Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 is due to start on 29th October 2011 in Alicante, Spain and will finish in Galway, Ireland in July 2012.
On the 17th of May this year, now some four months and four days ago, the Spanish team's Volvo Open 70 'Telefónica' set off from the port of Alicante bound for the team base at Mariana Rubicón, in Lanzarote. Right now the Spanish boat is covering the last few miles ahead of the approach to the port hosting the start of the Volvo Ocean Race.
From Marina Rubicón (Lanzarote) to Sanxenxo (Pontevedra)
Following three months of training in the waters around the Canaries the team made its way to the offshore base at Sanxenxo (Pontevedra), where the final run-throughs were carried out. On Saturday the 17th September with the Corte Inglés Máster regatta fleet as witness, 'Telefónica' set course South towards the Gibraltar Strait.
A day after casting off her line at the Galician port, the Spanish boat entered the Mediterranean Sea and from thereon her bow has been pointing firmly towards Alicante. Just 150 miles stood between the boat and the port as she rounded Cabo de Gata yesterday afternoon.
'We've had good breeze almost all the way since entered the Med and yesterday morning we began to close-haul,' said Skipper Iker Martínez. With Cabo de Gata behind her 'Telefónica's skipper explained: 'If our calculations are right and the breeze doesn't give us the slip we hope to enter the mouth of the Alicante port at midday today, local time.'
Miles and miles of training
'Telefónica' is returning to Alicante following a whopping 9,000 nautical miles since the 17th of May, the day the Spanish yacht set off from the Alicante quayside.
If the 9,000 miles are added to the almost 10,000 miles sailed on board 'Telefónica Blue' during training and analysis sessions in 2010, that means that the Spanish team has notched up some 19,000 nautical miles. However, the plan is to sail yet another 1,000 miles ahead of the start of the Volvo Ocean Race on the 5th of November, which means that the team will start sailing's most extreme regatta with some 20,000 miles of experience behind them. Team Telefónica website