Brazil. New movistar crew members named PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 March 2006
Fernando Echávarri has joined the "movistar" Volvo Ocean Race squad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the Spanish team will take part in the in-port race, on Saturday, 25 March. The 2005 European and World Tornado Champion, who was elected World’s Best Regatta Sailor, in 2005, by the ISAF, will take the place of Xabi Fernández, who is now in Spain, preparing for his 49er Olympic Games of campaign with Iker Martinez.
Speaking at the movistar base this morning, Echávarri said "This is a unique opportunity for me. It is really difficult to get a place on a project of this stature and it is a dream come true, something I always wanted to do.
Echávarri knows what it is like to sail on board the Volvo Open 70 "movistar", after training with the team last summer, in Sanxenxo, which has served to him to dream up an idea of which it hopes to him from now on. He said "I know this team will fight until the end to obtain the best result. I am conscious that Xabi has raised the bar very high and it will be difficult to replace to him. My objective is to work hard, to learn a lot, to contribute everything I can and become an integral part of the team.".
Pedro Campos, Director of "movistar", defines the qualities that led to Echávarri being chosen: "Fernando mirrors the spirit of the movistar team: tenacious, hard working, never give up. In the last Tornado World’s he started last and finished as Champion of the World. His regatta skills are impressive and his ability to work in a team is another great virtue. Last summer in Galicia, he demonstrated perfect aptitude for this boat. He is physically strong, technically very good and, personally, he is a great companion; three aspects fundamental to be good competitor on board a Volvo Open 70".
Bouwe Bekking also has an opinion on Echávarri: "He found time, within his very busy Tornado agenda to sail with us in Sanxenxo and always wanted to make this regatta. How many people can gain the title of Better Regatta Sailor of the World; only one. That says enough of his talent and he finds many similarities between sailing a Tornado and a VO 70. I am very contented to have to him on board ". Campos added "To obtain in one year a World title, a European title and to be named Best Regatta Sailor of the Year, is within reach of very few. As a Galician, I feel very proud that another of my countryman has got into the crew ".
Mike Howard will be another newcomer, alongside Fernando Echávarri, in Rio de Janeiro. The North American, "Big Mike" will replace Noel Drennan in the in-port race and in the leg from Rio de Janeiro to Baltimore on 2 April. Howard is an experienced ocean racer, who already knows what is to sail in the Volvo Ocean Race, after participating in the last one on Assa Abloy. Bekking said "In addition to being a great racer, Big Mike is immensely strong, very easy going and will fit perfectly within the crew. In addition, he has sailed before with just about all of us ". In a long and successful career, Howard has participated in several America’s Cup events, as well as ocean, circuit and match racing.
Yes Marian - what was so necessary in Valencia that he couldn't do this leg ? As I understand, he's rejoining the Movistar team in Baltimore...And will BMW Oracle be taking Steve Hayles back when he gets to Baltimore ?
If they have problems with everyone getting along, Mikey is a great guy to solve that. More love in that man than can be found anywhere esle (and especially after a few cold ones...). He is a great team builder- good soldier all around. As he often says - "who would you want to be in a foxhole with?"