Telefonica out of the closet
With 186 days remaining until the starts of the Volvo Ocean Race from Alicante, so the brand new Telefónica VO70 has finally emerged the shed of her Valencia-based builders King Marine this morning, following a build time of more than 40,000 man hours with a team of over 28 builders and 19 designers. She is now bound for Alicante.
“All of us who form part of this team are very happy to finally see the boat en route to Alicante. Now we are looking forward to sailing her and to getting everything ready and for the boat to work well as a whole,” said skipper Iker Martínez.
The Juan Yacht Design studio, based in Valencia and lead by Argentina's Juan Kouyoumdjian, were in charge of the design of the new boat for the Spanish team directed by Pedro Campos. Juan K was of course designer of the two most recent Volvo Ocean Race winners ABN AMRO One and Ericsson 4.
“When Team Telefónica got in contact with us about this project we were very happy, as well as eager to see results alongside them,” said Juan K. “They have competed in the past and we have always wanted to work with the team, not just because of the team's results, which speak for themselves, but also because, from the outside, we have always had the impression that the projects led by Pedro Campos and Iker Martínez look very tight. The opportunity to win a third Volvo as designer with a team which shares the same language as us generates a certain pride.”
The Spanish team has trusted in the Valencian King Marine shipyard, based in Alginet, yet again. This is the same shipyard where Telefónica Blue was built for the last race.
The most recent update to the Volvo Open 70 class rules has focussed more on 'refining' rather than including any radical changes. The third generation of these yachts may look similar to the previous generations, but they are faster and their performance should be even more spectacular.
“This Telefónica and the previous boat are two completely different yachts," points out Iker Martínez. "This is clearly an evolution of Telefónica Blue and others. In the end we have tried to take the best features from all of the boats from the last race and to go a step further. Having seen the boat I can say that it is exactly what we wanted,”
The involvement of the new Technical Director of the Spanish team, Horacio Carabelli, during the entire build process of the new Telefónica has been fundamental. Carabelli, a former Volvo Ocean Race winner on Ericsson 4 in the last race, knows the boat that will be skippered by Olympic champion Iker Martínez to perfection. “The build of Telefónica has been totally innovative, with the latest developments in technology. The interior structural design is brand new, with a division of the watertight bulkheads that has been optimised to comply to the new rules and the search to keep the interior structure to a minimum,” said Carabelli.
Hull and appendages have been a focus for the Juan Yacht Design studio, with many hours spent developing them, both in terms of studying the features and on the final design. The result of this intense study means that Telefónica has a very different volume distribution to that of the previous generation of Volvo Open 70s, as well as a brand new design of daggerboards and rudders, built based on exhaustive research into finding the maximum balance of boat handling and stability in every situation.
The studies carried out into weight distribution and structure have also thrown up some interesting results on the new boat to add to her voluminous bow, there is the deck, where the cabin top has almost been removed.
“Today is one of the big days for our project," said Pedro Campos. "The design team and the crew have been analysing every last detail of the boat over the last few months of research, development, innovation and construction, with the aim of optimising the boat and gaining any extra tenth of a knot possible.
“With the support of our sponsors we have aimed not only for the best design, but also for the best build, crew and preparation possible, whilst opting for Spanish technology and crew."
Telefónica is bound for Alicante to begin her final assembly. The most immediate plans for the team are some offshore training sessions this summer between Alicante, the Canary Islands and Galicia.
Team: Team Telefónica
Club:Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo and Real Club de Regatas de Alicante
Clubes: Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo
CEO: Pedro Campos
Skipper: Iker Martínez
Technical Director: Horacio Carabelli
Boat: Telefónica. Volvo Open 70 – version 3
Sail number: ESP-1
Designer: Juan Kouyoumdjian
Shipyard: King Marine (Alginet, Valencia)
Length: 21.5m (70ft)
Mast height: 31.6m
Mainsail: 175 m2
Jib: 135 m2
Spinnaker: 500 m2 (the equivalent of two tennis courts)
Displacement: 14,500 kg
Max weight: 14,500 kg
Bulb weight: 5,500 kg
Keel weight: maximum 7,400 kg
Swinging keel to 40º angle
Number of sails: 17 total (maximum of 9 on board)
On board cameras: 5
On board microphones: 3
Crew: 10 sailors + 1 media crew member
Wheels (rudder): 2