Team Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez will be setting sail from Sanya, China on Sunday with sadness in his heart because he’s leaving a country he is sure has brought him good fortune.
“We will be sad to leave as we think China has given us very good luck" - Iker Martínez, skipper, Team Telefónica
At the Leg 3 public prize giving ceremony the Spanish Olympic gold medallist said he was hopeful that his good luck associated with China was going to remain with him for the duration of the race.
“It is going very well, we are very happy and hopefully it will continue,’’ he said on stage in front of a crowd of fans.
“We will be sad to leave as we think China has given us very good luck. When we arrived in China for the last race (on Telefónica Blue) we had a good result and this time we have had only good racing, so it will be sad to leave for sure.”
Franck Cammas and his crew also stepped onto the red carpet of the stage to receive a warm reception for finishing second on Leg 3.
“There were many Chinese awaiting us, it was really good. For sure we were very happy for the arrival,’’ he said.
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand picked up their prize for finishing third, a result skipper Chris Nicholson described as “fantastic”.
Looking ahead to the Leg 4 race to one of the team’s home ports in Auckland the Australian said the team were hopeful of a massive welcome.
“It has been one of the homes of the team now for several years, so yeah I think it will be a very big homecoming and it's something that we want to do the best we possibly can,’’ he said.
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG also received an award for Leg 4, winning the IWC Speed Record Challenge trophy for the greatest distance recorded in 24-hours, after notching up 355.89 nautical miles on February 4.
Ken Read’s men join the crews of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama sailing team, recipients of the Legs 1 and 2 distance awards, in the trophy winner's club.
Later at a private prize giving ceremony PUMA completed a treble of awards when Media Crew Member Amory Ross collected the Inmarsat MCM award for Leg 3 and the PUMA shore crew received the Leg 3 DHL Shore Crew Award.
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