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Old 08-02-2014
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Default Volvo Ocean Race crews to battle in Round Britain test



Iker Martinez’s Spanish team will put to the test potential new crew members as they make their way to the UK for the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race this week.

The event, which starts on August 9 and is preceded by Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, will see five of the new, one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats navigate Britain’s 1,800 miles of notoriously tricky coastline.

Four other teams - Team SCA, Team Alvimedica, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Dongfeng Race Team - will join Martinez’s crew at the start line of what is the final competitive test before the beginning of the Volvo Ocean Race in October.

And the Spaniard has drafted in Guillermo ‘Willy’ Altadill and Carlos Hernández to join his team for the practice race – as the pair attempts to secure a permanent place on board.

The Spanish team are currently some way behind their rivals in terms of preparation, and the skipper is relishing the opportunity to blood some new talent.

'We’d like to try 10 more guys but we just don’t have the time - that’s the problem with such a tight schedule,' he said.

At 21 and 27 respectively, the pair would both fill Under 30’s spots on board – but despite their relative youth, Martínez believes that they could prove to be valuable additions to his crew.

'They are good sailors, and have a lot of experience with large boats,' he said. 'We have sailed together over the last few days, and both of them have performed very well. They are young, fit and possess a lot of technical ability.'

Meanwhile, Dongfeng Race Team have packed up their Lorient training base and are currently en route to the UK.

The trip is a particularly exciting one for their Chinese sailors, who have never visited the islands before.

'Multiple Chinese crew will take part in the race, which is a major step forward for China in terms of offshore sailing,' said Team Director, Bruno Dubois.

'There is still a lot to do but if we look at the big picture and our long-term goal, this is a first success,' he added.

'I am proud that in just six months, we’ve managed to reach this point.'
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