Please select your home edition
Edition
Helm Events 728x90

New York to Barcelona - Heading for Gibraltar

by Leslie Greenhalgh on 9 Jun 2014
2014 IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race GAES Centros Auditivos Team http://www.deecaffari.com
Following a tricky weekend, the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race boats are now enjoying some more pleasant downwind conditions. Saturday’s fickle winds and the banging and crashing of the first few days were behind them, as at 11:30 UTC the boats were typically making 15-18 knots, as they sped east to the north of the Azores.

With some 30 years of racing in these waters behind him, Marc Guillemot was showing his experience on board Safran, now firmly leading. The French skipper admitted that in his winning move on Saturday, he had simply ignored the weather forecast when it had failed to line-up with reality and had continued to push south.

In contrast turning north early en route to the Azores proved very costly for Spanish crew Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin on board GAES, who had dropped back to 142 miles behind the race leader at 10:30 UTC today.

'We thought the fleet would go north,' admitted Corbella this morning, as GAES was back up to speed, sailing in 20-25 knot following winds, in small waves and under a very cloudy sky. 'We knew the risks, but we must have missed something. Both weather models advised us to go north and we thought the others would have less wind in the south. It’s just bad luck. Unfortunately now we don’t have many options left to us, but we’re trying to recovering some miles.'

For the three boats that stayed south, the last 24 hours has been about finding the right moment to edge north into the stronger winds being generated by a depression currently centred southwest of Ireland.

With a comfortable lead, Safran headed furthest north yesterday evening before gybing east. This has has also set them up ready to be on a faster point of sail when the wind backs into the south – as it is forecast to do. Marc Guillemot commented: 'We’re quite happy this morning, even if it is a bit tough on the boat, because we are going fast. We have 25 knots of wind and a grey sky.'


Conversely overnight Hugo Boss and Team Neutrogena chose to sail closer to the Azores islands. At present this fight between the two 5° west stable mates is the closest in the race with Hugo Boss having prised second place back from Team Neutrogena yesterday afternoon after they were allowed to gain some northerly separation from their rivals.

'We are pleased for sure,' said Hugo Boss’ American co-skipper Ryan Breymaier this morning. 'We have been working super, super hard all night.'

For the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race, the race tracker updates every 15 minutes, relentlessly, through the day and night, every day. According to Breymaier this has demanded punishing vigilance. 'Unfortunately we have to look at it ALL of the time. It makes for a very unrestful kind of race.' As an example, with 15 miles separating the two boats this morning, a small match race was taking place between the two stable mates, with Hugo Boss’ crew ruthlessly ‘covering’ their opponent’s every move, only possibly by following it on the tracker.

So is it all over for the boats chasing Safran? Far from it, says Breymaier.'They are not likely to park, because they are smart, but if they do - even for a little while - and we’re 80 miles behind, after three or four hours we can work our way back into them.'


As to the race leader, Marc Guillemot says that they will continue to sail downwind as they approach Europe and that there will be a transition zone they have to cross off the Portugese coast. Their routing currently shows them arriving at Gibraltar on the morning of 12th June.

'We are not looking yet at what is going on in the Mediterranean. Our aim is to hold on to our position until Gibraltar. The Med can be full of traps, but can also bring good surprises, so we will see. It is a bit too early now to think about that.'

Anna Corbella hopes that the ridge they have to cross off Portugal on Wednesday-Thursday will provide an opportunity to play catch up. 'After that our last hope is Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. We do not have many options otherwise, because we do not have the speed of Safran and Hugo Event website

Ancasta Ker 33 660x82PredictWind.comSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Day 73 – Thomson running out of time in sprint to Vendée Globe finish
Armel Le Cléac'h has an advantage of just 69 miles on second-placed Alex Thomson as the race enters its final 500 miles. Frustratingly for the battling duo, despite already reaching the latitude of the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, they are being forced to sail much further north due to an anticyclone currently blocking their path home.
Posted today at 4:54 pm
Vendée Globe – British sailor Alex Thomson in second place
British sailor Alex Thomson is in second place with just 72 nautical miles behind French rival Armel Le Cléac’h With just 587 nautical miles left and just three days until the leading duo are expected back in Les Sable d'Olonne, British sailor Alex Thomson is in second place with just 72 nautical miles behind French rival Armel Le Cléac’h.
Posted today at 4:03 pm
Mount Gay Round Barbados Series officially underway
With sailing one of the island’s key sporting events the competition is always intense. This year is no exception. As the sun set over Carlisle Bay, competitors, families and guests who’d gathered at this sumptuous Caribbean venue were treated to an informative briefing headed by Howard Palmer (Chairman of the Race Committee), before dancing the night away on the beach under the palm trees to the sounds of a Caribbean steel band at Barbados Cruising Club.
Posted today at 3:36 pm
Quantum Key West Race Week – J70 action shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell provided this gallery of J70 images Christopher Howell provided this gallery of J70 images
Posted today at 1:54 pm
Nic Douglass reports on day 1 of Quantum Key West Race Week
Like the trooper he is, Silas was on the dock to send his team off today for the first day of racing. If anyone is going to be living vicariously this week through everyone in Key West, it will be Silas Nolan, the mid-bowman for the RAN TP52.
Posted today at 11:21 am
Day 72 – Photo-finish predicted in Vendée Globe thriller
The race is going down to the wire with the leading pair of Armel Le Cléac'h and Alex Thomson split by just 78 miles Thomson has been playing catch-up since Le Cléac'h took the lead on December 2 but as the race enters its final few days he has transformed from the chaser into the hunter, ruthlessly stalking his French rival in the hope of being able to deliver the killer blow before the race is up.
Posted today at 10:41 am
Vendee Globe - Thomson marks time with 60hrs sailing time left in race
British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader With around 60hrs sailing left in the 2016/17 Vendee Globe Race, British solo sailor Alex Thomson has improved only 10nm in 24 hours, and remains 75nm behind the race leader Armel Le Cleac'h in Banque Populaire V. According to the latest positions (as of 0500FR or 0400UTC) the two competitors were almost on the latitude of the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted today at 5:10 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 1 action-shots by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 1 - Race one and two action.
Posted today at 5:09 am
Quantum Key West Race Week opens with epic conditions
The comments from the first day of the 30th Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous The comments from the first day of the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week, the City of Key West Day, were nearly unanimous - epic sailing conditions in one of the best racing venues in the world.
Posted today at 4:35 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 1 action-shots by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 1 action.
Posted today at 3:47 am