Two newcomers to the Volvo Ocean Race and a 32 years old 'veteran' join the Spanish project in the offshore race that will start next October from Alicante.
The team led by Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández confirmed this Monday that Spaniards Rafa Trujillo and Antonio 'Ñeti' Cuervas-Mons and French Nicolas Lunven will be, respectively, trimmer/driver, bowman and navigator of the new Spanish boat. Third Volvo Ocean Race for Cuervas-Mons
This will be the third Volvo Ocean Race for Spaniard Antonio 'Ñeti' Cuervas-Mons (32). It will therefore be his third time as well in the Spanish team, after competing in the 2008-2009 and 2011-2012 editions.
The sailor from Santander acknowledges that this is 'a big step forward in my career,' especially for the fact that 'until now I was one of the under 30 crew members and that opened me the doors to enter the race. Once you are over 30 I think is more complicated to be onboard because the options to find sailors are much wider, and to be here, for me it means that my previous experience is valued and I’m really proud of it.'
His teammate Xabi Fernández, highlights that 'he is a bowman with a lot of experience and for us it’s a relief to know that things will go well. It gives us a lot of confidence.'
A new change for 'Ñeti' this year is that his responsibilities go far beyond just sailing, as Xabi pointed out: 'Besides being a key player in the team, he is also in charge of the mast and everything that 'goes up'. He will train the under 30 crew members and, as well, his work will be to have the crew as trained as possible.' Round the world baptism for Lunven and Trujillo
Rafa Trujillo (38), from Cádiz, as well as French Nicolas Lunven (31) will debut in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Trujillo has competed four times in the Olympic Games – he was silver in Athens 2004 and Finn world champion- and also competed in the America's Cup with the Italian team +39 as mainsail trimmer. Trujillo confirms he is 'very excited. It's something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but with the Olympic calendar, the America’s Cup... And at last the time has come. I will be the driver in one of the watches, trimmer and, like everything in this race, a bit of everything.'
'We’ve known him for 20 years,' said Xabi Fernández. 'We know he is a hard working person, very strong and talented. We have no doubt that he will be one of the drivers who will contribute a lot to this boat.'
On the other hand, 'Nico' Lunven is a well-known French sailor. He has several Atlantic crossings under his belt; he also won the Solitaire du Figaro in 2009 and a podium in 2012, second in the Sydney-Hobart, bronze in the Fastnet Race on several occasions...
After seven years in the Figaro circuit, Lunven joins the Spanish team. For him this is 'a big challenge, not only in sporting terms but also personally; nice and different. As well, I'm very happy to do so with the Spanish team, which makes it even more interesting since it’s a culture different from mine. For me everything is new and I have to be focused on our team, trying to give the best of myself and not wasting time thinking about other things,' said from the team's base in Sanxenxo (Pontevedra).
For Xabi, Lunven 'is a very young sailor and a very talented navigator. This edition we will have to push even harder because of the fact that we are sailing on one-design boats and perhaps the navigator’s profile changes a little bit. Besides 'Nico' being the ultimate responsible for the navigation, he is also another driver, another trimmer... and on critical moments he can give a hand on deck, in my opinion, he is more than a traditional navigator.' Crew list confirmed to date:
Iker Martínez (ESP)
Xabi Fernández (ESP)
Nicolas Lunven (FRA)
Rafael Trujillo (ESP)
Antonio 'Ñeti' Cuervas-Mons (ESP)