Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

New York to Barcelona Race - Fleet compresses to 25 miles

by Leslie Greenhalgh on 8 Jun 2014
GAES Centros Auditivos - 2014 IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race GAES Centros Auditivos Team http://www.deecaffari.com
Six days into the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race and the four boats are now approaching the half way stage of their Atlantic crossing. Despite this, and the numerous hurdles they have had to jump to reach this stage, the fleet has compressed dramatically, with just 25 miles separating race leader Safran from GAES Centros Auditivos this morning, as they hurtle downwind under spinnaker in 20+ knots.

Since leaving the icebox behind them yesterday, the fleet has divided in two. Race leader, Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière’s Safran, followed by Pepe Ribes and Ryan Breymaier on Hugo Boss, have led the charge south, while Team Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos took a more northerly option, which has clearly paid: When the two pairs of boats converged early this morning, they have cut their deficit on the leaders by two thirds over the last 24 hours.

Despite this, Neutrogena skipper Guillermo Altadill felt they could have done better. 'We gained quite a lot, but I thought at least we might have crossed Hugo Boss. Perhaps we should have gone further north? At present Hugo Boss is 6.5 miles downwind - they were four miles away, but we got stuck in a cloud and slowed down.'

Sailing his first IMOCA race, Safran co-skipper Morgan Lagravière was impressed by the intensity of the racing. 'I am very surprised the boats are so close. It is very exciting. I wasn’t sure of the level before the start because I didn’t know the other sailors and in fact I didn't even know how I would be given this is my first IMOCA race. Fortunately, we’ve been leading since the start and we feel that we are fast. But it is a very close race and that I really enjoy.'

Despite their lead diminishing, the French former Olympic 49er and Figaro sailor was still feeling confident: 'Those making in-roads on us from behind – that is more because of the weather than any lacking on our part. So we are not worried,' he said. 'We can't talk about controlling the other boats, because we aren’t even at the half way stage of this race. To beat the others at the moment, first you must sail your own race.'

From on board Hugo Boss, co-skipper Ryan Breymaier said he was not overly surprised that the race was so close between the four boats after six days of racing. 'When you look at the competition, you can’t get away from anyone. That seems pretty normal unfortunately.'While Hugo Boss remains in good shape and is the newest generation IMOCA 60 in the race, Breymaier admitted that he and Spanish round the world veteran Pepe Ribes, lack time in the boat, compared to Marc Guillemot, who has been racing Safran continually since she was launched in 2007 and knows how to get the most from her in all conditions.

'Safran is very good at sailing very, very deep in certain conditions, whereas we are learning the boat much more compared to them. We are struggling to be quicker, so that limits your tactical opportunities.'

While the boats are still making good progress, sailing downwind under spinnaker, the crews must remain vigilant as squalls pass through, dumping rain on them, causing large wind shifts and the wind to gust or suddenly drop.

While yesterday the routing for the boats was indicating that they would make a straightforward transition in northwesterly winds from those generated by the high they are currently to the north of, into those of the depression centred to the west of Ireland, this is now not looking so clear.

A trough – an elongated area of low pressure, with light winds in its centre – is now blocking their path.But Neutrogena’s Guillermo Altadill felt this would offer some opportunities: 'It’s a wide area offering several options, depending upon how far north or south you go. We plan to take a more risky option, because what we can't do is stay with Safran and Hugo Boss, because they are faster. We have to take some risks if we want to beat them.'

The forecast has this trough moving over the Azores this weekend, possibly providing tactical options to pass north or south of this mid-Atlantic island group. However the boats are expected to gybe back to the north leaving the Azores to starboard, in order to get into the strong winds and better wind angles offered by the depression to the north.

'I guess all of the fleet will do the same,' anticipated Anna Corbella. 'The question is - how much to the north will they pass? That is not very clear.'


Race village opens today in Barcelona - come and visit !! Event website

NaiadSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Extreme Sailing Series – Oman braced for final day epic with Alinghi
The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins but Morgan and his Oman Air crew were never far behind. The Swiss team had an outstanding day posting six outright wins in seven races but Morgan Larson and his Oman Air crew were never far behind, finishing every single race on the podium with five second places and two thirds.
Posted on 30 Jul
British entries on podium as Clipper Race returns after 11 months
UK entries triumphed to take all three podium places in the toughest edition yet of the longest ocean race on the planet Thousands of spectators lined the River Thames and packed St Katharine Docks to welcome home over 250 crew, representing 44 different nationalities, many of whom have been at sea for eleven months racing between six continents in the only challenge of its kind for amateur sailors.
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Start video from Boatsontv
Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race Geoff Waller of Boatsontv was on the water to capture the start of the CYCA land Rover Gold Coast Race, which is used as a feeder for the race fleets to the popular Queensland winter regattas such as Hamilton Island Race Week. He also talks with Scallywag skipper David Witt a few days before the start of the winter classic.
Posted on 30 Jul
South Australians early casualties of Land Rover Sydney GC Yacht Race
The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties The two entries representing South Australia in the 2016 Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race became early casualties after both sustained bow damage in separate incidents, joining a NSW yacht that was involved in one of those incidents, all three within the first half hour of the race.
Posted on 30 Jul
LMAX Exchange wins the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race
LMAX Exchange was confirmed last night as winner of Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race. LMAX Exchange, skippered by Frenchman Olivier Cardin, was confirmed last night as winner of the tenth edition of the world’s longest ocean race, the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race.
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Images of supermaxi Scallywag
Sydney photographer Michael Chittenden filed this gallery of images from the start. The supermaxi Scallywag made her ocean racing debut in the CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race which got underway on Sydney harbour on Saturday afternoon. After a tight start the David Witt skippered supermaxi settled into her work and began the chase with her long standing rival, Wild Oats XI.
Posted on 30 Jul
Edgartown Race Week - Final
It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. The racing started at 11:00. It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. By 11:00, it became a blustery and rainy day. The racing started at 11:00 and I haven’t sailed in that much rain in a while.
Posted on 30 Jul
Nic Douglass - On the dock and on board with the 'fat bottomed girl'
Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission Adventures of a Sailor Girl, Nic Douglass, caught up with the crew of the supermaxi, Comanche, after she had completed her latest mission and had chopped 27.5hrs off the trans-Atlantic Race Record for a manually powered monohull. The last time I was waiting for Comanche to arrive after achieving a goal that they had set out to achieve was a very different scene
Posted on 30 Jul
CYCA Land Rover Gold Coast Race - Replay coverage of the start
Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start Replay coverage of the CYCA Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Race start. The fleet got away to a clean start this afternoon in Sydney. The supermaxi, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) led the 177 strong fleet through Sydney Heads, with ScallywagHK, the former Ragamuffin 100 in second place. Commentary bought to you by Bob Killick and Warwick Rooklyn.
Posted on 30 Jul
SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi apply the pressure in Hamburg
Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act. 2016 Extreme Sailing Series™ - A sunny day on the River Elbe coupled with a lively breeze saw SAP Extreme Sailing Team and Alinghi challenge Oman Air for honours on the second day of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Hamburg, but it’s Morgan Larson’s dominant Omani team who go into the clubhouse in first place at the half way stage of the Act.
Posted on 30 Jul