Xabi Fernández, best sailor of the year

· The MAPFRE skipper in the Volvo Ocean Race was the only Spaniard to compete in the 35th America’s Cup as part of the crew of the Land Rover BAR

· In the list of winners of this 40-year-old from Gipuzkoa there are also two Olympic medals, three world championships, three Europeans, and five round the world

· Xabi Fernández will collect his Terras Gauda National Sailing Award on September 2 in Baiona at a gala organized by the Monte Real Yacht Club

Baiona, August 25, 2017.- MAPFRE’s skipper in the Volvo Ocean Race, Xabi Fernández from Gipuzkoa, will collect the Terras Gauda National Sailing Award on September 2 in Baiona, which recognizes him as the best sailor of the year. In addition to valuing his extensive and award-winning career as an athlete, the award especially rewards his participation, as the only Spanish representative, in the latest edition of the Copa América.

Fernández was part of the challenge mounted by England to win the Jar of the Hundred Guineas, the precious trophy of the most important sailing competition in the world, in which he battled aboard the Land Rover BAR built by Ben Ainslie. He took charge of the rigid sail, just as he had already done in the 2013 America’s Cup, in which he competed with the Italian Luna Rossa team.

These are two of the milestones in the record of this 40-year-old from Ibarra who, after scoring his first world title in the youth category of Vaurien in 1992, has not stopped adding lines. Two Olympic medals (gold in Athens 2014 and silver in Beijing 2008), three world championships, three European titles and five world tours are part of a sports curriculum in which a new line is now written, that of the National Sailing Award Terras Gauda to the best sailor of the year.

Fernández himself will be the one to pick it up on September 2 in Baiona, at a gala organized by the Monte Real Club de Yates as part of the celebration of the 32nd Prince of Asturias Trophy. And he will do so with his sights set on his next project, that of leading MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race that will start in Alicante next October.

(Photos © María Muiña)

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