'We have a new keel bulb and a new mast,' remarked team manager, Pedro CAMPOS (ESP). 'These are major changes for a boat, especially one like this, which is so sensitive to the slightest change. The idea is to enhance the weight distribution and improve performance, which we will be able to check out now, when we return to our training in the water.'
Fred BARRETT, the technical shore manager and his shore team have worked long hours for the last three weeks to get all the jobs done, as besides the new mast and bulb all other areas got a final overhaul.
'These changes are a significant step forward in the boat's development,' continued MoviStar's skipper Bouwe BEKKING (NED), 'but they also mean that we have to re-calibrate many of the boat's parameters. It is not just a question of putting in a new mast and bulb and carry on sailing. We now have to learn how to get the best out of these changes, but the good thing is that we know from the start that they will have a very positive impact on the boat's performance.'
The MoviStar's new mast arrived at the team's base last week. 'The mast is made by Southern Spars in New Zealand,' explained team coach Ken DOOL, 'and it was brought to Bilbao in a cargo ship and then it came by special transport from there to Sanxenxo. You mustn't forget that it is a 32 metre mast and it cannot be broken down, so transport has been quite a spectacle.'
Now the boat is in the water, the MoviStar crew is back to their daily training programme, as bowman Pepe RIBES (ESP) points out. 'During these weeks that the boat has been on land, we have focussed on physical training, and Sam BROVENDER [the team fitness coach] has used this time to push us hard, with two long training sessions each day. Now we are back to the sailing programme, adding as many hours in the water with the boat as possible, but without neglecting the fitness aspect. We still do a daily workout starting at seven thirty in the morning. To tell you the truth, there's no let up, but we have seen that Sam's tough programme is necessary to sail a boat as demanding as the VO 70.'