat… You have to finish the race and the next step is to win the race.”

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