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Telefónica: victory is the stuff of dreams

Crew celebrating on stage in Cape Town
Crew celebrating on stage in Cape Town © Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race

Team Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez said his team’s Leg 1 victory was a dream come true just moments after they sailed across the finish line at Cape Town, South Africa.

"It's something that you only dream of. We've seen what can happen and we have achieved much more than we thought we could" - Iker Martínez


"The feeling is fantastic," Martínez said from the dockside.  "It's something that you only dream of. We've seen what can happen and we have achieved much more than we thought we could."

Martínez and his 10 champion crewmen arrived in roaring conditions in Table Bay, sailing with a reefed mainsail in a confused sea with more than 40 knots of gusting wind.

The Spanish team crossed the finish line at 1814:25 UTC  after 21 days, five hours and 14 minutes at sea completing the gruelling 6,500 nautical mile Leg 1 race from Alicante, Spain.

While the sailors were looking forward to a long hot shower and fresh food, their immediate arrival was marked with a frothing champagne shower.

Family, friends and loved ones soon embraced their winning sailors, and gave them a rousing welcome party filled with the sounds of vuvuzelas.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker, whose team were ousted from Leg 1 with a broken mast, was amongst the first to greet Martínez and shake his hand in congratulations.

Shortly after hugging his family, Telefónica watch leader and five time Volvo competitor Neal McDonald described the tight racing against PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, before their mast broke, as a Leg 1 highlight.

“Winning the leg is obviously sweet, but we had some great sailing too,’’ he said.

“It was like we were tied together with a bit of 200 foot elastic for days and days and days - - some of the best offshore racing I’ve done.  So, we were very, very sad to hear they lost their rig.”

The victory catapults the Spaniards from the bottom of the leaderboard with just one sole point, to the top with 31 points.

Telefónica’s closest competitor CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand remains about 200 nautical miles behind them, and are expected to finish in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Should CAMPER secure the second spot they will score 25 points, leaving them trailing Telefónica by just two points on the leaderboard.

In third position Groupama sailing team is set to secure 20 points, and third position overall, just seven points behind CAMPER.



Source Volvo Ocean Race


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