Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Barcelona World Race - Back to reality, back to life for skippers

by Barcelona World Race on 5 Feb 2011
Central Lechera Asturiana moored in Cape Town - Barcelona World Race Ruvan Boshoff
Barcelona World Race - There was a certain ‘morning after the night before’ mood evident among the skippers who were contacted by audio and video today.

It was not just the bleary eyed tiredness - the inevitable product of more than forty-eight hours of intense on-the-edge racing in very difficult, unstable conditions and very big confused seas which had prevailed in very different sections of the fleet, but there was also a very obvious measure of relief: satisfaction to have their campaigns still firmly intact, competitive and on course which was immediately apparent.

When the going gets really tough - proper boat breaking conditions - it becomes prudent to back off, to reduce sail and slow down. But when there is a boat alongside you which you have been dueling with, trading blows over previous days, brinksmanship finally gives way to prudence.

And so it was today that both of the co-skippers of third placed Groupe Bel and Estrella Damm, Kito de Pavant and Pepe Ribes, confirmed that the time came almost simultaneously last night when their sparring had to stop and boat and self-preservation took over.

De Pavant, who along with gentle giant co-skipper Seb Audigane, is living this race by the maxim ‘ sail safe sail fast’ on their Groupe Bel, earlier described the conditions prior to easing off as ‘madness’.

It was not so much the wind-strength but the confused cross seas which were launched their IMOCA Open 60 into huge voids or into the back of big waves, which required them to regulate their pace, sailing for several hours with just a double reefed mainsail. He confirmed that Audigane suffered some bruising when he was thrown across the boat like a rag doll

Ribes, co-skipper of Estrella Damm, said: 'In the last forty-eight hours we had to back off because the seas were confused and we did not want to break the boat, so we were happy to see they were losing a bit. So it showed us they were backing of a bit, at the same time as we were.

But now at the moment we have good conditions, so we have been able to speed up a little and get away from them again.'

De Pavant echoed: 'It was normal not too push too much. Ahead of 90 degrees of the wind we were going too fast, we said to slow, it was just not good. We stuck the nose into some big waves, with some big frights. So we chose to lift the foot off the pedal a little, perhaps not even for the boat which can maybe take more, but more for us.

It was incredibly loud inside the boat. Now it has quietened a bit, we have more sail up again and are making between 15 and 20 knots as the puffs come through.'

'The decks have been well washed these last few days, the boat is very clean.'

Eighteen hundred miles or so behind, on Hugo Boss in tenth place, Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak were smiling too, this morning appreciating the sudden appeal of a seascape painted in featureless flat grey hues, reaching along today at workmanlike speeds on nearly flat seas.

The conditions this morning had abated as the duo worked SE and were not so much typical of the Indian Ocean, more reminiscent of Verbraak’s native North Sea. But the Dutch co-skipper recalled vividly that only hours earlier, last night they had been relying on simple first principles, sailing the massively powerful IMOCA Open 60 by feel, as if blindfolded in the empty darkness which they found themselves in.

It was, they said, physically the toughest hours of their race so far: 'Every time when the pilot can’t steer the boat we have to drive by hand for hour after hour. And with seas of three to four metres you jump off the waves in seconds. The big challenge is to have anything to steer off.

You can only see the four displays on the mast. Maybe a star here or there, but otherwise it is pitch black, back to dinghy sailing days, sailing by feel blindfold. In saying that on Hugo Boss we do a pretty good job swapping between helmsmen. After one hour you are completely cracked: knackered and just need to sleep.' Reported Verbraak.

So respite is widely welcomed almost all the way through the Barcelona World Race fleet today, even if they are essentially racing in at least three different weather systems, from Jean Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron at the front of the fleet, with a stable lead of 419 miles over MAPFRE, making a steady 16 knots, back to the scrapping back-markers We Are Water and FMC.

The Spanish duos passed the Cape of Good Hope longitude this morning at only half an hour separating them. The two teams may be nearly an ocean behind Virbac-Paprec 3, but their race is every bit as intense as the leaders! Ironically FMC became the first boat of the race so far to have emerged from Ghost Mode having gained places on the leader board.

Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio emerged from Cape Town this afternoon, getting their race back on track on Central Lechera Asturiana. They arrived for their technical pit stop this morning at 0115hrs UTC last night and were back out on the race track this evening, the race’s youngest co-skipper Palacio and its only true remaining amateur, lawyer Merediz resolute and ready to fight on with a deficit of around 185 miles to 11th placed We Are Water.

Standings at 1400hrs 4th February

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 at 15 547,6 from finish
2 MAPFRE at 419,1 miles to leader
3 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 549,7 miles
4 GROUPE BEL at 586,8 miles
5 RENAULT Z.E at 805,9 miles
6 MIRABAUD at 1464,9 miles
7 NEUTROGENA at 1469,9 miles
8 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at 2065,7 miles
9 HUGO BOSS at 2311 miles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 2704,2 miles
11 WE ARE WATER at 2716,3 miles
12 CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at 2896,7 miles
RTD FONCIA
RTD PRESIDENT

BWR website
Wildwind 2016 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Barcelona World Race closing ceremony attended by Royalty
Barcelona World Race Prize Giving Ceremony and official closure was attended by HRH The Prince of Asturias and Girona at HRH The Prince of Asturias and Girona attended the Prize Giving Ceremony and official closure of the second edition of the Barcelona World Race, won by French skippers Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron on board Virbac-Paprec 3 having covered 25,200 nautical miles of the course in 93 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes and 36 seconds.
Posted on 6 May 2011
Barcelona World Race - Exciting finish of Fòrum Marítim Català + video
Yesterday at 21 hours, 17 minutes and 24 seconds, Fòrum Marítim Català finished the Barcelona World Race. Yesterday at 21 hours, 17 minutes and 24 seconds, Gerard Marín (29 years old) and Ludovic Aglaor (44 years old) crossed the finishing line of the Barcelona World Race and were the eighth crew to complete the regatta.
Posted on 24 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race - Hugo Boss across finish line
Hugo Boss crossed the finish line during the early hours of a breezy night to fnish seventh in the Barcelona World Race. Gritty, hard battling Andy Meiklejohn (NZL) and Wouter Verbraak (NED) on Hugo Boss crossed the finish line during the very early hours of a breezy Barcelona night to fnish seventh in the Barcelona World Race.
Posted on 22 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race - Hugo Boss and FMC into the wind
Hugo Boss was making steady progress this afternoon with less than 100 miles to the finish of the Barcelona World Race. After more than 110 days of racing, Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak were making steady progress this afternoon with less than 100 miles to the finish of the Barcelona World Race.
Posted on 22 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race - Hugo Boss and the final miles
Hugo Boss were pushing east this Wednesday afternoon in the Barcelona World Race. The Barcelona World Race duo onboard Hugo Boss were pushing east this Wednesday afternoon investing in a route which took them some 20 miles off the Algerian coast where Wouter Verbraak and Andy Meiklejohn were intent on making their final 280 miles to Barcelona on something close to one long, brisk reach to finish their Barcelona World Race tomorrow night in seventh place.
Posted on 21 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race - Hugo Boss set to finish Thursday
Hugo Boss is progressing at about nine knots into the western Alboran in the Barcelona World Race. Hugo Boss is progressing at about nine knots into the western Alboran in the Barcelona World Race.
Posted on 20 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race skippers keen to cross finish line
Barcelona World Race duos on Hugo Boss and on Forum Maritim Catala are keen to cross the finish line later this week Barcelona World Race duos on Hugo Boss and on Forum Maritim Catala are keen to cross the finish line later this week
Posted on 18 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race final days for Hugo Boss
The Barcelona World Race duo onboard Hugo Boss should be having their last night in the Atlantic tonight. Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak should be having their last night in the Atlantic tonight in the Barcelona World Race, contemplating passing the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean some time tomorrow, but the question for the Kiwi-Dutch duo is when?
Posted on 18 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race Hugo Boss duo frustrated
Hugo Boss duo has been making less 14 knots overnight in the Barcelona World Race. On Barcelona World Race competitor Hugo Boss are too far ahead of the gradual evolution and movement of the cut off low pressure which is centered to their WSW to gain from the pressure fields. Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor are making nearly 14 knots this Saturday morning directly towards the cut, the Straits. Hugo Boss duo have been making less than that overnight in the Barcelona World Race.
Posted on 17 Apr 2011
Barcelona World Race team Hugo Boss fighting upwind
The Barcelona World Race duo onboard Hugo Boss are experiencing again a slow passage through the Mediterranean. After their Barcelona World Race start in early January, duo Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak onboard Hugo Boss did not particularly enjoy their slow exit from the Mediterranean and passage down to the Canary Islands’ when they finally hit the trade winds, but the same stretch of water is being no less compliant on their return, certainly not recognising the achievements of the duo so far.
Posted on 16 Apr 2011