Volvo Ocean Race Atlantic qualifier begins for Team Telefónica

Team Telefonica - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Maria Muina/Equipo Telefonica
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 entrant Team Telefónica have now set out on their 2,000 mile Atlantic qualifier that is a requirement of the VOR rules. Iker Martínez and his crew departed their base in Lanzarote to begin the journey. 'It's a key test because this is one of the last ones we'll have…' stated Jordi Calafat.

Leaving Marina Rubicón in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Telefónica's goal is to complete the compulsory 2,000 miles in the Atlantic. According to weather forecast, the wind should blow from 15 to 20 knots, providing a real chance for the team to get to grips with this third generation Volvo Open 70 before the start of the race in Alicante on October 29.

'It's a key test because this is one of the last ones we'll have before we have to make some decisions,' said Mallorca's Jordi Calafat, Olympic champion and trimmer and helmsman for Telefónica. 'We need to make the most out of it.

'We have a good schedule lined up ahead of us and there aren't many things left for us to decide, but every detail is important. This is a key date for us on our calendar in the run-up to the start.'

According to Spanish sailor Pepe Ribes, this is also an opportunity to test some of the onboard systems. 'We will spend several nights at sea,' he said. 'It’s great to try the boat, the batteries and the chargers out on the water for more than a day.'

Telefónica’s crew for the 2,000 miles qualifier:

Iker Martínez
Andrew Cape
Jordi Calafat
Neal McDonald
Xabi Fernández
Joao Signorini 'Joca'
Pepe Ribes
Pablo Arrarte
Antonio 'Ñeti' Cuervas-Mons
Zane Gills
Diego Fructuoso

Volvo Ocean Race website