Spanish star completes dream team

Daily Echo: Ian Walker Ian Walker

HAMPSHIRE round the world sailor Ian Walker has completed his round the world racing crew by hiring Spanish ace Roberto Bermudez.

Walker snapped up the five-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran to complete his Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team in the lead up to this year's race.

Bermudez, 44, known as ‘Chuny’, raced on Kiwi team Camper in the last edition of the 40,000-mile race.

He represented his country at the 2004 Olympics and raced for Spanish teams in the America’s Cup and the Audi MedCup. His Volvo Ocean Race track record features podium finishes in four out of the five races he’s competed in dating back to 1993-94.

Walker, from Warsash, said: “Chuny’s Volvo Ocean Race experience is remarkable. As well as being one of the most sought after professional sailors around, he’s also a thoroughly nice guy and fits perfectly into our line-up.”

Now taking on the race for a remarkable sixth time, the Spaniard is gunning for victory and says he joined ADOR because he believes it has what it takes to bring the Volvo Ocean Race trophy to Abu Dhabi.

“I know all the crew and I have sailed with many of them,” he said. “I’ve only ever raced against Ian and have a lot of respect for him and the rest of the crew as fierce competitors. That’s how I know this is a strong team and one I’m proud to be in.”

Hamble's Neal McDonald, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's performance manager, played a key role in selecting the sailors to take on yachting's premier ocean race.

ADOR performance manager Neal McDonald was instrumental in the selection process.

“I’m confident we have the right people. It’s a solid mix without any big egos. This is an international lineup, but the common factor is that they are all very much focused on winning.”

Walker and his team recently took delivery of their brand new Volvo Ocean 65 yacht before heading to Lisbon, Portugal, to train.

The Volvo Ocean Race begins in Alicante, Spain, in October.

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