Approaching the Finish—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Tensions are building in the double-handed, nonstop Barcelona World Race (BWR) as the leading boats are now a little more than 2,000 miles from the finishing line in Barcelona, Spain. Currently, Jean Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron, aboard Virbac-Paprec 3, are leading Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernández (Mapfre) by some 220 miles. While there's still some runway left, Fernández and Martinez are well-aware that their big-picture options are dwindling. 'We are going two hundred per cent,' said Martinez. 'Anytime we are nearer from the leader, [Virbac-Paprec 3] just moves away. We've still got some cards to play with and the first one will come most probably in the Canary Islands. If it goes well, we will face a new battle. If not, the French pair will run away once and for all. It is clear that we have to do something carefully considered, nothing crazy. We'll see if it is possible to catch them! To be honest, we are quite surprised at how fast she is going. But we hope to turn things around. We keep trying!' Check out our BWR coverage in this issue, and stay tuned for updates as the leaders approach Spain.
Sodebo leaves Brest on the start of the Round the World solo record Yvan Zedda/Sodebo
Also offshore, the pressure is on for solo sailor Thomas Coville, onboard the maxi trimaran Sodebo. Coville has until March 28th to arrive it Ushant, France, in order to establish a new Jules Verne Trophy record—a deadline that's looking less and less feasible. Recently, Coville was forced to take a huge and unexpected hitch to the west due to trying meteorological conditions. 'When you look at the cartography you must be wondering where on earth I'm going!' said Coville. 'To the West Indies? To New York? No, I fully intend to return to Brest [France] but the weather has decided not to let me take the most direct route.' Check out this issue for more info on Coville's Jules Verne attempt.
AMERICAN solo ocean racer Brad Van Liew - Velux 5 Oceans Ainhoa Sanchez/w-w-i.com
Meanwhile, the countdown has begun for the penultimate leg of the Velux 5 Oceans Race, which departs from Punta del Este, Uruguay at 1600 hours (local time) on Sunday, March 27. Four remaining skippers will sail the 5,700-mile 'ocean sprint' to Charleston, South Carolina. For race leader and Charleston resident Brad Van Liew, this leg is also a homecoming. 'I have a lot of incentives to get to Charleston first,' said Van Liew. 'My kids are there, my family is there and my home is there. The sooner I get there the longer I get to spend at home. Mentally that is a bit of a liability, and it will be important for me to keep my head straight and not get too excited about sailing home.' More inside.
Also inside, be sure to check out our coverage of the Melges 32 Sailing Series, the 505 Pre-Worlds, and the Congressional Cup.
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