Photo: Maria Muina/Telefonica

Pepe Ribes joins Telefonica

Fifth time around the planet and second time this year for leading Spanish sailor

Tuesday May 24th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Spain

Following the announcement of Iker Martínez as skipper of the Spanish Volvo Ocean Race entry Telefónica, plus Xabi Fernández as trimmer and Horacio Carabelli as Technical Director of the Spanish team led by Pedro Campos, so Pepe Ribes has been confirmed as the newest member of the sailing team.

Ribes, 39, will bring a large amount of experience with him, as the sailor from Benissa, Alicante will be sailing what will be his fourth Volvo Ocean Race, following on from his recent fourth place finish in the Barcelona World Race. The Volvo Ocean Race will be his second round the world race in less than a year.

Ribes is taking on this new project “with lots of excitement and eagerness. The whole team is very excited, we have a competitive boat and we are looking forward to taking on these next few months. Putting together a new boat and seeing how it works is incredibly interesting."

This is Ribes' third participation with the Spanish Volvo team following on from movistar in 2005 and in 2008, Telefónica Blue.  “This is my third Volvo Ocean Race with the team and what I'm hoping from this regatta is to win it. I do that with every regatta, but especially with this one. I hope we are competitive, that we stay in front and we form a strong enough or even stronger crew than the rest so that we can win this," he said.

His skipper Iker Martínez remarked on the team's latest recruit: "There is no doubt that he is one of the best Spanish sailors there are and have been and he never gives up on the boat. Iker has many characteristics which have taken him to where he is and have led him to succeed in so many successes. Pepe is a very important person for the team. His experience in these races means that he is a key figure on the boat. It is hard to find a person like Pepe, with the skills, knowledge and experience of four round the world regattas."

As well as being a world class sailor, Pepe Ribes is also a specialist in hydraulic and mechanical systems, one of the most important crew positions aboard a Volvo Open 70. His progress as an offshore sailor has also allowed him to specialise further in hydraulics and strategic navigational functions.

Pepe will also be the boat captain of the team's new VO70. "It's a bit like managing the boat", Ribes explained. "I'm the one in charge of knowing how the systems work, and coordinating and supervising that the jobs are done on time and helping with everything that the boat or crew may need."

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