Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 starts in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concludes in Galway, Ireland, during early July 2012. Teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles.
After more than 40,000 hours of work and a team of over 28 builders and 19 designers, Team Telefónica’s brand new Volvo Open 70 is on her way from Valencia to the port of Alicante, where she will be assembled before commencing offshore training sessions.
Skipper Iker Martinez was delighted. 'All of us who form part of this team are very happy to finally see the boat en route to Alicante,' he said. 'Now we are looking forward to sailing her and to getting everything ready and for the boat to work well as a whole.'
The yacht was built in Valencia’s King Marine shipyard in Alginet, where Telefóncia Blue was constructed for the last edition. The team has placed its trust in designer Juan Kouyoumdjian, whose designs won the last two Volvo Ocean Races.
'When Team Telefónica got in contact with us about this project we were very happy, as well as eager to see results alongside them', Juan K said.
'They have competed in the past and we have always wanted to work with the team, not just because of the team's results, which speak for themselves, but also because, from the outside, we have always had the impression that the projects lead by Pedro Campos and Iker Martínez look very tight. The opportunity to win a third Volvo as designer with a team which shares the same language as us generates a certain pride.'
The updated Rule for the third generation of the Volvo Open 70 class focuses on refining rather than any radical changes so while the new boats may look similar to their predecessors, the overall performance and speed should improve.
'This ‘Telefónica’ and the previous boat are two completely different yachts,' Martínez stated. 'This is clearly an evolution of ‘Telefónica Blue’ and others and in the end, we have tried to take the best features from all of the boats from the last edition and go a step further.'
Technical Director Horacio Carabelli, himself a past Volvo Ocean Race competitor, has played a fundamental role in the construction of the new yacht. 'The build of ‘Telefónica’ has been totally innovative, with the latest developments in technology,' he explained. 'The interior structure design is brand new, with a division of the watertight bulkheads that has been optimised to comply to the new rules and the search to keep the interior structure to a minimum.'
The biggest changes are to the hull and appendages, where Juan K has focused his research, resulting in a different volume distribution as well as new daggerboards and rudders, in an attempt to find the maximum balance of boat handling and stability.
Team Telefónica CEO Pedro Campos was buoyant. 'Today is one of the big days for our project,' he said. 'The design team and the crew have been analysing every last detail of the boat over the last few months of research, development, innovation and construction, with the aim of optimising the boat and gaining any extra tenth of a knot possible.
'The studies carried out into weight distribution and structure have also thrown up some eye-catching results on the new ‘Telefónica’; to add to her voluminous bow there is the deck, where the cabin has almost been eradicated,' he explained.
'With the support of our sponsors we have aimed not only for the best design, but also for the best build, crew and preparation possible, whilst opting for Spanish technology and crew,' Campos concluded. Volvo Ocean Race website