Veteran Spanish sailor Pablo Arrarte will lead the Polish yacht WindWhisper, which will participate in The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint. The battle for a victory will begin on January 15, 2023 in Alicante

The WindWhisper Racing Team is revealing more cards. The ace in its deck is going to be Pablo Arrarte, who takes over as a skipper. The 42-year-old sailor from Spain is an experienced sail racer and a former Olympian. In 2004, sailing with Roberto “Chuny” Bermúdez de Castro, he finished 10th in the Star class at the Athens Games. Arrarte’s achievements include three victories in Sydney-Hobart. He’s also well acquainted with the nature of The Ocean Race, in which he has competed four times. His debut was in 2008-2009, where he was helmsman in Telefónica Blue, that finished the regatta at 3rd place. Three years later he raced again under the banner of the Spanish telecommunications giant. The next edition Arrarte finished second, representing the Dutch Team Brunel (2014–2015) and the Spanish MAPFRE (2017–2018). In the latter event, the Santander-born racer, popularly known as “Patán”, served as a deputy skipper. Now the time has come for the next step in his career, which is to lead a crew of his own.

“Becoming the skipper of WindWhisper Racing Team is a great opportunity. For the first time in my career, I will lead the team in such an important ocean race. I have followed the Polish team in the past and very much liked their performance over the recent years. After a week of training in Valencia, I know that all our sailors are hungry for winning The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint. I’m also impressed with the young sailors from Poland – the youngest is 17, but all of them have already a lot of experience. If I go back to the past and think of myself at their age, I don’t recall having the courage to jump on such a beast as a VO65 yacht. And they feel very comfortable on it,” said Pablo Arrarte, the newly recruited skipper of the Polish team.

The Spaniard also shared how he evaluates the ongoing preparations and the WindWhisper Racing Team’s chances in the reported line-up:

“The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint will certainly be a very interesting race. We have three exciting stages ahead of us with strong, competitive teams. I think WindWhisper is a team with a lot of potential and the most prepared yacht – I’m very happy and feel at ease as we have all the necessary tools to fight and win. Of course, getting the victory will not be a piece of cake – all the teams are very good. But I definitely couldn’t imagine joining a better team for this challenge,” Arrarte concludes.

Meanwhile, the WindWhisper crew under the guidance of Arrarte is preparing for the regatta at its base in Valencia. The start The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint is less than a month away. The highly awaited event in the sailing world will begin on January 8, 2023 with in-port race in Alicante, and on January 15 yachts will launch for the first phase with a final destination in Mindelo of the Cabo Verde Islands.

© Adam Burdylo/Sailing Poland/The Ocean Race

“The WindWhisper team is a great addition to The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint,” said Race Director Phil Lawrence. “The combination of a young Polish crew with an accomplished race veteran like Pablo Arrarte makes this team one to watch.”

The first edition of The Ocean Race took place in 1973 under the name Whitbread Round the World Race. It was then when two Polish yachts took part in the regatta – Copernicus, under the command of Zygfryd Perlicki, and Otago, led by Zdzisław Pieńkawa. 50 years after the premiere edition of the around the world race, Polish fans will again be thrilled to see their white-and-red flagged team on the starting line.