Barcelona World Race – starting soon

Hugo Boss. pic by Gilles Martin-Raget/ Barcelona World Race

Hugo Boss.
pic by Gilles Martin-Raget/ Barcelona World Race

The Competitors. pic by Gilles Martin-Raget/ Barcelona World Race

The Competitors.
pic by Gilles Martin-Raget/ Barcelona World Race

The Barcelona World Race is the first and only double-handed (two crew per boat), non-stop, round the world regatta. It is a lap of the globe starting and finishing in Barcelona (Spain).

This is an extreme sporting challenge and ocean adventure that puts human limits to the test. The Barcelona World Race 2014/15 is the third edition of the regatta. The first edition was held in 2007/08 and the second in 2010/11.

The race is part of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championships, with a coefficient of 8 and categorisation as an ISAF Major Event.

The start of the race is on the 31 December 2014. The finishers are forecasted for the end of March 2015.

The boats cover some 23,000 nautical miles in a circumnavigation from Barcelona to Barcelona, putting the capes of Good Hope (South Africa), Leeuwin (Australia) and Horn (Chile) to port and the Antarctic to starboard. During the three months of racing the skippers make their way through 12 climate zones and cross 3 oceans, as well as sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.

The crews race on IMOCA 60 yachts, 18 metres in length. Their masts can reach up to a maximum of 29 metres, as high as a building with ten floors.

Who’s Who on the Barcelona World Race

Hugo Boss (GBR), Alex Thomson (GBR), 43, and Pepe Ribes (ESP), 40: A duo which shares one single objective: winning. Thomson was second in the first edition and Ribes cut his teeth with a fourth place on Estrella Damm in 2010-11. Their boat is the VPLP-Verdier which won the last race as Virbac-Paprec 3 for Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron.

Renault Captur (ESP), Jorge Riechers (GER) 46, and Sébastien Audigane (FRA), 46: A well travelled duo who have raced together previously in Class 40 but only received their IMOCA 60 a few weeks ago. Audigane brings round the world experience and solid allround skills, Riechers has progressed from Mini to Class 40 to IMOCA. Their Finot-Conq design is the ex Brit-Air and Votre Nom Autorur du Monde.

Neutrogena (ESP) Guillermo Altadill (ESP) 52, José Munoz 42 (CHI): Altadill has vast experience around the world but did not finish in 2007-8. He is joined by Chile’s Munoz who finished second in the Global Ocean Race. They have sailed two Transatlantics together and proved competitive in the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York Barcelona race. Their Farr boat was third in the Vendée Globe as Hugo Boss.

One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton (ESP), Didac Costa (ESP) 34, Alex Gelabert (ESP), 37: Round the world rookies racing the venerable Owen Clarke design Kingfisher. Both come from Mini racing, Gelabert is an architect who worked as preparateur for Corbella and Caffari on GAES Centros Auditivos in 2010-11.

Cheminées Poujoulat (FRA), Bernard Stamm (SUI) 51, Jean Le Cam (FRA) 55: A truly formidable pairing possessing lots of round the world experience and a well sorted Farr design modified and optimised as Mare. Limited preparation time but long on talent and years in the game.

GAES Centros Auditivos (ESP), Anna Corbella (ESP) 38, and Gérard Marin, (ESP) 32: -Longest prep time of any of the teams, both competed in 2010-2011 on different boats, aiming for a podium this time. Boat is Farr ex Gitana 80, Renault XE, Synerciel.

We Are Water (ESP), Bruno Garcia (ESP) 47, Willy Garcia (ESP) 42: Amateur but experienced brothers, Spanish pioneers in Figaro and Mini. Bruno trained and raced with Le Cam in 2010-11 but dismasted. Late, late programme. Boat finished fourth as Estrella Damm in last Barcelona World Race.

Spirit of Hungary (HUN), Nandor Fa (HUN) 61, Conrad Colman (NZL/USA) 31: Fascinating combination, race’s oldest and youngest skippers but share four racing circumnavigations between them. Self taught Fa – who worked in the office of Ben Lexcen – designed the boat himself and built a lot of it. He was first non French skipper to finish the Vendée Globe. Colman won the Global Ocean Race with a different co-skipper on each leg. Boat is designed to new IMOCA rule.