The Barcelona World Race started today in light winds and bright sunshine. No doubt Peter Marsh will be following it closely, but you can follow all the action yourself here.
Barcelona World Race Attracts Spanish Sponsors and Teams
The two-handed Barcelona World Race is a late starter in the round-the-world stakes, bridging the gap between the fully-crewed Volvo Race and the solo Vendee Globe since 2007-8. It is sailed in Open 60 IMOCA monohull boats, and is non-stop, although three technical stops are permitted with a penalty of an enforced 24 hour minimum stopover. Maximum overall time for repairs is eight days.
The first race was the fastest (2007/08) when Frenchman Jean-Pierre Dick and Ireland’s Damian Foxall set the bar at 92 days, 09 hours. Nine boats entered. In the second edition (2010/11) with 14 boats, Dick won again, this time with fellow Frenchman Loïck Peyron in 93 days, 22 hours. They also set the race’s 24-hour distance record of 506.35 nautical miles at an average of 21.1 knots.
The course is from Barcelona to Barcelona, putting the capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn to port and the Antarctic to starboard. The start is on Dec 31 at noon. The main sponsors of the Barcelona World Race 2014-2015 are Renault, Johnson & Johnson and Estrella Damm brewers, joined by six official sponsors, ten collaborators and six technology suppliers; a total of 25 companies.
The start location brings out Spanish sponsors, who don’t show much interest in the French Open 60 races. This is the biggest Open 60 event managed by the British sports marketers, Open Sports Management, since they bought the rights to the overall series and re-named it the “IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championships.”
There are nine Spanish-speaking sailors, with four all-Spanish teams. The favorites are Neutrogena, Hugo Boss and Cheminées Poujoulat, who are seriously in it to win it! The other five boats will need to learn fast if they want to keep up with the leading group!
Neutrogena: Guillermo Altadill in his tenth round the world regatta, with Chile’s José Muñoz.
GAES Centros Auditivos: Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín—an experienced round-the-world team, both finished the race las time.
One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton: Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa—both moving up from the Mini Class.
We Are Water: Brothers Bruno and Willy Garcia are both amateurs with plenty of long-distance experience over 20 years, including the last Mini Transat.
Hugo Boss: this is the only team to take part in all three world races. This time, English skipper Alex Thomson is partnered with Spaniard Pepe Ribes, one of Spain’s most experienced offshore sailors.
Cheminées Poujoulat: Swiss Bernard Stamm and Frenchman Jean Le Cam together form the most experienced crew. They have amassed no fewer than six Vendée Globes and sixty transatlantic crossings between them, but never as a pair.
Renault Captur: Jörg Riechers has come up through the Mini , Figaro and Class 40 classes and is the only German to break into the French-British dominance in solo offshore sailing. He is joining forces with Sébastien Audigane, a Frenchman with vast experience. Their yacht is a charter of Bertrand de Broc’s Votre Nom Autour du Monde
Spirit of Hungary: Hungarian Nandor Fa, 61, is a legend in Hungary. He has the distinction of designing, building and sailing his boat, which he also did for his entry in the 1990 BOC, placing 10th, and the 1992 Vendee Globe, placing fifth. His partner is the young Kiwi Conrad Colman, the winner of the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race.