Team movistar have just one week to prepare for next inshore race 17/3/06

Bouwe Bekking and team have finally arrived in Rio 26 days after leaving Melbourne for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

After an eventful journey where more keel problems forced the team to divert to Ushuaia two weeks ago, the Spanish VO 70 movistar crossed the Rio finish line at 1311 local time, adding three points to their overall tally. This means they are now in fourth place, just one and a half points behind Pirates of the Caribbean.

The crew and shore team now face an intense few days of solid work to ensure the boat is ready for the next in-port race on 25 March. To assist extra hands have been brought in including Russell Bowler, president of designers Farr.

In a recent press report Bouwe Bekking said it had been a frustrating time for everyone and swept aside any suggestions that the crew were still unhappy with the boat and the shore crew, following the revelations from a team meeting in Ushuaia that certain members of the team felt the repairs were not standing up to the rigours of racing. Commenting Bekking said: “A lot of people were scared, but I gave them the option of getting off in Ushuaia and was very happy that apart from Spike, they all decided to keep going. The boat goes really nicely but we’ve had our fair share of issues and it would be nice to put them all behind us.”

Watch leader Mike Joubert shared the frustrations but added. “We have not had much wind so it’s been pretty frustrating but the guys have got a pretty good sense of humour. We went through the intense disappointment of knowing we could not win the race any more, then we started to joke about it then reached a stage when it wasn’t funny any more so we just had to deal with it and get on with it.

“We do have some fundamental issues with the boat that are being resolved and that is a good thing. If we did not know what the problem was, we would be in much more trouble. If she was slow, we would be more worried. At least we know we can fix the boat and make it strong and we feel absolutely confident that it can be fixed. The point of the meeting in Ushuaia was that we wanted our boat sorted out and we wanted it sorted out now so we could race it. We are tired of delivering it around the world.”