Archive | Barcelona World Race

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Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam at the start of the Barcelona World Race

Posted on 17 July 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: IMOCA Ocean Masters] Bernard Stamm has hardly stopped over the past few months, busily putting his new project into place. The determined Swiss sailor won his bet today as he prepares for a new round-the-world race – double-handed this time.

So the double winner of the Around Alone will be on the startline at the next edition of the Barcelona World race at the helm of an IMOCA 60 – former Jörg Riechers’ boat Mare – which will be dressed up in the colours of Cheminées Poujoulat, Bernard’s loyal partner since 2003 who will side with him again on this new adventure. Jean Le Cam will accompany him on this “four-handed” adventure.

Since last December, Bernard Stamm has done everything in his power to bounce back and build up a new project. “Everything kind of fell apart with I lost my boat, especially since no other IMOCA 60 seemed to be available. Which is why I tried working on other projects simultaneously, and some of them nearly worked. Then I found out through the class that an IMOCA boat was on the market, so I went for it.” Bernard Stamm has signed a lease contract with an option to buy Jörg Riecher’s Farr-design boat that was launched in 2007 and aboard which Michel Desjoyeaux won the 2008-09 Vendée Globe. It then came second in the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race with Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, and was back at the 2012-13 Vendée Globe with Jérémie Beyou.

“It has been regularly re-fitted to follow the IMOCA rule and all work carried out has been done well. It’s still a big step down for me, since my team and I had developed our previous boat to a really high level,” explains Bernard, who will be sailing his new boat from Lorient to Brest this week. “We will work on the 60-foot boat at our home-base, completing the work that the old owner began then adapting it to our way of working. And of course we’ll dress it up with our sponsors colours,” he added, happy to announce that Cheminées Poujoulat, world leader in fireplaces and chimneys, will be continuing to support him as he heads towards the third edition of the Barcelona World race, the only round-the-world double-handed non-stop and without assistance race, which starts in Barcelona in Spain on 31 December 2014. “Cheminées Poujoulat has been active in sailing with Bernard Stamm for aver 10 years. Participating in a round-the-world with such an experienced and competitive team is a great opportunity for our brand,” declared Frédéric Coirier, CEO of the Poujoulat Group.

Quite a tandem!

“Between us, we have accumulated a huge amount of miles, that’s for sure. Racing together will be an enriching experience – things kind of happened by chance, but it’s great,” said Jean Le Cam. Together the two men will form one of the most experienced teams in the race.”

Between them they accumulate no less than six Vendée Globe participations, nine round-the-worlds and sixty or so Transats! Suffice to say that the two men aren’t just here to take part – they’re here to win. Over the next few months they will be doing everything they can to get there, although they are aware they’ll have to move and adapt fast. “The race start is tomorrow! The boat should be back in the water by the end of August and then we have to learn to tame it. We’ll multiply our training sessions, tests, calibrations as much as we can in order to be at the top as quickly as possible,” continues the Swiss sailor who will be fully supported by his loyal team. “I’ve done everything I can to maintain my team and base in Brest over the past months. It wasn’t easy but today these efforts are paying off and that’s good news,” he stated, adding that he will continue to sail on the Diam 24 One Design circuit in parallel. “We’re already committed and it allows us to maintain a continuity in our preparation. We’ll be taking part in the next races even if we missed the Trinité-sur-Mer race last weekend. And I’ll have to step up my physical preparation to be 100% up to speed by September because I still have a few cervical problems from my accident in December that I’m treating with my physiotherapist. All the thorax injuries have healed”, concluded Bernard who should soon be announcing the arrival of new partners very shorty.

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IMOCA 60 Safran heads to Cadiz as Marc Guillemot suffers injury

Posted on 12 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: IMOCA Ocean Masters] On the 10th day of the Transat New York to Barcelona Race, the IMOCA 60 race boat Safran, skippered by Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagraviére, are heading towards Cadiz in the south of Spain.

Last night, around 0230 hrs local time, during a manœuvre on the foredeck in around 35-40 knots of wind, Marc had a fall during which he suffered an injury. He is experiencing strong pain in his ribs.

Both sailors have decided to head towards Cadiz in order to get further medical assistance.

The duo have had a great race so far and they were in the lead of the fleet a few miles from the Strait of Gibraltar. Safran is now 20 miles from Cadiz.

The race organisation is putting in place all the necessary support and logistics to welcome the Skippers and the boat to Cadiz.

Further information will be made available as soon as we have more news.

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Start of New York to Barcelona race

Posted on 01 June 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: IMOCA Ocean Masters] Today the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race set sail at 1210 local time. On the start line directly off North Cove Marina in the shadow of the One World Trade Centre, newly built on the site of Ground Zero, it was GAES Centros Auditivos and Team Neutrogena that got the best start in the light conditions, making the most of the ebb on the Hudson River, the banks of New York’s famous waterway lined with spectators.

But in a great display of tactical prowess it was Hugo Boss, sailed by American-Spanish crew Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes, that headed off to the left side of the course. They benefitted from the best current close to Governors Island. As the rest of the fleet was becalmed in the centre of New York Harbour’s Upper Bay, the silver IMOCA 60 was able to slip past the fleet, into first place.

Hugo Boss was first to reach the turning mark off Ellis Island, some three minutes ahead of the French crew Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière aboard Safran with Spain’s Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin on Gaes Centros Auditivos holding third in turn just over two minutes ahead of Team Neutrogena.

Once under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the boats were heading for a mark at the entrance to the channel leading towards New York harbour. This mark is in the same position as the Ambrose Light and it is from here that the record passage between New York and Barcelona will be measured.

As the boats now head out into the Atlantic, tactically the next 24-48 hours will be among the race’s most crucial. To minimise the chance of contact with icebergs the race management team has including an ice zone the boats are prohibited from entering, which extends all the way down to 40degS. So the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona boats are now heading due east, but directly in their way is a depression, centred some 650 miles off the coast. As a result the boats will encounter building northeasterly winds the further offshore they sail tonight and will have to make the decision to head north or the south of the depression.

After arriving into New York only yesterday morning, the repair work and preparations for the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race have still not been completed on Nandor Fa’s Spirit of Hungary. However the Hungarian team did officially start the race on time today. Co-skipper Marcell Goszleth explained : “The plan is to start with the fleet and do our best but after the start we informed the jury and the race committee that we suspended racing and we have now come back to finish all the repairs before we continue on. We hope to leave as soon as possible.”

Hugo Boss’ Ryan Breymaier commented: “It looks like it will be quite light today, but as it is bright and sunny this afternoon we’ll get a nice sea breeze to get us out of the harbour and along the Long Island shore for the first afternoon. Then we’ll head offshore to try and get into more gradient wind.”

After making a reasonable exit from New York Harbour, Neutrogena’s Guillermo Altadill also believed reaching the gradient wind was crucial. “One of the keys to the race will be entering that as soon as possible after losing the influence of the coastal heat/sea breeze.”

According to GAES Centros Auditivos’ Gerard Marin, how crews handle this first depression could be one of the only tactical choices of this Atlantic crossing: “Afterward, it seems to be simple and quick to Gibraltar, a horse race without tactics,” he says.

Morgan Lagravière, experienced Figaro sailor turned IMOCA 60 rookie, sailing aboard Safran was looking forward to the light conditions at the start. “That will make our lives easier, as during the first hours racing, your body needs to re-adapt to life at sea. Also, we’ll be going from very comfortable conditions to rather Spartan conditions in cramped quarters.”

As to the time it will take to get to Barcelona, Ryan Breymaier reckons to 10-11 days to Gibraltar and 13-14 days in total, whereas Neutrogena’s Guillermo Altadill predicts 15 days to the finish in Barcelona. Marc Guillemot thinks 8.5-9 days to Gibraltar and possible another four to the finish.

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NY to BCN – Onboard Neutrogena – Mainsail repair – 06 Jun 2014

Posted on 30 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

NY to BCN – Onboard Neutrogena – Mainsail repair – 06 Jun 2014

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Alex Thomson’s Hugo Boss breaks mast during delivery to New York

Posted on 08 May 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alex Thomson Racing] The shore team were contacted by the boat early this morning and were informed that the mast is broken above the top spreader. We are relieved to announce that the four crew members on-board are safe and we have notified their families and our sponsors.

We could not have a better team on the boat to deal with this and members of the shore team are planning to meet the boat upon its arrival to Newport this weekend, and will carry out an assessment to determine if the boat can be repaired in time to enable us to take part in the New York to Barcelona race.

The broken section has been secured and the boat is able to sail with the remaining mast and they are on route to Newport RI. At the moment our intention is to make a suitable repair to allow Pepe and Ryan to take part in the race but until the boat is in port and fully assessed we cannot finalise our plans…

We will post more info once the assessment is complete.

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Alex Thomson sets sails on new Hugo Boss

Posted on 15 April 2014 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alex Thmoson Racing] Alex Thomson Racing (ATR) and sponsor, HUGO BOSS are pleased to announce that their new boat is complete and on the water as of 4 April 2014.

Previously named Virbac Paprec 3, this boat has an impressive history which includes placing 4th in the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe after losing its keel, 1st in the 2010-2011 Barcelona World Race, 2nd place in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet, and 1st place in the 2010 Transat Jacques Vabre. ATR acquired Virbac Paprec 3 for Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes to compete in the upcoming 2014-2015 Barcelona World Race. The team have spent some time refitting and modifying the boat to include a new keel and HUGO BOSS branding. The boat is simply known as ‘HUGO BOSS’ and the ATR team look forward to taking the vastly improved speed machine out on the open ocean from Gosport, UK to Rhode Island, USA next week in preparation for the New York to Barcelona (NY-BCN) race in June.

The new boat is set to depart 22 April 2014 to Newport, Rhode Island where the OCEAN MASTERS New York to Barcelona Race will take place on 1 June 2014. This will be the first event run by Sir Keith Mills’ Lausanne-based Open Sports Management (OSM), commercial rights holder to the IMOCA class and will be supported by the Fundacio per la Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona (FNOB) and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV).
The start of the transatlantic race itself will be off North Cove Marina on Sunday, 1st June. Competitors will sail pass the Statue of Liberty before exiting New York Harbour. The 3700 mile course crosses the North Atlantic, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, where crews will have to negotiate a tactical 525 miles along the Spanish coast before reaching the finish.

The prize giving will be held in Barcelona on 20 June 2014. En route competitors will be out to better the 12 days, 6 hours and 3 minutes course record set by Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer aboard the IMOCA 60 Estrella Damm in 2010.

The ‘HUGO BOSS’ boat will be led by Pepe Ribes and American co-skipper, Ryan Breymaier upon Alex Thomson’s announcement that he will be unable to take part in the NY-BCN race this year due to his wife’s pregnancy and conflicting due date.

Alex said: “This is a bittersweet situation for me; although I am disappointed that I cannot take part in the NY-BCN, I am thrilled that we will be having our second child. I had committed to competing before the official race date had been announced but it turns out that my wife’s due date will conflict and my family must come first, so, as to disrupt the team as little as possible, a replacement co-skipper had to be found. We searched long and hard but found Ryan Breymaier, who will now accompany Pepe Ribes as co-skipper.”

Alex will be with the boat for its delivery to Newport and up until its departure to Barcelona.

ATR’s new American co-skipper, Ryan Breymaier will now complete the NY-BCN alongside Pepe Ribes and is excited about having the opportunity. Ryan said: “I feel so fortunate to have been selected by Pepe, Alex and the rest of the team to take part in this race. I feel honoured to be the only American participant and plan to make both my country and teammates very proud.”

Finding the right co-skipper to accompany Pepe was a challenge and Stewart Hosford, Managing Director of 5 West and ATR commented: “This was not an easy task; finding a compatible co-skipper that has the skill, personality and mind-set to match the rest of the team is quite a challenge. That said, we have selected Ryan, are confident in his ability, and look forward to welcoming him to the team.”

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Alex Thomson and HUGO BOSS announce renewed sponsorship deal

Posted on 18 December 2013 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alex Thomson Racing] Alex Thomson Racing together with Five West have today announced a new four year sponsorship deal with HUGO BOSS.

The signing marks the continuation of one of the most successful sponsorships in sailing. HUGO BOSS has sponsored the British skipper since 2003.

As part of the renewed commitment to the solo-round-the-world skipper, Alex will be participating in the 2014 Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race, the 2014 Barcelona World Race and has his sights firmly set on winning the 2016 Vendee Globe.

Earlier this year Alex broke the British solo monohull non-stop round-the-world record when he finished on the podium of the Vendee Globe for the first time in his sailing career, coming in after 80 days alone at sea in the gruelling race.

HUGO BOSS will be sailing with Alex Thomson for another four years

Speaking at today’s announcement of his participation in the Barcelona World Race alongside Pepe Ribes, Alex Thomson said: “It is an absolute honour to continue our sponsorship with HUGO BOSS. The past ten years working together has been incredible, the pinnacle of which has to be my third place finish in the Vendee Globe this year. We aim to work together in this vein of success into the future starting with the New York to Barcelona Race in June next year, followed by the Barcelona World Race.”

Five West Managing Director Stewart Hosford said: “It is a great asset for the IMOCA class to have this renewed sponsorship deal going forward. The success of the Alex Thomson / HUGO BOSS partnership has been clear to see not only in the race results and the records Alex has set, but off the timer as well in all the activity they work on together. With an enhanced IMOCA programme over the next few years, HUGO BOSS and Alex Thomson will continue to bring something special to the class.”

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IMOCA Open 60’s – how are the old boats going to compare with the new?

Posted on 31 October 2013 by Valencia Sailing

Since last weeks’ IMOCA meeting considerably more information is available on how 60s designed to the new rule will be different and might compare to existing designs. The rule changes are preliminary until published and are to be subject to a further meeting in December. But there is now light at the end of the tunnel and by the middle of December design offices, if they haven’t already started, will certainly be in a position to both commence design and compare performance of the old boats verses the new.

The class does seem to have acted to protect the interest and competitive lifespan of the existing fleet, as well as improving safety and reliability (which inevitably reduces both risk and costs) by two well made and important decisions; the standardising of mast and keel designs. Given the numbers we’re seeing the position of older generation boats is encouraging for those teams who either because of funding or limited working up time are looking at buying existing later generation IMOCA 60s for their campaigns.

In respect of the new keel requirements, our existing highly modified design Gamesa, with its light weight 470kg carbon fin will be obliged to place a 100kg counterweight, within 2m of the yacht’s center of gravity. This will in effect be low down, on the hull bottom, midships and will only increase her IMOCA measured weight to 8.16 tonnes. This will have a negligible affect on righting moment (power) which was grand-fathered and remains higher than the previous maximum introduced in the 2008 rule changes.

All future IMOCA rigs (classic or deck spreader options) will have minimum weight and center of mass. The current Gamesa rig is within 1kg of the newly established mass and 100mm of the vcg. This sounds as though the existing boats may have no advantage here, but that’s not the case since under the new rule Gamesa’s righting moment (an example of one of the high righting moment, moderate displacement boats) is 22% greater both upwind and downwind than the maximum righting moment of 22,000 kgm at 25 degrees, being allowed to all new designs. It appears that the newer boats will have rigs that are less loaded than the old, but the equivalent weight of the lightest of the existing rigs. On the face of it, a positive in terms of reliability (providing loopholes don’t remain open to reduce drag which might introduce its own problems) but little or no advantage in terms of performance for the new designs.

Existing boats such as Gamesa, Aviva, and Acciona will all carry forward (because of grand-fathering) innate characteristics of their design which are not available under the new rule. These include the use of interceptors (not Acciona), lighter adhesive glue film and having been constructed predominantly from Kevlar honeycomb core, which has been banned in the future, but is 20% lighter than Nomex

In reality, time is now short to construct and prepare for the Barcelona World Race (impossibly short for a Route du Rhum entry), unless one were to build from existing moulds in France or Acciona’s in New Zealand. NZ is certainly still the most cost effective country in which to build one of these boats. Later generation 60s are of course available for charter or purchase and these lastest IMOCA rule changes and grandfathering seem to ensure that the fleet remains very close in performance.

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