Volvo Ocean Race, Desjoyeaux drops the ball.

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desjoyeaux
A
winning team does not change, a losing team does. Let’s not deny it: everyone expected more from the Spaniards of MAPFRE, who finished the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race (from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town, South Africa) in last place. Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez are phenomena, but most importantly on board was the “professor,” Michel Desjoyeaux, one of the world’s strongest ocean sailors (he is the only one to have twice won the Vendée Globe, the non-stop solo round-the-world race). But evidently things on board did not go smoothly. It was clear from the outset that Desjoyeaux would not participate in all the stages, but his departure after the first stopover was not planned (although, a statement specifies, he will have an advisory role on the ground). The name of his replacement has not yet been announced.

I HAVE NOT WASTED MY TIME
Desjoyeaux said, “The decision to no longer sail aboard MAPFRE was made jointly by the team and myself. This is not an easy decision to make, but these are common issues in a working group. Even though I won’t be sailing anymore, I don’t think I wasted my time, in fact MAPFRE is a great team with great sailors.” For its part, the Spanish team did not comment on crew changes but wanted to emphasize that despite some engine and battery problems and minor damage, the boat arrived in Cape Town in relatively good condition.

neliasOUTSIDE LUNVEN, INSIDE NELIAS
Meanwhile, another turnover aboard the Spanish boat has been announced: Jean-Luc Nélias, one of the key members of Groupama’s winning crew in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, will assume the role of navigator on board from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, which will depart South Africa on Nov. 19. The transalpine Nélias was a navigator for Franck Cammas and contributed to the victory in the 2011/12 edition. He replaces the other Frenchman Nico Lunven who was part of MAPFRE’s group during the first stage.

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