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14 December 2004, 02:47 pm
Olympic Gold Medallist Joins Telefónica MoviStar
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

Athens Olympic gold medallist, Iker MARTINEZ, will join Pedro CAMPOS and Bouew BEKKING as helmsman offshore onboard Telefónica MoviStar.

Gold medalist in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in the 49er class, Martínez brings not just huge talent to the Telefónica MoviStar team, but a host of other qualities as well. 'I think that I will bring youth and the strength of character that all Olympian sportmen have,' says Martínez. 'The Volvo 70 has lines that are similar to the 49er, but at a higher scale; it is an open design and very fast, very like the boats I am used to sailing.'

Iker has already started training in the gym to adapt to the needs of the Volvo Ocean Race. 'I need to be bigger and stronger for this race. To sail the 49er I had to be very slim and I adapted to those characteristics. Now things have changed, I have to gain muscle mass and weight. My friends who have sailed in a Volvo Ocean Race before advise me to really prepare physically, because the stronger I am, the easier everything will be.'

Pedro CAMPOS is the general manager of the team and will be the helmsman inshore for the in port races. The Galician skipper confirmed his enthusiasm towards the Volvo Ocean Race: 'To me the Volvo Ocean Race is a great project. After successfully competing in the world's most strenuous and important regattas, including America's Cup, the challenge of organising a team whose ambition is to fight for the triumph of the world's most difficult race was immensely attractive.'

Campos' job as general manager is fundamental in the months prior to the race: 'The more I get acquainted with the Volvo Ocean Race, the more I like it, because it is a mix of speed, technology, human effort, planning and reflex abilities at a level that does not exist in any other race that I have ever sailed in.'

Bouwe BEKKING is the skipper. With four round-the-world races behind him and the last five years as skipper of 'Bribón', he knows exactly what a team needs to win.

Bouwe Bekking has a clear view on his Telefónica MoviStar project objective: 'My challenge is to show the rest of the world that a Spanish syndicate can indeed build the best boat, the best sails, and have the best team'. Bekking's vast experience in this type of competition is a big advantage to the team. 'It really gives us the upper hand to have started on the project so early. The last Volvo Ocean Race editions have shown that getting an early start positively affects the final result. When the race starts, we will already have sailed over 25,000 miles, and this will give us, in my opinion, an advantage over the rest of the teams'.

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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