Photo: Francisco Vignale/MAPFRE/Volvo Ocean Race

Iker Martinez stands down for leg 3

Xabi Fernandez to skipper MAPFRE to China in the Volvo Ocean Race

Friday December 19th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Arab Emirates

As part of a pre-arranged plan, Iker Martínez is stepping down as skipper of MAPFRE for leg three of the Volvo Ocean Race to concentrate on his Nacra 17 campaign for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

His best friend and long-term sailing partner, Xabi Fernández will step into his shoes for leg 3, from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China which sets sail from the UAE on 3 January.

Martínez explained: “I have to go and focus on this [Olympic] project now. When we started the Volvo Ocean Race, we knew that I already had another commitment with the Olympic campaign, that’s why I won’t be able to be onboard for the next leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China.”

One of MAPFRE's reserve crew, and another Olympic sailor, Finn silver medallist Rafa Trujillo will step on board for leg 3.

Fernández is confident MAPFRE can continue its progress in the Volvo Ocean Race after finishing a disappointing last place in the opening leg from Alicante to Cape Town. “Being skipper represents more responsibilities than I usually have because you’re ultimately the one who is in charge,” he said. “We won’t face the next leg like we faced the other ones because the truth is that Iker was always the one making the final call. That will change. But I believe we have a group that will help me in this new role.”

“We’re organised this transition together,” added Martínez. “We used the second leg to tackle this in the best possible way. I’m sure Xabi will do very well.”

MAPFRE crew list for Leg 3

Xabi Fernández (ESP), skipper
Jean-Luc Nélias (FRA), navigator
André Fonseca (BRA), watch captain
Robert Greenhalgh (UK), watch captain
Rafael Trujillo (ESP), trimmer/helmsman
Anthony Marchand (FRA), trimmer/helmsman
Carlos Hernández (ESP), trimmer/bowman
Antonio “Ñeti” Cuervas-Mons (ESP), bowman
Francisco Vignale (ARG), Onboard Reporter

Latest Comments

  • 696616 19/12/2014 - 23:21

    Rob to be Skipper by the end?

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