Cascais, Portugal – March 27, 2014 – Spain’s Roberto ‘Chuny” Bermúdez, one of the most experienced and talented sailors in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race, has been recruited by Abu Dhabi to complete their eight-man line-up for the 2014-15 edition starting in October.
The 44-year-old will be contesting his sixth race giving him the most appearances in the race by a Spaniard.
He competed as skipper for Delta Lloyd in 2008-09 and was also in the CAMPER team in the last edition in 2011-12 when he famously avoided a whale while steering.
‘Chuny’, as he is universally known in sailing, brings a wealth of experience to skipper Ian Walker’s already talented line-up.
He represented his country at the Athens 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.
“Chuny’s Volvo Ocean Race experience is remarkable,” said Walker. “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 before,” 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 good strong team and one I’m proud to be a part of.”
As a member of the CAMPER team during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, Chuny saw at first hand the welcome the fleet received on its arrival into Abu Dhabi, and the Spaniard is looking forward to a similar reception when he arrives into the UAE capital in December as part of the home team.
“Abu Dhabi was such a special part of the Volvo Ocean Race last time around and I have really fond memories of the time we spent there,” he said.
Like most Volvo Ocean Race competitors, Bermúdez says the hardest part about racing around the world would be spending time apart his family, his wife Lola and their children, Lola (11), Carlos (9) and Pepa (7).
“I’ll miss my family of course,” he said. “But I don’t like to be distracted by thoughts of home. In a race like this you have to concentrate 100 per cent.”
Bermúdez, along with British double Olympic silver medallist Walker and the rest of the ADOR crew, Justin Slattery (Ireland), Phil Harmer (Australia), Simon Fisher (Britain), Luke Parkinson (Australia), Andrew McLean (New Zealand) and Adil Khalid (United Arab Emirates), will be based in Cascais for the next two and a half months as they train and prepare their new Volvo Ocean 65 ‘Azzam’ for Abu Dhabi’s second consecutive Volvo Ocean Race challenge.