Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

New York to Barcelona - The Winner's Story

by Open Sports Management on 16 Jun 2014
Arrival in Barcelona (ESP) 15 June 2014 - Hugo Boss (Pepe Ribes - Ryan Breymaier) winner of the race in 14 days 02 hours 44 minutes 30 seconds - IMOCA Ocean Race Masters New York to Barcelona 2014 © B.Stichelbaut / Sea&Co
IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race 2014 - Crowds turned out of Las Ramblas and into Placa Portal de la Pau this evening to welcome Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier, Hugo Boss, home as winners of the inaugural IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race.

The Spanish-American duo won the race in a time of 14 days 2 hours 44 minutes and 30 seconds. However looking at how tired they were and the relentless events that unfolded for them over the last fortnight, one might have got the impression they had been at sea racing non-stop for a month or more.

'It has been hard work, because we have been fixing a lot of things, rather than just racing,' admitted Ribes. 'The less time you have to race, the more stressful it is.'


Breymaier agreed: 'When you push a machine, the machine doesn’t always like it. We didn’t have any major problems, there wasn’t a lot that stopped us - some computer system problems and we destroyed the scoop for the water ballast system, which affected our speed.'

And the drama occurred from start until the finish. One of the most heart stopping moments came on Hugo Boss’ final day at sea, as she was approaching Barcelona, when they got struck down, literally, by a monster gust of wind.
As Ribes described it: 'Today was the first time that I have seen the mast under water on an IMOCA 60! There came a puff which we thought was just rain. But it wasn’t, it was 50 knots and the boat was full ballast and full keel canted and it just crash tacked. The mast was underwater for three minutes. At that moment we were charging the batteries. The engine started to burn… We might have been dead still with no engine and no battery, nothing, so we were very lucky.'

And that was just one of their bad days.

Equally hard were the severe conditions they experienced blasting their way through the Strait of Gibraltar. 'The Strait is always difficult, because you have to make a huge effort for 10 miles and you know that on the other side there’s only 10 knots,' Ribes continued. 'This boat in 45 knots is difficult to tack, it is difficult to manage and you come from 13 days when you’ve already had the pressure on and you are very tired. Then you have another day when you cannot sleep for a whole day.'


Hugo Boss picked up the winner’s baton after Safran was forced to retire when her skipper Marc Guillemot was injured on the approach to the Strait.

'They sailed brilliantly across the Atlantic,' Ribes admitted of his wily French opponent. 'I don’t know what weather information they were getting, but they went into places that for me would have been impossible to go into. It is a shame Marc hurt himself because they were doing so well. But we were ready for the fight as well.'

Breymaier agreed pointing out that Guillemot has spent the last eight years sailing Safran while he and Ribes had only spent two weeks sailing on board and never before on their own prior to the start of the race in New York. And this was after all the work they had put into getting their boat to the start line after her dismasted en route to the USA. Given all this, Breymaier said, they would have been very pleased with their result even if they had finished second.

Additionally for the last 10 days Hugo Boss has had Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz aboard Team Neutrogena breathing down their neck. However Ribes said that they had ignored them. 'I didn’t look behind to see what he was doing. I said to Ryan ‘we can win it, but if Guillermo goes to the right we cannot go to the right, we need to stick to our plan as we did until here. So we weren’t covering him.'

For Breymaier the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race has been another stepping stone towards his own American IMOCA campaign with the goal of competing in the Ocean Masters World Championship and the 2016 Vendee Globe.

'The Ocean Masters is great. This has been a very well run event. This event is definitely a step in the right direction. The more times that the IMOCA class goes to places like New York City, the more interest there’ll be, the bigger it will get and it will attract better sponsors who will come to all the events and will make a real circuit out of it.'

As Breymaier was enjoying being reunited with his wife Nicola and their family, while the same was true of Ribes. 'What do I want to do tomorrow? I want to take my son Pepe Junior to school in the morning.' To which he received another round of applause.

Hood SailsZhik Dinghy 660x82Naiad

Related Articles

Clipper Race – Constant trimming and little sleep in the North Sea
There is little opportunity for tactical moves and the timings of tacks are crucial if teams want to make vital gains. After a downwind start with spinnakers trimmed in light airs against the tide off Den Helder on the Dutch coast yesterday, the fleet has been match racing across the North Sea towards the Thames Estuary.
Posted today at 12:28 pm
Debriefing the 2015-16 Clipper Round The World Race with Huw Fernie
Sail-World talked with Huw Fernie of Visit Seattle to learn more about a Clipper Round The World Race skipper’s life. Skipper Huw Fernie and his Visit Seattle crew took top honors in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, marking their second podium finish during the 2015/16 Clipper Round The World Race. I recently caught up with Fernie to learn more about Visit Seattle’s success in the Den Helder Northern Seas Challenge, and to learn more about the life of a Clipper Round The World Race skipper.
Posted on 28 Jul
Finale of Clipper Race global series starts in The Netherlands
The 198nm race to London is going to be one of the most nail-biting yet with just six points separating the top teams After a Departure Ceremony from Willemsoord Marina and a Parade of Sail in the presence of Dutch Royal Navy ship ZrMs Luymes, the fleet started the final short sprint to London off the Dutch coast.
Posted on 28 Jul
Thousands of spectators expected to welcome home Clipper Race fleet
Hurricane winds, giant waves, freezing conditions, battered boats and tragedy fail to quell fighting spirit of the crew. The tenth edition of the famous biennial race for novice sailors led by professional skippers is regarded as the most challenging on record after the event endured the most extreme conditions it has ever faced in its 20-year history.
Posted on 28 Jul
America's Cup World Series - Ian Roman's images of Pompey
Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series capturing the Royal visitors Top international photographer, Ian Roman was in Portsmouth for the America's Cup World Series and provided this second of two galleries of the racing across the three days of the regatta, taking in the Royal visitors.
Posted on 26 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted on 25 Jul
LV America’s Cup World Series - Up and down for Groupama Team France
The new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races 2016 America’s Cup World Series - This weekend the overall ranking for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series has been turned on its head and with the Portsmouth act complete, the new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races by strong support from a home crowd.
Posted on 25 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series - Land Rover BAR take two from two
While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series - While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today, it wasn't enough to topple the fast and furious tenacity of a Ben Ainslie led Land Rover BAR on the final day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.
Posted on 25 Jul
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - More images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony. 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted on 25 Jul