The VO70 movistar, the Spanish participant in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, has arrived in Galicia in preparation for the VOR in November

Right on schedule, the VO70 movistar, the Spanish participant in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, arrived on Sunday afternoon in Galicia. The yacht sailed past the Cíes Islands before heading for the mouth of the Ría de Vigo at 1600, 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.

Intitally 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 its 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 in a splendid summer afternoon.

Iker Martínez said: “It was quite a show. 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 – General Manager of the Team, and Francisco de Bergia – CEO of Telefónica, boarded the boat and sailed the last 13 miles of the 5,000 mile-long journey.

Pedro Campos commented: “It was very exciting to come on board and to be greeted by the crew. 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.”

Bouwe Bekking, in turn, 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.”

Xabi Fernández, Jib Trimmer added: “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. 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, the team sailed movistar from Vigo heading for Sanxenxo, which will be its headquarters until the start of the Volvo Ocean Race from Vigo, on 12 November.