Telefonica team announces latest crew members

Photo: ©2008 María Muiña / Equipo Telefónica
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The Telefonica team have announced their four Under-30 crew members for the Volvo Ocean Race. They are Spaniards Pablo Arrarte, Antonio Cuervas-Mons, New Zealander Daryl Wislang and Michael Pammenter, of South Africa.

Both Arrarte, 27 and Cuervas-Mons, 26, are from Santander in Northern Spain. Arrarte has already had a taste of elite sailing having competed at the Olympic Games in Athens in the Star class. He was also a member of the Spanish Finn pre-Olympic training team.

Arrarte is a familiar face on the TP52 circuit. In 2005 he won Spain’s prestigious King’s Cup onboard Quantum Lexus, and recently he has been a firm fixture on the TP52 Bribón, where he sailed with Telefonica Blue skipper Bouwe Bekking.

'For me, the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the three most important events in this sport,' he said. 'The chance to compete in this edition came up and I jumped at it. I’m looking forward to sailing with an extremely powerful team.'

Cuervas-Mons, better known as 'Neti', has competed in the Olympic Tornados and 49ers. He has also sailed alongside Bekking on Bribon in TP 52s. He will take on the role of pitman in the Volvo.

Twenty-seven-year-old New Zealander Daryl Wislang is a graduate from sailmaker and part-time in-port racer with movistar in 2005-06 to bowman with Telefonica in this campaign.

He has extensive offshore experience. In 2006 he won the Rolex Middle Sea Race onboard Morning Glory and in the same year also became world champion in the maxi class with the Wally 95 Magic Carpet. He was also a key member of the sail management team in the last America’s Cup with United Internet Team Germany.

'This is a dream come true for me,' he said. 'This is a real step up in sailing terms and I’m so happy to be part of this team. To be given the chance to crew onboard one of these boats and to make the most of the experience is the biggest decision I’ve ever taken since I started sailing.'

The youngest of the young guns is 25-year-old Pammenter from Durban who joins as bowman. Despite his tender years, Pammenter has some previous offshore experience on big boats. Three years ago he was a crewman on the 98-foot super maxi Maximus, which smashed the round the Isle of Wight record at Cowes Week.

The Volvo, he says, is the ultimate challenge. 'For me this is a big thing, I mean, this is the start of hopefully many major sailing events to come and I am just really looking forward to the opportunity of racing around the world with a lot of awesome guys and a great team.'

These additions take the Telefonica team total of crew members to 18.

Telefonica crew members:

1. Bouwe Bekking
2. Iker Martínez
3. Fernando Echávarri
4. Jordi Calafat
5. Xabi Fernández
6. Pepe Ribes
7. Jaime Arbones
8. Gonzalo Araújo
9. Simon Fisher
10. Javier de la Plaza
11. Jonathan Swain
12. David Vera
13. Roger Nilson
14. Laurent Pages
15. Pablo Arrarte
16. Antonio Cuervas-Mons
17. Daryl Wislang
18. Michael Pammenter

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