The most-travelled of the new generation Volvo 70s, the Spanish Movistar, is back in the water with the new keel and rig

“We have a new keel bulb and a new mast,” remarks team manager, Pedro Campos. “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 the last three weeks long hours 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,” continues Movistar’s skipper Bouwe Bekking, “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 new mast arrived at the team’s base last week. The mast was made by Southern Spars in New Zealand and was brought to Bilbao in a cargo ship and then by special transport from there to Sanxenxo. “You mustn’t forget that it is a 32m mast and it cannot be broken down, so transport has been quite a spectacle.”