The VO70 movistar is preparing for its final 'leg' to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galicia

Ten members of the ‘movistar’ VO 70 have loaded the last provisions needed to complete their next transatlantic training leg to from Marina da Gloria port in Rio de Janeiro to Galicia, Spain, in preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race.

The crew, hoping to set off in the next day or so, are currently preparing themselves for 5,000 miles of north-north-west sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, including the rounding of Fernando da Noronha and Cabo Verde. They should arrive in Galicia around 4 June but this could change depending on the Atlantic conditions: Bouwe Bekking commented: “Neptune keeps a few surprises up his sleeve. The Doldrums area – the point where both hemispheres meet, known for its frequent dead calm sea is always a big question mark for sailors. If we come across the so-called good waves, we’ll enjoy smooth swift sailing. If we are unlucky, we could spend several days without the slightest breeze.”

Since her arrival at Rio de Janeiro on 22 April the VO70 has been subject to a thorough process of review, analysis and control of each and every one of its components. “We have gone through every piece of equipment,” added Bouwe Bekking, skipper. “We have sent the pivoting keels back to the US manufacturer for a complete check and removed all winches. You can rightly say that nothing has been left unchecked.”

After sailing 8,100 miles from Newcastle, Australia, the team has gathered a great amount of relevant data on the boat’s funtioning. Andrew Cape is one of the team members responsible for data collection and management. “From my position as navigator, I have gathered an extraordinary amount of information that will be used to optimise boat performance. The conclusions obtained have been employed in the fine tuning of the boat, a competitive advantage we will use during the race.”

Pepe Ribes, bowman added: “We have made some changes on the rigging and new appendages have been installed, to test whether they provide greater speed than the earlier versions.”