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Telefonica's Iker and Xabi finally get a break from Olympics and Volvo

by Volvo Ocean Race on 16 Aug 2012
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) - August 1, 2012 - Weymouth, England - 49er Race 5 © Richard Gladwell www.richardgladwell.com

Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez are looking forward to seeing their families and catching up on much-needed rest after their Olympic campaign came to an end ahead of the Medal Race for the Mens Skiff at the 2012 Olympics.

The pair finished in 12th place in the 49er class after 15 tough races at the Olympic sailing venue of Weymouth and Portland on the south coast of England, meaning they could not progress through to Wednesday's double points-scoring medal race.

The Telefónica duo were gold medallists in the Men's Skiff class at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and picked up silver in 2008 in the same class after being beaten to gold by Team Sanya's Danish super sub Martin Kirketerp.

Despite pouring all of their efforts into Telefónica's gruelling Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 campaign, Martinez and Fernandez, both 35, announced they would be representing Spain for a third Olympic campaign in April.

But a lack of practice time meant they struggled to compete with the world's best.

'It's been a very hard week and now it's over and that's it,' said Fernandez following the final two races of the main regatta.

'We had a really bad day again. In the last race we had a problem at the finish as well so we finished even worse. Anyway, it's done, we didn't do very well.

'It's a little bit sad because we feel we were not that far away. We've been in a lot of races where we were top five at the top mark but then dropped back which is the worst thing. It's a bad feeling. I'm just feeling a little bit sad but it is what it is.'

Despite their disappointment, Martinez and Fernandez, sailing partners for more than 13 years and were named 2011 ISAF World Sailors of the Year, said they were looking forward to seeing their families and friends before looking at future projects.

'The plan now is to make a plan,' Martinez said. 'We have some decisions to make but first of all we're going to spend time with our families and rest.'

Fernandez added: 'Rest is what we need. At the end of the day if you're tired you're not focused and it's very hard. Seeing my family is the first thing I'm going to do for sure.'

Australia's Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen secured the gold medal in the 49er class with a race to spare, while Peter Burling and Blair Tuke from New Zealand did enough to claim silver.

Third place was contested by crews from Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Australia and Portugal, with Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang (DEN) winning the Bronze medal.

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