Volvo Ocean Race : Iker Martinez : " We’er lookinh forward to this"
Friday, 29 June 2012
Tomorrow (Saturday), six new points will be in play which will define the podium formation ahead of the departure for Galway
Two weeks after finishing one of the tightest and toughest legs of the round the world regatta, the six Volvo Open 70s are now preparing to take on the penultimate in-port race. There's absolutely no doubt that Iker Martínez's “Telefónica” will be fighting tooth and nail to scoop the six points on offer. “We're really looking forward to this. We need to show everyone that the level of our team is much better than the current result reflects, so we're looking forward to getting out there and racing”, said the Basque skipper.
The overall standings are tighter than ever and tomorrow (Saturday) at 13:02 local time (11:02 UTC) the port town of Lorient in France will witness a veritable clash of the titans, and with only five points standing between the second and fourth placed entries the leader board may change in the matter of just an hour, which is the expected length of tomorrow's race.
An eye on the breeze in Lorient
As with the majority of the previous in-port races sailed so far in the competition, the course will be defined just moments before the race starts and it's looking very much like the wind is going to play a starring role in the action, as skipper Iker Martínez explains: “As always, we don't know if we'll be making an upwind or a downwind start, which of course will make a big difference when we're racing. It all depends on the direction of the wind, so as always it's expected to be complicated. I'm sure the start will be really tight and we'll have to fight to do better than the rest and to win and that's all we really know”.
For tomorrow's race it looks like there will be 15 knots of breeze blowing on this racecourse, which is slightly different to the others experienced so far: “This racecourse is a bit different because just in front of Lorient is the island of Groix, which means that we'll be sailing some flat seas even though there may be quite a lot of wind out there”, explained the “Telefónica” boat captain Pepe Ribes.
If the weather forecasts come good this in-port race is likely to offer the type of conditions that the Spanish boat likes. “I hope that we get some breeze, because it'll be so much easier for us as it's always tougher for us in lighter airs”, admitted the Basque skipper.
Preparing thoroughly for the in-port race
As they have been doing for some time now, the “Telefónica” crew have made the most of these days running up to the in-port race to get to know the racecourse and to practice their starts and manoeuvres, which are all factors that make an impact on the final result in this type of race.
“We normally train the same course a couple of days beforehand to practice starts and manoeuvres”, explains Pepe Ribes. “The fact that they make the in-port races so short to make them more attractive for television means that they are very difficult for the crews and boats because it is really hard to handle such big boats like that with so few people”.
“Telefónica” will be giving everything they've got to take on this ninth and penultimate in-port race of the round the world regatta. With the end of the Volvo Ocean Race so near, the Spanish team knows that every single point of the 42 on offer will be crucial when it comes to making it onto the podium for the finish. “We hope that we can get a good result tomorrow to make up for the bad experiences we've had in some of the other in-ports, and because we need as many points as we can to finish on the podium”, concluded Ribes.
XABI FERNÁNDEZ, trimmer.
This will be the second-last in-port in this Volvo Ocean Race and I hope that we get some good conditions and that we can sail a good race. In terms of preparation, we've been sailing for a couple of days and after the week and a half off we need to get back into the swing of handling the boat as well as getting to know the racecourse as much as we can, although there's not much time for it. The last four in-ports haven't gone very well for us, that's true, but I think that we have to try to prepare everything as best we can and I hope that this time we can get a good result.
JORDI CALAFAT, helsman and in-port racing tactician.
The in-ports have been a real Achilles' heel for us in this round the world regatta. Now we're going to have a lot less pressure so we'll be calmer and we're hoping to do the best we can.
We're in a place right now where there is more breeze than there has been for the other recent in-ports. In the end it's all the same though: in these races everything can be thrown out of the window with even the slightest of errors, especially in terms of manoeuvres. Basically it's also about calm sailing.
ANDREW CAPE, navigator.
According to the forecasts we're likely to get some good sailing conditions. In terms of results, we'll have to wait and see. I don't really like to think about the in-ports too much but worry more about the legs.
(Comparing the in-ports in this edition with previous editions of the regatta)
Yes, they're shorter. I think they're more about things outside of sailing, such as the TV. Also the planning this time is different because we do the in-port and we set off on the leg the next day. I hate it because there are so many things to do and I think it's too much, it's horrible. I'd like to be able to first prepare for the in-port and then the other more important part. The in-ports are not my favourite, although I do think that it's good that they exist, but as solid racing and not done for television, also with a couple of days in between.
See Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 images :
RACING SCHEDULE LORIENT (FRANCE)
Friday, 29th June
Pro-Am Race 12:00 local time (10:00 UTC)
Skippers Press Conference 16:00 local time (14:00 UTC)
Saturday, 30th June
In-Port Race 13:02 local time (11:02 UTC)
Prize giving In-Port Race 16:30 local time (14:30 UTC)
Sunday, 1st July
Leg 9 Start: Lorient – Galway 13:02 horas (11:02 UTC)
PROVISIONAL OVERALL STANDINGS. Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.
1. Groupama sailing team (Franck Cammas), 219 points
2. Puma powered by Berg (Ken Read), 196 points
3. Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson), 191 points
4. Telefónica (Iker Martínez), 191 points
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), 122 points
6. Team Sanya (Mike Sanderson), 39 points
Media Team Telefónica
Last Updated ( Friday, 29 June 2012 )