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July 16, 2008

Press conference in Bilbao

BY: Jesús Renedo


©OCEANA/ Antonio Ballester


Today was a very special day. We didn’t go sailing, but instead, we’ve spent the morning in port, in Getxo, doing some cleaning and maintenance work. In the afternoon, we went up the Bilbao estuary to the maritime museum, escorted by Unai Basurko and his regatta team.

Unai Basurko is a Basque competitive yachtsman, specialised in single-handed regattas. Last year, he participated in the round-the-world race – Regata Velux 5 Océanos – and this year, he is classified for the toughest and most important single-handed, non-stop race around the world, the Vendee Globe ( http://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/).

His boat, the Open 60 PAKEA BIZKAIA, was tied up next to ours these days. Visit http://www.pakeabizkaia.com/ for more information.

It was truly a wonderful experience, first going under the “Hanging Bridge” in Portugalete and then taking a tour of the docks and what used to be an active industrial area that is now being cleaned up, little by little, showing a much more beautiful side of Bilbao. We were surprised that the 6 miles to the Maritime Museum is still navigable, although we couldn’t continue because of the height of the Oceana Ranger’s mast.

Once we arrived, Julia Madrazo (Councillor for town planning and the environment) received us, along with various members of the press. Ricardo Aguilar and Marta Madina, from Oceana, spoke with the press and then Ricardo, Unai and Councillor Madrazo exchanged t-shirts.

We thank Unai for his effort and help, as well as his brother Iker Basurko, for a truly wonderful experience.