MAPFRE, skippered by Xabi Fernández, entered the port at 00.30 UTC on Thursday morning

At 00.30 UTC on Thursday morning, MAPFRE docked in the port of Alicante, having won the Prologue leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Spanish team, skippered by Basque sailor Xabi Fernández, crossed the finish line in Cabo de Gata on Wednesday 11th October at midday. The team continued sailing to the start port of the round-the-world race, which begins in just ten day’s time, on 22nd October at 14:00 h.

We have been waiting to come to Alicante for a long time; to come home, you might say. The prologue went very well, it was a tough battle with Team Brunel, but in the end we were able to beat them. I’m happy with the team, the result and how everything is going. I think that these last few days in Alicante are going to be fun, and we can get everything ready to leave,” declared the skipper Xabi Fernández.

The prologue, a non-scoring leg from Lisbon to Alicante, was shortened due to lack of wind, and finally finished in Cabo de Gata.

As Spanish sailor Támara Echegoyen explained, although non-scoring, the leg was, “the perfect training opportunity just before the start.

Now we are in Alicante, we have to take care of the last few details, as is the case for all the teams. I think we have done a great job up until now, and so now we can try to enjoy the race, and do the best we can every day,” added the Olympic champion, who makes her official début in the Volvo Ocean Race on Saturday, in the Alicante coastal race, and will become the very first female Spanish sailor in history, to take part in the round-the-world race.

MAPFRE’s navigator Joan Vila admitted that despite the difficult, light conditions in the Mediterranean, “on board we are happy to be in Alicante and to have arrived in first place. As Xabi has often said, we feel that the “Volvo” has already begun, and we now have an intense few days ahead of us.