Archive | Barcelona World Race

Deliverance is Obvious A Good Day

Posted on 25 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The deliverance from the Pacific will have been notable for Cheminées Poujoulat. After passing Cape Horn at 0100hrs this Thursday morning in 20-25kts of WSW’ly winds, passing 14 miles south of the rock, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have accelerated into much flatter waters. Now they enjoy the twin benefits of the wind veered more to the west and the protection of Tierra del Fuego which has reduced the swell completely. And so as the Barcelona World Race leaders make towards the Straits de Lemaire which they should pass around 0900hrs UTC they are making 18kts in smooth seas. Today should feel like a good day, as they sprint north, set to pass west of the Falklands tonight.

Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos are now separated by about 60 miles straight line, Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín now to the south and going slower, 7.5kts compared with Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz’s 9.5 kts. And the delta between the two is set to grow significantly, and shrink again. First Neutrogena seem set to have a big advantga in wind strength and direction 25-30kts this morning for Altadill and Munoz while GAES will only have it moderate, then Neutrogena will have it calmer. They are still expected to rach Cape Horn Saturday with Altadill and Munoz about 10-12 hours ahead.

We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are still locked into the high pressure…..the one and only, self same high pressure system they have had for some days now. The breeze is 15-20kts from the W for We Are Water, hence they continue to gybe downwind, while One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton have NW’ly and so just follow the AEZ, more or less straight line other than one gybe. The big change is that One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton are going to get headwinds.

And that is the case especially for Renault Captur which has it good today but will soon start to get headwinds as the low pressure moves south and will be sailing in headwinds until Friday evening, according to current meteo files.

And Spirit of Hungary are docked in Bluff, South Island NZ, starting their pitstop at 2250hrs UTC last night

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Renault Captur reroute to New Zealand for pitstop

Posted on 18 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Renault Captur turn back to pitstop in New Zealand. Following damage to their starboard rudder which became obvious between Sunday 15th and Monday 16th February Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane on Renault Captur have made the decision to reroute to New Zealand to undertake a technical pit stop to try and make a more effective repair.

The duo, racing in fourth place in the Barcelona World Race, were 585 miles SE of the southerly tip of South Island NZ at 0500hrs UTC.

They believe it will take them between two and three days, sailing in mainly favourable SW and S’ly breezes which look set to become lighter as they close to New Zealand, to reach a suitable landfall.

Riechers and Audigane have attempted two repairs to the rudder blade so far but the boat has proven uncontrollable at higher speeds. Further information will be issued shortly.

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Open Season For Second?

Posted on 15 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] With second placed Neutrogena still slowed in a high pressure zone of light winds since Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz restarted from their New Zealand pitstop, both GAES Centros Auditivos and Renault Captur having continued to slash their deficit behind Altadil and Munoz. Second place on the podium of the Barcelona World Race is opening up with each mile that the two chasing IMOCA 60s gain.

This Sunday afternoon the delta between Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos is cut to a much more tenable 99 miles. Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín are still making a VMG – velocity made good – of 13.6kts while Altadill and Munoz are still battling south with a net VMG of 3.6kts, hardly making any easting at all meantime.

Forecasts indicate that Neutrogena are in the last hours of their light airs ordeal since leaving Bluff and imminently they will pick up a favourable NW to W 20-25kts breeze. One can fully comprehend why Altadill insisted he would not be tracking any of his rivals or checking their positions for the coming days, for sure he and Munoz are pushing their boat as fast as possible and additional stress, knowing how quickly they are being caught, would not add to their speed and drive.

The next key longitude for the trio which are now in the match for second is the antimeridian. A current routing for the trio given today’s weather outlook has Neutrogena cross just four hours before GAES Centros Auditivos, Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín passing into the ‘west’ some 100 miles further south.
Extending that routing to a point four days forwards shows Neutrogena just five hours ahead and Renault Captur, Jorg Riechers and Seb Audigane, 18 hours behind Neutrogena. The game is opened between the two Farr designs and the Finot Conq former BritAir which holds fourth.

Reichers said today: “I think now it is interesting because the race for second place is now a three boat race, unfortunately for Neutrogena. So we are looking forwards to a nice battle for second place to the end in Barcelona. But I think Guillermo has a fast boat. He should be able to hold on to second.”
” Our strategy? Well you can’t really do a strategy with the ice zone exclusion zone. It dictates what you can and cant do. It is a little bit like the outcome of the race is in the hands of Aeolus and Guillermo. In the Southern Ocean you cannot really go for a strategy, you see what is happening and take it as it comes.”

Sunday has been a bit of red letter day for Spirit of Hungary which has been reducing the lead of Cheminées Poujoulat. Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman have had the foot right down on Fa’s self-designed IMOCA 60 and were quickest of the fleet this morning, bringing their deficit down under the 4000 miles mark again. Such sma ll consolations are a good morale boost for the Hungarian-Kiwi duo who continue to show great fighting spirit.

Race leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are also about to get moving at speed again after more than two days slowed. Their VMG is 12.4 kts today while the best has been Renault Captur.
We Are Water have emerged from their worst period of stormy weather of the race so far. One Planet One Ocean have been in sunshine and 15-20kts breezes and were crossing Cape Leeuwin this afternoon or evening.

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Neutrogena pitstopped in Bluff NZ

Posted on 13 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Neutrogena, Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz, pitstopped into Bluff – a port 30 kms by road from Invercarcgill – at 0522hrs UTC this Friday morning. The duo came in in 12kts of breeze and clock is now ticking to make sure they can resume racing at 0522hrs Saturday morning. The Neutrogena team had technicians on the dock ready to fix their engine problems and give the IMOCA 60 a good once over. They suspended racing just at the entrance to the harbour.

It is pretty much the southermost town in New Zealand, referred to in the expression “from Cape Reinga to The Bluff” referring to the most northerly and southerly places of New Zealand. Appropriately the first ship to enter the harbour there was the ‘Perseverance’ in 1813. It is one of the earliest European settlements in New Zealand and until 1917 was called Campbelltown.

Meantime race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat have slowed down now in lighter, shifty airs. They are between two low pressure systems now and are making just 10.5kts of boat speed. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam will have a bit of a frustrating time with the breeze clocking round from NW to E to S, too unstable to enjoy much of a chance to rest after their exertions of the last few days.

In third GAES Centros Auditivos are going quick, fastest in the fleet at 16.8kts. They have opened another 20 miles on Renault Captur and Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín have less than 100 miles left to sail in the Indian Ocean, ready to pass into the Pacific this afternoon.

Renault Captur are riding the same low pressure system and are now about 300 miles behind their nearest rivals.

We Are Water, Bruno and Willy Garcia, crossed the longitude of Cape Leeuwin at 2201hrs UTC last night Thursday, taking 43 days 10hrs and 01mins from the Barcelona start on 31st December.

Best conditions of the fleet right now are probably with One Planet One Ocean and Spirit of Hungary. They have a low pressure to their south now. OnePlanet One Ocean have about 17kts of SW which will veer NW today and Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa are making 15kts boat speed. Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman have 25kts NW’ly breeze and are making good speed E t 16.4kts average.

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Neutrogena head to South New Zealand for technical pit stop

Posted on 11 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] After suffering an engine problem which affects their ability to generate electrical power, Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz, who are racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race around the world, have taken the decision to reroute to the south of New Zealand to make a technical repair.

Altadill notified Race Direction at 0220hrs UTC this Wednesday morning of their decision, saying: “We have a problem in the main engine, and we cannot charge batteries, we are sailing to the South of NZ island to get spare parts and get back in the race again at 100%.”

The Spanish-Chilean duo altered course to the NE around 0300hrs UTC this morning and had 585 miles to sail to Invercargill in the south of New Zealand’s South Island. Altadill reckoned their ETA in Invercargill would be in about 40 hours. Neutrogena are sailing in about 25kts of NW’ly breeze which is due to increase to 30kts with big seas. They are in regular contact with their shore team in England and with Race Direction which are tracking their progress closely.

Race rules require that any technical pit stop is a minimum of 24 hours duration and maximum eight days. After more than 40 days racing this is the first technical pit stop of the eight boat IMOCA 60 fleet which started from Barcelona on 31st January 2014.

Speaking by satellite phone this morning, Guillermo Altadill, said: “The last few days the engine which turns the alternator to charge the batteries has not been working well. This morning we tried to charge the batteries with the engine and the system would not work.”

“We dont have the battery system charging at all and so just now we are using the hydro generators just to maintain the battery system and to make water and to keep the electronics on. The only problem now is that the conditions are getting worse and worse, with a big sea state, and more wind. So we cannot use the hydros. So we have to economise for the next 40 hours. We have to hand steer and not use the electronics. We have made enough water to get to the south of New Zealand. We are in contact with the shore team of 5 West in England. This morning they are meeting and probably will send a couple of guys and some people from NZ to come and help.”

“This happens in a marathon race like this one. It is part of the game, one of the things you have to face up to. We are disappointed because we were trying to fight all the time for the last 40 days, to be at the front. We were in a good position waiting for our options and now we have to lose quite a lot miles. But the race is still long. We go there, we keep things together and keep racing. Who knows? If it happens to us it can happen to others.”

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Primed Cheminees Poujoulat lead into Pacific

Posted on 10 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam set the fastest 24 hours run of this edition of the Barcelona World Race so far making 478 miles to 1400hrs this Monday afternoon on Cheminées Poujoulat.

The Swiss-French duo should enter into the Pacific Ocean early tomorrow morning and hold a lead of 237 nm over second placed Neutrogena. The race’s only two paired skippers who are both aged over 50, racing at near 50 degrees south the vastly experienced pairing have been able to maintain high averages propelled by favourable conditions on the leading edge of a low pressure system. Cheminées Poujoulat have gained an extra 26 miles on their margin to Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz over that same period.

Their 24 hrs maximum for this edition of the Barcelona World Race still falls about 38 miles short of the 24 hours record for the race which was set on January 22nd 2011 by Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron. But for comparison their IMOCA 60 Virbac Paprec 3 was a brand new generation at the time, whilst the current Cheminées Poujoulat was launched in 2007 as Michel Desjoyeaux’s Vendée Globe winning Farr desig ned Foncia. Stamm has been quicker before, setting his own mark at 507 miles solo in the Vendée Globe in December 2012.

Stamm and Le Cam will pass into the Pacific in good shape. Last time they sailed this stretch of water they were fifth and sixth in the Vendée Globe, Stamm lead his current co-skipper by more than 700 miles.

Comparisons for this race with previous editions of the Barcelona World Race become more and more difficult in real terms now. In fact the real pace set by Stamm and Le Cam is close to that of the race leaders in 2010-2011 but recall that Dick and Peyron stopped into Recife for 48 hours. And now, from this point as they enter the Pacific, in previous editions the leaders would be starting an ascent north to pass through the Cook Straits between North and South Islands New Zealand. This is the first edition to pass directly south of New Zealand, trimming about 2000 miles off the original cour se distance. And of course Dick and Peyron also made a technical stop in New Zealand. So for sure, this race should be faster and it is already closer between first and second.

The intensity for the battle for third and fourth has also been raging harder these past 36 hours because of the tough, strong wind conditions which have been affecting GAES Centros Auditivos and Renault Captur. Fourth placed Renault Captur’s German co-skipper Jorg Riechers was succinct when asked today how conditions are:
“Windy” He replied.

And when posed the relatively standard off the shelf question by a young Spanish school pupil by satellite phone today, ‘what has been your worst moment of the race so far?’ Riechers responded that last night’s big gybe had been pretty hairy. In big seas and winds to 55kts, the southern ocean rookie was not sounding too enamoured with the the notoriously hostile region baring its teeth.

Standings at 1400hrs UTC Monday 9th February 2015.
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm – J. Le Cam) at 12.362,9 miles to finish.
2 Neutrogena (G. Altadill – J. Muñoz) + 236,8 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A. Corbella – G. Marín) + 1.344,0 miles to leader
4 Renault Captur (J. Riechers – S. Audigane) + 1.592,0 miles to leader
5 We Are Water (B. Garcia – W. Garcia) + 2.181,5 miles to leader
6 One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton (A. Gelabert – D. Costa) + 3.190,6 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N. Fa – C. Colman) + 3.719,9 miles to leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)

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The big game

Posted on 20 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] From sailing the length of the Atlantic virtually neck and neck, this morning the Barcelona World Race leaders were nearly 400 miles apart, after second-placed Neutrogena split from current leaders Cheminées Poujoulat, gybing south in search of new weather systems and stronger westerly breezes.

This bold tactical move by Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz is likely to see the two leading boats diverge further. Speaking earlier today Altadill was confident in his decision and their chances of making a significant gain by the time they reach the Cape of Good Hope in four or five days.

“The thing is we were in a system between the two high pressures, with a very narrow band of wind, heading downwind. And I saw the possibility to change the system and go more south, because the thing with the system that we were in is that you cannot go south – you’d need a shift from the wind to go more south.

“So I decided to take the risk – well it’s not really a risk – and change the system, take the big low that’s coming from the south side of where we were. And I think then it was safer to take this new system than to stay in the other one, because you’re committed to keep going, only sailing east and not gaining south, so I think it’s a little bit of a gain long-term.”

However, once Neutrogena reaches the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, they may face a punishing series of gybes in order to make the necessary miles to the east. They are expected to arrive at the Cape of Good Hope in four to five days.

Taking no prisoners
Along with the bold tactical move, Altadill reported in this morning’s video conference that they were sailing Neutrogena at “110 percent”. Currently their pedal-to-the-metal approach appears to be paying off – this morning Neutrogena was the fastest boat in the fleet, averaging over 20 knots over a 6-hour period and reducing Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam’s lead by 30 miles since 0500am, despite the substantial separation between the two boats.
This section of the Atlantic is renowned for record-setting speeds – it was here that Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron set a new 24-hour speed record in the Barcelona World Race four years ago, covering 506.35 nautical miles at an average pace of 21.1 knots.

Race meteorologist Marcel van Triest explains that the combination of powerful low pressure systems and strong westerly winds – but moderate waves – makes this South Atlantic zone a sailing fast-lane: “The waves are a consequence of ‘fetch’, which is how many square kilometres or square miles the wind blows, the time it has blown there and the intensity of the wind. If you’re on the leading edge, if you’re in front of one of those big lows, the waves haven’t had time to build up yet and then you’ve got fairly flat water with lots of wind, and that’s where you can beat those 24 hour distance records.”

Third placed GAES Centros Auditivos had also gybed south, but is this afternoon following an easterly route, around 250 miles behind Cheminées Poujoulat.

Stubborn Helena
Things are very different for the mid-fleet boats, with Renault Captur, We Are Water and One Planet One Ocean Pharmaton still contending with the light winds zone of the St Helena high. This trio may be shedding miles to the leaders, but look set to develop an intriguing contest of their own. They are currently separated by around 450 miles west-to-east, with Renault Captur on the east in fourth enduring the lightest, most unstable breezes, and One Planet One Ocean to the west, around 370 miles off the coast of Brazil, consistently around 3 knots faster.

Gaining ground from the north is Spirit of Hungary, with Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman banking miles in the trade wind conditions with solid 13-14 knot boat speeds. However, Fa spoke today of how conscious he was that such gains can be temporary: “Now we are progressing very well because we are still sailing in the trade winds and the guys ahead are in different conditions, they have much less wind, and it’s a very complicated developing situation.

“As long as we are here and they are there we will make a little bit of a gain on them, but in a couple of days when we’ll be there also, it will be also complicated for us, so it’s a very difficult situation right now. How much can we keep from this gain and how much will we give back later? You never know, it is a kind of gambling. We study the weather all the time.”

Provisional rankings at 1400hrs UTC Tuesday 20th January 2015

Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm – J. Le Cam) at 19,378.7 miles to the finish
Neutrogena (G. Altadill – J. Muñoz) + 130.5 miles to leader
GAES Centros Auditivos (A. Corbella – G. Marín) + 248.1 miles to leader
Renault Captur (J. Riechers – S. Audigane) + 642.8 miles to leader
We Are Water (B. Garcia – W. Garcia) + 900.3 miles to leader
One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton (A. Gelabert – D. Costa) + 1138.9 miles to leader
Spirit of Hungary (N. Fa – C. Colman) + 1353.1 miles to leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)

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Alex and Pepe are back on dry land

Posted on 19 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Alex Thomson Racing] Alex and Pepe onboard HUGO BOSS are back on land after arriving safely in Salvador de Bahia. Three and a half days since the boat dismasted, Alex & Pepe, with the help of the Alex Thomson Racing Team shore crew; Rob Hopper and Will Jackson have secured the boat safely in a marina in Salvador de Bahia. Rob and Will took supplies and fuel to HUGO BOSS as she approached the Brazilian coast, which the yacht needed to safely reach shore. Once on shore, Alex and Pepe ate a fresh meal for the first time in 2 weeks, and shook off their sea legs. Both the skippers are well and looking forward to returning home to their families and to the rest of the year ahead.

Despite the disappointment and shock of the dismasting, Alex and Pepe, together with the ATR team led by CEO Stew Hosford and Operations Manager Ross Daniel worked together cohesively and professionally, reacting quickly to safely secure the skippers and boat back to land, in what was a complex and challenging situation.

Now on land, Alex, Pepe and the team will turn their focus on to the rest of this year’s schedule, repairing the boat, finishing the build of and launching the new HUGO BOSS which will compete in the TJV and B2B race later this year.

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