Pablo Arrarte to skipper Polish crew in The Ocean Race
Renowned Spanish sailor Pablo Arrarte will head the Polish WindWhisper team, which will compete in The Ocean Race. The race will start on January 15, 2023 in Alicante.
The news of the return of the red-and-white flag to the route of the famous regatta of The Ocean Race, which is excellent for Polish sailing, is not silent. After this positive earthquake, it gets even more interesting, as the WindWhisper Racing Team reveals more cards. The ace in its deck is expected to be Pablo Arrarte, who will take over as skipper. The 42-year-old Spaniard is an experienced racer and former Olympian. In 2004, sailing in a duet with Roberto “Chuny” Bermudez, he finished 10th in the Star class at the Athens Games. His achievements include three victories in the Sydney-Hobart sailing classic. He is well acquainted with the specifics of The Ocean Race, in which he has sailed four times. He made his debut in 2008-2009 as helmsman with the Telefónica Blue crew, which finished third in the race. Three years later he raced again under the banner of the Spanish telecommunications giant, but this time failed to defend the podium. Much better were the two previous editions in which Arrarte finished second, representing the Dutch Team Burnel (2014-15) and Spain’s Mapfre (2017-18). In the latter campaign, the Santander-born player popularly known as “Patan” served as deputy skipper. Now the time has come for the next step in his career, which will be to lead a crew in The Ocean Race on his own.
– Taking over as skipper of WindWhisper Racing Team is a very big opportunity for me. For the first time in my career, I will be able to lead the team in such an important ocean race. I have followed the Polish team in the past and how they have performed over the past few years has pleased me a lot. After a week of training in Valencia, I also know that all our sailors are hungry to win The Ocean Race. I’m also impressed with the competitors from Poland – the youngest of them is 17 years old, and each of them can already boast a lot of experience. When I go back in the past and think of myself at their age, I don’t recall having the courage to jump on such a beast as the VO65 yacht, and they feel very comfortable on it,” said skipper of the Polish team Pablo Arrarte.
The Spaniard also revealed how he assesses the ongoing preparations and WindWhisper Racing Team’s chances in the race’s entered stakes:
– The upcoming The Ocean Race will certainly be a very interesting race. There are three interesting stages ahead with strong, competitive teams on the starting line. I think WindWhisper is a team with a lot of potential and the best prepared yacht. I am very happy and feel very comfortable because we have all the necessary tools to fight and win this race. Of course, it will be difficult because all the teams are very good. However, it is certain that I could not join a better team to take part in this challenge,” he concluded.
The WindWhisper crew, under the guidance of Arrarte, is preparing for the regatta at its base, in Valencia. Less than a month remains before the start of the fourteenth edition of The Ocean Race. The highly anticipated event in the sailing world will begin on January 8, 2023 with a harbor race in Alicante, while on January 15 the yachts will start for the first leg with the finish in Mindelo, Cape Verde.
The Ocean Race is one of the most famous ocean stage races. It is held every three to four years. The first edition was held in 1973 under the name Whitbread Round the World Race. At that time, two Polish yachts took part in the race – Copernicus, commanded by Zygfryd Perlicki, and Otago, helmed by Zdzislaw Pienkawa. Both vessels managed to finish the race in eleventh and fourteenth places, respectively. From 2001 to 2018, the regatta was called the Volvo Ocean Race. After 50 years since the premiere edition of the event, Polish fans will again be able to get excited about the start of the red and white in the event.