Broken keel bolts plague Barcelona World Race team

Published on April 12th, 2015

(April 12, 2015; Day 102) – If the final miles in the Mediterranean look mildly frustrating but nevertheless straightforward for Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane as they close in on sixth place in the Barcelona World Race on Renault Captur, so the last 1600 miles which stand between Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman and seventh place will be sailed with extra care as the Hungarian-Kiwi duo report today that a second keel bolt is damaged.

Subsequent to replacing two bolts in Bluff, NZ during their technical stop in the middle of March, Fa and Colman reported to Race Direction that they had lost a further keel bolt. The situation has been monitored very closely by the duo and by Race Direction.

Now, this morning Fa reported:
“Today I discovered that the second keel bolt of the front pair on the right has been broken for a while. Now there is no bolt remaining on the right side, only the port (left) side. On that side we have both of them. Now the keel is canted to the maximum, so I think it’s safe.”

Breezes are due to remain fair for the duo’s passage to Gibraltar where they should arrive Friday.

Fa concluded:
“I’m over the first shock and I do what I can to look after the boat. Naturally, for me the boat comes first. We are progressing as well as we can, and as safely as we can.”

For Riechers and Audigane it should now only be a question of time and a measure of prudence before they complete their round the world race. They have no major weather hurdles in their way, even if the meteo GRIB files are not really aligning to gift them a favourable final 500 miles.

Renault Captur came through the Straits of Gibraltar during the small hours of this Sunday morning, returning into the Mediterranean at 0250hrs UTC. The tacked only 1.5 miles off the Spanish shore just to the west of Estepona early this morning and today faced the choice of working lighter breezes closer to the coast or stepping more offshore into the brisk headwinds which were forecast to top more than 20kts. Tonight they should be well clear of the Alboran Sea and up to Cabo de Gata.

There is a good chance the arriving duo will cross wakes with the race winning Cheminées Poujoulat which left yesterday on their homewards delivery. Remarkably, after 98 days at sea racing round the world, Didac Costa co-skipper of fourth placed One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton stepped on to Cheminées Poujoulat to help Jean Le Cam with the delivery back to France!

Renault Captur should get into more favourable E’ly winds after Cabo de la Nao and Ibiza to enjoy a swift passage to the finish line.

Spirit of Hungary were 400 miles west of the Canary Islands today with a W’ly airstream which looks like it will hold with them right to the Straits of Gibraltar, finally allowing them some good, straight line sailing back towards the Mediterranean. Their situation is closely monitored by Barcelona World Race Direction and the relevant MRCCs

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) 470 nm Distance To Finish
7. Spirit of Hungary (Nandor Fa – Conrad Colman) 1620 nm DTF
Hugo Boss (Alex Thomson – Pepe Ribes) Abandon

TrackerEvent details

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.

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