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6 April 2011, 10:56 am
MAPFRE Takes Second In The Barcelona World Race
MAPFRE
Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) On Board MAPFRE

Barcelona World Race 2010-11
Barcelona, Spain

Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) crossed the finish line of the Barcelona World Race at 09:17 UTC yesterday to clinch second place for MAPFRE.
The 2004 Olympic Champions completed the 25,200 mile course in an elapsed time of 94 days, 21 hours, 17 minutes and 35 seconds.

Their average pace was 11.07 knots for the theoretical course distance, and over the 28,759 miles they actually covered they made an average 12.63 knots.

They finished 22 hours, 56 minutes and 59 seconds behind winners Virbac-Paprec 3.

"This is an ideal situation for us," said Iker Martinez. "Until 14 months ago we had never sailed an IMOCA 60 and so we could not aspire to very much. But the race was very good, much better than we expected.

"We've made a huge step. Tomorrow the project is finished but if in the future we want to do it again we can hope to aspire to anything.

"We learned a lot, every day. Each day has been a learning process. Especially all the way through the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans. We were sailing well and we could fight with those at the front."

"We believe that we can go one step further,"
added Martinez shortly after his return.

His co-skipper Xabi Fernandez said, "These past 94 days have been never-ending. If you told me it was 105 days, I would believe you. But it has been a great regatta."

Finishing in second place, just under 23 hours behind the race winners Virbac-Paprec 3, the Spanish pair are the first team to complete the entire navigation non-stop.

"We would rather be fifth and complete the circumnavigation without stopping than finish second and stop," said Fernandez. "This is our opportunity to go round non-stop together and that is what we always wanted to do."

The Spaniards sailed constantly in second place for 18,900 miles since 26 January when they took up the baton from mentor Michel Desjoyeaux and Francois Gabart (FRA) after they lost the top of Foncia's mast.

A deficit to Virbac Paprec 3 at the Cape of Good Hope of 730 miles on 29 January had grown five days later to 780 miles. But after the winners stopped in Wellington to repair their mast track and batten cars, by the mid-Pacific the Spanish duo has got tantalisingly close, to within 8.3 miles of the leaders by 25 February.

But the French team aboard Virbac Paprec 3 maintained and extended their lead despite MAPFRE's best efforts.

Event website - www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Barcelona World Race Press Release
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