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9 June 2005, 11:18 am
MoviStar Makes Triumphant Arrival In Vigo
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Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006
Vigo, Spain

Right on schedule, the VO 70 MoviStar arrived Sunday afternoon in Galicia, Spain. The Spanish participant in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 sailed past the Cíes Islands before heading for the mouth of the Ría de Vigo at 1600 hours local time, as planned, and is now safely docked in the port of Vigo.
The team is now recovering from their trying transatlantic journey, gradually recovering their physical and mental capacity to live comfortably on land after weeks at sea.

Initially flanked by dozens of boats wanting to welcome the team home, the procession gradually grew in number until an impressive fleet was formed to escort the boat in her journey across the Ría until her final destination, the A Laxe Dock in Vigo.

Hundreds of fans gathered to watch the arrival of the MoviStar from the dock on a splendid summer afternoon. 'It was quite a show.,' said offshore helmsman and 2004 49er Olympic Champion, Iker MARTINEZ (ESP) when he disembarked. 'The crew members who had been here before were moved by the number of boats which came to welcome us, but those who hadn't before were dazzled by the beauty of the Ría. The fine weather made this a perfect moment'.

Upon her arrival in Vigo, Pilar ROJO, Regional Minister for Sports, Pedro CAMPOS (ESP), General Manager of the Team, and Francisco DE BERGIA, CEO of Telefónica, came on board the VO 70 by the Cíes Islands and sailed onboard MoviStar for the last 13 miles of the 5,000 mile journey that started on 17 May in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

'It was very exciting to come on board and to be greeted by the crew,' CAMPOS. 'As soon as we raised the 500 sq. m. of spinnaker, the boat took off and many of the boats escorting us fell behind, but the mere sight of the boat sailing in front of the Cíes Islands with all sails raised was worth it'.

The most emotional moment of the day happened upon arriving in port, when the crew's families approached MoviStar. Later on, Alberto NÚÑEZ FEIJOO, First Vice-President of the Regional Government of Galicia, and Corina PORRO, the mayor of Vigo, came onboard to present the Galician flag to CAMPOS, who in turn presented them with the Real Club Náutico de Sanxenxo flag, the pennant under which the boat will sail the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006. When the Galician flag was raised, hundreds of balloons sporting the regional colours were released, a welcome salvo was fired, and the band of pipers started playing to welcome the crew.

Later on, the crew joined the authorities at a press conference at the main room of the Real Club Náutico de Vigo. NÚÑEZ FEIJOO took the opportunity to thank the MoviStar crew for their presence in Vigo on behalf of all Galicians. MARTINEZ also wanted to 'express the gratitude of the team to all the people who came to cheer us upon our arrival. The journey was beautiful, but the entrance to the Ría de Vigo in such a splendid weather and with so many boats escorting us, was really moving to all.'

Skipper, Bouwe BEKKING (NED), took the opportunity to recall that, 'getting here completes our first 15,000 miles of ocean trials. But now we will just take a small break for repairs and will take to the sea again in a few weeks to continue gathering experience. We suffered some shredded sails from Australia to Rio, but we also learned a lot and improved upon a number of elements on the boat. Proof of that is the fact that we did not break anything all the way from Rio to here.'

'Despite a few difficult moments due to the total absence of wind on the days before our arrival, the final stretch has just been wonderful,' said jib trimmer, and MARTINEZ's gold medal winning 49er crew, Xabi FERNÁNDEZ. 'Today, when we were just 50 miles from Vigo, the wind started to pick up, and soon reached peaks up to 30 knots.'

Later in the evening, MoviStar sailed from Vigo heading for Sanxenxo, also in Galicia, northern Spain, which will be her headquarters until the start of the Volvo Ocean Race from Vigo, on 12 November.

Melendy Britt (As Amended By ISAF). Image, MoviStar arriving in Vigo:© Maria Muiña/Movistar Sailing
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