Tuesday, December 26, 2017


The VOR has been dominated by French and Spanish sailors. Even if a majoritarily French crew has already won the VOR (on the first attempt), the race has been dominated by Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and North European sailors, that constituted most of the mixed crews.

A Spanish crew on a Spanish boat dominating the race is not only a first but also great news for the sailing world with one more nation becoming sailing competitive at the major league. The very good performance of Mapfre will certainly have a positive effect in what regards sailing interest in Spain and that will increase sponsorship that is fundamental for the development of the sport at top level.

How have Spain, or better, Spanish sailors managed to enter the big league without having really big league sail races in Spain? Most were dinghy champion sailors that have been able to start racing offshore due to the Spanish involvement with the VOR in several editions through Telefónica and Mapfre teams. Most of them are veterans of three VOR campaigns with the Skipper Xabi Fernandez having done four and also solo racing circumnavigations. That's his 5th racing circumnavigation.

And they have not even racing with them the only other Spanish sailor that has a similar curriculum, Iker Martinez. Yes they have also on the team two New Zealanders and one Australian but even if certainly good sailors they are less experienced. The only other non Spanish with a similar experience is one of the watch captains, the British Rob Greenhalg. So, not only, as I have heard on several media, "the based Spanish team", but truly a Spanish team. I hope that on the next VOR they include a rule that makes mandatory at least 50% of the team to be from the country where the boat is based.

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