BWR: A moment to reflect
Published on April 10th, 2015
(April 10, 2015; Day 100) – Last night was a time for celebration for Bruno and Willy Garcia, who finished the Barcelona World Race in fifth place, and for the fellow competitors who greeted them.
But after greeting their loved ones, there was also some time to reflect on their achievements at a busy, lively press conference. Bruno was particularly keen to pay tribute to Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa, with whom they shared such prolonged and close competition for fourth place: “One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton had the better race, I think they deserve it, and it is the only bittersweet part, but everything is compensated by the arrival and by a dream come true which is doing the round the world race with my little brother, a fantastic round the world, very tough, very intense.
“It made our days fly by. There were days that we said to each other: ‘How can that be, it’s night again?’ It has been phenomenal. Then the result… we would have liked to win, because we are competitors, but it has been very good. After all, this is a race. We have really had one hell of a race.”
Asked to pick their most memorable moments from the race, both struggled. “There are many,” commented Willy, “From crossing Cape Horn to the first days in the Southern Ocean, the first low, the first front, the climb north, crossing the Straits of Gibraltar again, the truth is they are many different emotions. There are also bad days, when you have a low on top of you, the tension and worry. I mean, I could not pick just one moment. Today, the day of the arrival, the start, the aurora…”
A significant highlights for both was the fact that hey completed the race non-stop. “From the team and boat points of view, it is a 10, it could not be done better. Despite having such a short time, we were so well prepared, and arriving… we haven’t made any pit-stop, we haven’t stopped! We have been able to manage with t he technical teams’ advice so, I think this is a 10, it is impossible to do better,” commented Bruno.
The other unique element to their voyage is, of course, that they did it together as brothers. Willy Garcia: “I know him very well. Obviously I know him better now, but I also know myself better now, and I think he knows himself much better. You go through many adverse or tense situations, that you get to know yourself much better.”
The legend lives on
With the end of each team’s race, the history of each boat gains another chapter. Merfyn Owen of Owen Clarke Design designed the oldest boat in the race, One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaaton back in 2000 before Ellen MacArthur famously sailed her to second place in the 2000-01 Vendee Globe (as Kingfisher). Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa sailed her to fourth place. Owen responded to Gelabert’s modest assertion that they had not contributed to the legend of the boat, saying: “Alex is wrong. I think he and Didac have made the legend bigger. What they’ve achieved given their experience before this race is remarkable, and they did it without stopping and only 14 days behind one of the latest Open 60s.
“No one has a God-given right to make it around the world in a racing sailboat, that’s challenge enough but to have done it in style like this, they deserve to be very proud of themselves… average 11.8 knots!”
Back in the Atlantic
But the Barcelona World Race is not over yet. Sixth-placed Renault Captur today passed the 1,000-mile mark to the finish and is currently around 380 miles from Gibraltar. Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane are expected to pass through the Straits on Monday, April 12th., although the northerlies they have been reaching east in look set to fade thanks to a dissipating low pressure system south-west of Portugal. Renault Captur was this afternoon making 11.8 knots of boat speed (1400hrs UTC), but likely to sail into winds of just 5-10 knots over the next 24 hours.
Spirit of Hungary, meanwhile, is back on a northerly track having tacked twice in the past 24 hours, around 620 miles south-west of the Canaries. This morning Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman also broke through 2,000-miles to the finish, and are currently expected at Gibraltar around April 16th. The challenge for the seventh-placed team is to arrive in Barcelona by April 21, when the prizegiving for the Barcelona World Race will be held with the 14 fellow skippers. Spirit of Hungary continues to make steady progress at 9-10 knots, with trade winds expected to strengthen over the course of this afternoon and into tomorrow.
Ranking at 14:00 UTC:
1. Cheminées Poujoulat (Bernard Stamm – Jean Le Cam) finished Mar 25 (84:05:50:25)
2. Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill – Jose Muñoz) finished Mar 31 (89:11:47:00)
3. GAES Centros Auditivos (Anna Corbella – Gerard Marin) finished Apr 1 (91:05:09:28)
4. One Planet One Ocean / Pharmaton (Aleix Gelabert – Didac Costa) finished Apr 8 (98:09:12:09)
5. We Are Water (Bruno Garcia – Willy Garcia) finished Apr 9 (99:03:06:28)
6. Renault Captur (Jörg Riechers – Sebastien Audigane) 907.9 nm Distance To Finish
7. Spirit of Hungary (Nandor Fa – Conrad Colman) 1933.1 nm DTF
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.