Team Telefónica are holding their heads high with pride despite a fourth place in the Leg 9 race to Galway that ultimately denied them a place on the overall podium.
The 11 crewmen were visibly disappointed as they stepped ashore, heavy with the knowledge that less than two months ago they were riding high at the top of the leaderboard and looking invincible having won the first three consecutive legs.
But, as the race continued their competitors strengthened, causing a major shift on and off the water that proved all too strong for Telefónica.
Despite a string of disappointing finishes, including placing last in four consecutive in-port races, the team continued to fight, a fact to be proud of, watch leader Neal McDonald said.
“I’m disappointed, but I’m proud to be a part of a team who has fought hard," he said. "We fought hard to the last minute, that’s really all I can say.
“I think it will take a while for the reality to sink in, but you know there are a lot of good boats out there, and there is no shame in coming fourth.”
Skipper Iker Martínez reflected on the final ocean leg of the 2011-12 race that ultimately sealed his team’s fate and said it was a simple case of making the wrong decisions.
“Even though we were second in Fastnet Rock and we had good options, once again we didn’t sail very well,’’ he said.
“We ended up fourth and we knew that was the race result of the Volvo and the whole race. It’s not what we wanted, but it’s the place we had and that’s it.”
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- 19 May 2012Iker to buoy up team after second in-port gaffe
- 6 Apr 2012PUMA clinch epic victory as Telefónica fall just short
- 30 Dec 2011Band of brothers: Iker and Xabi