BWR: Rite of passage at Cape Horn
Published on March 8th, 2015
(March 8, 2015; Day 68) – Powerful dreams came true, ambitions were realised when We Are Water and One, Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton rounded Cape Horn last night and very early this Sunday morning. The Garcias shared a unique moment as brothers, on We Are Water. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa on One Planet, One Ocean reflected on sailing in the wake of so many famous sailors. But amidst all the excitement the fact remains that there is just 36 miles between the fourth and fifth placed boats of the Barcelona World Race and an exciting match race up the Atlantic is in prospect between the two, close friends as well as rivals.
Willy, younger of the two brothers on We Are Water, smiled:
“When I was young I read the all books of the master sailors like Knox-Johnston, the sailors that sailed around the world, and also sailors who sailed on the round the world races like the BOC, Vendée Globe and the Whitbread. Always Cape Horn was the very important passage of the route and so you always think ‘One day I want to be there’.
“But I never really thought that one day I would be here and sailing with my brother non stop from Barcelona, that is so important for me. It was a magnificent experience, a very, very important day in a sailor’s life.”
They went round Cape Horn at 2206hrs only 4hrs and 55mins later so did One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton. We Are Water went round 7 days 09hrs after GAES Centros Auditivos and 10 days 21hrs and 13 mins behind race leaders Cheiminées Poujoulat. Both enjoyed relatively benign conditions.
Gelabert, who worked as shore crew with Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella, said:
“I can’t really remember the first time I wanted to go to Cape Horn. I only remember that I was very young. I always wanted to do a round the world race. And so to do it of course you need to sail here, to Cape Horn. I have wanted to do it since I was quite young. Sailing round Cape Horn is really, really exciting. We have been very lucky with the weather conditions. It is very exciting and very emotional.”
With the breeze north of west the two IMOCA 60s are being required to sail east of the Falklands. One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton – the former Kingfisher – were hard on the heels of We Are Water this afternoon, even still very slightly quicker than the brothers.
Gelabert once again underlined their ‘gentleman’s’ approach, almost apologetic for being so close to We Are Water:
“We Are close to We Are Water but we are not always trying to catch them. We only try to sail fast but we have had really good conditions to be close to them. But I think they are doing a very good race. They only had two months to prepare for this race. I think if we thought two months ago they would be sailing at Cape Horn…….well I think they are doing a very good race.”
Race leaders Cheminées Pojoulat continue to enjoy pleasant, not too stressful 15kts trade winds at the head of the fleet, contemplating the first of their Doldrums in about 24 hours time.
Neutrogena, Gullermo Altadill and José Munoz continue to outsmart the forecasts and make good speeds, nicely opening their gap ahead of third placed GAES Centros Auditivos. Altadill and Munoz crossed their outwards wake today.
Next to pass Cape Horn will be Renault Captur.Jorg Riechers and Seb Audigane were making excellent progress today, having racked up the biggest mileage of the fleet in the last 24hours. After three days of strong, stormy winds, their SW’ly breeze has eased back to 27-30kts. They are less than 600 miles to the Horn and made 375 miles in the last. And the outlook for Spirit of Hungary is very much better. They have averaged 12kts in the last 24hours and are now nearly half way between Bluff, wher e they pit-stopped, and Cape Horn.
Willy Garcia (ESP) We Are Water:
When I was young I read the books of the master sailors like Knox-Johnston, the sailors that sailed around the world, and also sailors who sailed the around the world races like the BOC, Vendée Globe and the Whitbread, always Cape Horn was the very important passage of the route and so you always think one day I want to be there. But I never really thought that one day I would be here and sailing with my brother non stop from Barcelona, that is so important for me.
It was a magnificent experience, a very, very important day in a sailor’s life. The first time is a very emotional experience and of course it marks the beginning of the way back home, we are going to have more windy and cold days before we are back in the north.
We feel closer to home now, even it is only 200 or 300 miles closer, we feel much closer. It is nearly north and so every mile we do is a mile closer to home.
* Do they appreciate how good a race they are making?
No I think for our project, just being in the start is to be a success, We sailed step by step, each ocean we got a little better. And I think the last part of the Pacific is last gate we passed, but I don’t think we realise or think about what we are doing. Maybe when the days roll on and we are close to the finish we will realise better.
* How do you see the situation with One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton? They are close!
I think we are going to have a nice match race in the South Atlantic, we don’t have time to sleep on board! It is very interesting and a real pleasure they are so close to us.
* Weather and strategy?
Now we will have NW winds 20-30kts the best way to pass the Falklands or the Malvinas is to the east and I think for the next 2-3 days we will make some nice miles to the finish.”
Aleix Gelabert (ESP) One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton:
I can’t really remember the first time I wanted to go to Cape Horn. I only remember that I was very young. I always wanted to do a round the world race. And so to do it of course you need to sail here, to Cape Horn. But I cannot remember a date from when I wanted to sail to Cape Horn, but I have wanted to do it since I was quite young.
Sailing round Cape Horn is really, really exciting. We have been very lucky with the weather conditions. Before Cape Horn we had more wind and when we arrived there it dropped down a little bit. We had very good, quiet weather conditions. It is very exciting and very emotional.
Probably we will pass the Falklands (Malvinas) to the east. We need to do some work on strategy but in the coming days we will have plenty of wind from behind and so we will do some work this morning on what we will do finally.
* Do they know what a good race they are doing?
Not really but we receive a lot of emails which say how well we are sailing, we are doing a good job and so on. But, well, we just think we are sailing as best we can. We try to make the boat go as fast as possible, and we are not thinking whether we are doing a very good race or not. We do our best all the time. And I believe that if we do that then finally we will do a good race.
* Close to We Are Water?
We Are close to We Are Water but we are not always trying to catch them. We only try to sail fast but we have had really good conditions to be close to them. But I think they are doing a very good race. They only had two months to prepare for this race. I think if we thought two months ago they would be sailing at Cape Horn, well I think they are doing a very good race.
* Compared to past races for the boat.
We know the timings of Ellen MacArthur and past editions of the Barcelona World Race for the boat and we try to sail as fast as possible, to beat these times, not because we want to beat the timings but only because we want to be sure that we are sailing fast and not lying around and not driving the boat properly.
* Change from shore crew with Dee and Anna to skipper at Cape Horn?
It is a bit different. I prefer of course to be a skipper, but for me it is important to have been there four years ago. I learned so much about the IMOCA class and these boat. And to be with them was very, very exciting. I think to be sailing is much more fun and exciting.
Ranking at 14:00 UTC:
1. Cheminées Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm – Jean Le Cam) 3398 nm Distance to Finish
2. Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill – Jose Muñoz) 1426 nm Distance to Lead
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (Anna Corbella – Gerard Marin) 1629 nm DTL
4. We Are Water (Bruno Garcia – Willy Garcia) 3348 nm DTL
5. One Planet One Ocean / Pharmaton (Aleix Gelabert – Didac Costa) 3384 nm DTL
6. Renault Captur (Jörg Riechers – Sebastien Audigane) 4075 nm DTL
7. Spirit of Hungary (Nandor Fa – Conrad Colman) 5948 nm DTL
Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson – Pepe Ribes) Abandon
Report by event media.
Background: The third edition of the Barcelona World Race is the only double-handed, non-stop, round the world race. Eight IMOCA 60 teams started December 31, 2014, with the intent to cover 23,450 nautical miles in a circumnavigation from Barcelona to Barcelona, putting the capes of Good Hope (South Africa), Leeuwin (Australia) and Horn (Chile) to port and the Antarctic to starboard. The finishes are forecasted for the end of March 2015.