Telefonica Black & Blue get Royal Blessing

The two Telefonica team boats are christened by Spanish royalty

The two Telefónica team boats have been christened by Spanish royalty during a ceremony at the team base in Alicante, Spain, the start port for the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Telefónica Blue boat, with a crew led by Iker Martinez, was christened by HRM Elena, while Telefónica Black, with Fernando Echavarri in charge of a predominantly Spanish team, was blessed by HRM Cristina.

'We are delighted to have HRM Infantas Cristina and Elena here with us today,' said Echavarri. 'HRM Cristina is an accomplished sailor and she has always been a good luck signal for us so it is a real pleasure to have her here as a Godmother for our team.'

Team CEO Pedro Campos took the opportunity to reflect on the hard journey it has been just to get to the starting line for a second time.

'Today is an important day for the Telefónica team,' he said. 'During the last Volvo Ocean Race we had some big successes, as well as some really tough situations. For us it was an incredibly positive experience overall and the final evaluation was that we had to try again. So reaching this point today is a big part of what we are celebrating tonight.'

Following the christening (a bottle of San Miguel beer was smashed over the bow of each boat), the Infantas presented Pedro Campos and team skipper Bouwe Bekking each with a Royal flag which was promptly hoisted on each boat in the fading twilight of the evening while the Infantas greeted the two crews.