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29 March 2005, 12:42 pm
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

In its first trans-oceanic voyage, the Spanish team leaves Australia sailing through Cape Horn en route to Brazil, clocking in 8,100 miles of navigation - 6,700 of them non-stop.
Making best use of the 227 days left to start the Round the World Race, the Spanish Telefónica MoviStar team said goodbye to Australia last week and set off in their intensive trans-oceanic training programme. In this first session, the team will clock in a total of 8,100 nautical miles in their journey from Australia to Brazil. The new VO70 leaves Newcastle to tackle the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, stopping briefly at Wellington (New Zealand). Just two hours after reaching port, they will set off towards the challenging fourth leg of the race, travelling through the rough waters and winds of Cape Horn towards Brazil.

'In recreating the route, we're taking on the same type of conditions we expect in February and March next year. We'll be testing all the technical mechanisms and the greatest number of sails possible, getting to know the boat and the way she performs in this important leg of the race', cites Bouwe BEKKING, skipper of the MoviStar in the Volvo Ocean Race. 'The testing needs to be done now to maximise the learning process - doing them at any other time would mean drastically different conditions, required efforts and results', notes Pedro CAMPOS, general manager of the Spanish project.

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The initial sailing tests carried out in Australia have proven the correct functioning of all systems, allowing the VO70 MoviStar to start its first transoceanic journey. 'The best way to guarantee the operation of the boat is to test it out under the same conditions that we'll find during the race itself -continues Bekking-. We've got valuable time on our hands and will use it to make all needed adjustments and put the boat in top form. Each mile we cover is a valuable step in building real-life team experience and knowledge of the boat, something we can only get through sailing, sailing and more sailing'.

While the programme of competition of the Volvo Ocean Race is tough, the training sessions of the MoviStar will push the team even farther, with more rigorous testing. 'We're in search of the secrets of the MoviStar.' - says offshore helmsman Iker MARTÍNEZ-. 'The race foresees a 48 hour pit stop in Wellington and we'll just give ourselves only two hours. The route will be tough, but it's going to give us valuable experience on board and clues as to how to maximise performance.'

'Each mile offers us new data' - comments Andrew CAPE, sailor onboard the MoviStar-. 'all the information we gather in the training sessions will be monitored to ensure optimal performance of the boat'.

After Wellington, the VO70 MoviStar will head straight for Cape Horn, the southernmost extreme of the Latin American continent, 'one of the most difficult routes we'll see throughout the Volvo Ocean Race', says Bouwe BEKKING.

Crossing over from one ocean to the next (Pacific to Atlantic), the journey will take them on to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), for a total of 6.700 miles non-stop from New Zealand. 'Once we touch the port of Rio we'll have covered more than 8,100 miles in our training, putting it up against all types of sea and wind conditions. Once we arrive, we'll carry out any needed adjustments for the next stage of preparation and training'.

Melindy Britt (As Amended by ISAF), Image: © MoviStar Sailing
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