Barcelona World Race co-skippers Pachi Rivero and Antonio Piris, Renault Z.E. Sailing Team, crossed the finish line off Barcelona’s iconic W-Hotel this morning at O647hrs (UTC), after making steady progress through their final night at sea, to take third place and complete the podium positions for the second edition of the Barcelona World Race.
The duo, childhood friends from their native Santander in the north of Spain, only paired up a little over a year ago, when Rivero asked Piris to join him for this 25,200 miles lap of the planet as a duo.
After Mapfre the pair are only the second of the top three to complete the circumnavigation non-stop. After finishing fourth with Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso in 2008 Rivero is the only skipper other than double winner Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) to have now completed both editions of the race.
Rivero and Piris fought back after a lacklustre departure from the Mediterranean, sailing fast in the North Atlantic trades and making a good passage of the South Atlantic. They took on third place after passing Barcelona rivals Estrella Damm and the French boat Groupe Bel when they both pit-stopped simultaneously in Wellington.
On board Renault Z.E. the duo had to contend with damage to the mast track, rudders and deck, with unconfirmed reports of additional repairs to the mainsail after crossing the Azores High pressure zone. Thanks to the combination of Toño’s experience as a boat builder, and Pachi’s in-depth knowledge of the boat and the experience of having already completed the course, they were able to make all necessary repairs whilst sailing and maintain racing non-stop.
Rounding Cape Horn in third on March 7th together, with dolphins playing around their IMOCA Open 60, formerly Loick Peyron’s Gitana 80, was one of the high points of the race for them, while their assured final meteo strategy to cross the Azores high pressure ridge and reach better breeze clinched their third place ahead of Estrella Damm who were around 150 miles behind.
Renault Z.E.crossed the line after 97 days, 18 hours, 47 minutes and 36 seconds of racing, two days, 21 hours, 30 minutes and 36 seconds behind second-placed MAPFRE and three days, 20 hours, 27 minutes and 36 seconds after race winners Virbac-Paprec 3. The duo had completed the theoretical 25,200-mile at an average speed of 10.79 knots, actually covering 28,554 nautical miles at an average pace of 12.17 knots. Antonio Piris (ESP):
'The feeling is great, being back home after so long at sea. Being surrounded by all our family and friends, seeing all these people around giving us such a good welcome is just great. It feels really good after 98 hard days at sea.
'The best moment I think was probably yesterday, when we sort of knew it was impossible for us to lose this third position. Because from New Zealand until yesterday we've been looking back, it's been a very stressful half of the race for us because we were in a good position and we wanted to keep it. There was a lot of tension because people from behind were doing really well and yesterday there were more miles for us to lose than to the end of the race, so we could relax and enjoy it.
'The first thing I will do is hug is my father, and have a beer with the team. And then I suppose we'll go to a restaurant and relax and eat something proper, and then let it sink in, the realisation that we are here and we made a podium position which is fantastic.'
'For me it was a new experience, an major challenge and I'm really happy that we could meet it. It's been an important role and an unforgettable experience.
'What happened this morning was amazing, we thought we were carrying too much sail but finally we had this huge calm into the finish line.
'Throughout the race we've had bad days, especially at the exit of the Mediterranean but we have overcome them all. At that time we could not imagine the podium. It was a surprise, but encouraged us to keep progressing. The secret of the comeback was that Pachi is a 'McGuiver' and has an impressive moral strength.' Pachi Rivero (ESP):
'It's an honour to be able to complete the circumnavigation without stopping and to finish on this podium. I want to congratulate the first two boats. Ours is a result that makes us very happy. We're back without stopping, with the whole boat and being on the podium. The secret is that we are a great team with a shore crew that have always supported us and have been behind us at all times so that we can complete the round the world without stopping.' www.barcelonaworldrace.org