Archive | Barcelona World Race

Cheminées Poujoulat winners of the Barcelona World Race 2014-2015

Posted on 25 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Cheminées Poujoulat, co-skippered by Bernard Stamm, 51, (Switzerland) and Jean Le Cam, 55 (France), sailed to victory today, winning the third edition of the Barcelona World Race, the non stop, round the world race for two crew, crossing the finish line at 17:50:25hrs UTC in light winds, 10-15kts SE and smooth seas. The Swiss-French IMOCA 60 completed theoretical course 23.321,76 nautical miles (43.191,9 Kilometres) of the theoretical course non stop (stops are penalized in this race) at an average of 11.53kts.

The elapsed time for Stamm and Le Cam, since the start from Barcelona on 31st December 2014 at midday UTC, is 84 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 25 seconds. The actual distance over ground covered by them is 27950 miles, at an average speed of 13.82 knots.

Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have established the reference time for the race, which followed a different course for this edition: from Barcelona to Barcelona, passing all three great capes Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, leaving Antarctica to starboard. But for the first time the course went direct under New Zealand rather than diverting north to pass through the Cook Straits between North and South Island. This reduced the course distance by about 1280 miles compared with previous editions.


Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam: two established ocean racing stars with long, established track records is a happy man this evening. Just before Christmas 2013, in fact during the night between 23rd and 24th December, he had to be rescued after his IMOCA 60 completely split in two in force 9 winds and 10 metre waves when he was delivering his boat back to Brest from Brasil after racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Stamm made global headlines, describing later how he knew that in order to survive he had to take to the icy waters of the Western Approaches 170 miles from the Scilly Isles to ‘swim for my life’

A year later he started this round the world race, and now, today Stamm has achieved his third victory in a round the world race, the first one non stop and two handed. The 51 year old Swiss had already won the Around Alone 2002/03 solo; and again in 2006/07, under the most recent name of Velux 5 Oceans.

25/03/2015, Barcelona World Race 2014-Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam (Cheminées Poujoulat) arrival. Photo Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

25/03/2015, Barcelona World Race 2014-Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam (Cheminées Poujoulat) arrival. Photo Gilles Martin-Raget / Barcelona World Race

Theirs has proven a remarkable part nership of close equals, a pair who have delivered victory thanks to their many, many years experiences, good and bad. They had never sailed together as a duo before this race, but had both achieved notable successes, racing two handed. Le Cam wins the 2013-2014 IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship, Stamm is runner up.

In turn, in his fifth round the world race , French legend Jean Le Cam, 55, known by some in his native France as “Le Roi Jean” (King Jean), adds his first ever outright victory in a round the world race to an extensive ocean racing record which stretches back 31 years, including second in the solo Vendée Globe in 2004-5 behind Vincent Riou.

In fact after winning 2013′s Transat Jacques Vabre to Brazil with Riou,Le Cam has now won the two biggest IMOCA two-handed races back to back.

A winning boat. An IMOCA legend
They have made a very similar time including two Gibraltar Straits crossings and two Mediterranean legs. In the Barcelona World Race 2010/2011, this IMOCA 60 was second with Spain’s Íker Martínez and Xabi Fernandez as co-skippers. It made the start of Vendée Globe 2012/2013 with Jérémie Beyou. The boat has been modified several times to adjust to the rules evolution and improve its performance in big waves. With two victories and a second place in round the world races, this boat is established as a legend of he IMOCA class.

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The final 500 for Cheminees Poujoulat

Posted on 23 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm on board Cheminées Poujoulat have become the first team to return to the Mediterranean in the Barcelona World Race, crossing the longitude of Gibraltar this morning at 08.30 (UTC). The leaders kept a course close to the North African shore, before a rapid transit through the Straits in a 20-knot southerly.

Cheminées Poujoulat now has fewer than 500 miles to cover before their arrival at the finish in Barcelona, and they are currently expected to arrive at lunchtime on Wednesday, March 25. They are currently heading north-east, on the Spanish side of the Alboran Sea, and can expect a period of upwind sailing in 5-10 knot winds over the next 24 hours due to a high pressure system south of Spain.

Second-placed Neutrogena is now on an east-bound course. Having reached the limits of the north-easterly trade winds yesterday afternoon, Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz made the turn for Europe ye sterday evening and are now sailing in more northerly breezes of 15-20 knots. Around 125 miles to the south-west, GAES Centros Auditivos has shadowed their manoeuvre in third and is now also heading east.

Equatorial battle

In the duel to cross into the Northern Hemisphere, it was One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton who arrived at the Equator in fourth place. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa crossed the 0° Latitude this afternoon at 14.20 (UTC), six days and 18 hours after third placed GAES Centros Auditivos.

Speaking this morning Gelabert said he’d welcomed the close competition with We Are Water in this stage of the race: “These days we have been pushing a little bit. We are trying to go out of the Doldrums as fast as possible. I presume that We Are Water are doing the same because everyone thinks it is very important to get out of the Doldrums as soon as possible. We are happy to have We Are Water close to us because then we are pushing a little bit more, and going fast to Barcelona is our final goal.”

He and Costa have been pleased with their performance and report no problems on board, commenting: “We will keep pushing to try to maintain the fourth place, which we are going to have to do because We Are Water are going to push also, it’s going to be really difficult to be further ahead of them. But the boat is in good condition, we don’t have any issue with anything, so we can go 100% for the moment, and we will try to go as fast as possible as we always do.

“We know that we are faster than We Are Water but only because we have different weather conditions and we have been lucky with this, and our decisions have been very good. In theory their boat is a little bit faster so we try to go as fast as possible and if we make better times than them then perfect, but if not then we know that’s normal and just to keep going.”

About 170 miles to the west, We Are Water are experiencing a tortuous Doldrums, averaging just 1.5 knots boat speed and VMG since this morning’s position report. The Garcia brothers are expected to cross the Equator around two hours after Gelabert and Costa, but may benefit from stronger breezes to the west this afternoon.

Sixth placed Renault Captur is predicted to cross the Equator in one week’s time. At this afternoon’s 1400hrs position report they were the fastest in fleet, heading north-east at over 11 knots in 15-20 knot northerlies, around 170 miles off the coast of Brazil.

Things that go bump

Spirit of Hungary encountered a confused sea state and 40 knot gusts as they passed a cold front off Uruguay, about 500 miles east of Montevideo. As the boat slammed in the irregular waves, Conrad Colman fell head-first and suffered severe bruising to his face and a suspected dislocated shoulder. He reports: “I landed on my lef t shoulder and my head leaving the former dislocated and a large egg on my forehead. I screamed for Nandor who rushed from his bunk to help me sit up, only for my head to turn and I was forced to lay back in confused agony. Having previously dislodged my right shoulder and had it surgically repaired in 2012, I only hope that I can avoid that fate again with my new injury. I have good range of movement but significant pain and a significant sense of weakness in the joint.

“Thankfully we have pretty clement conditions lined up for the next few days but Nandor will have to do the manoeuvres solo as I am only capable of easing sheets, not winding the winches for now.”

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Heading: Home!

Posted on 18 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] The Azores high pressure system has proven to be a road block for Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam. Their passage northwards at the head of the Barcelona World Race fleet, saw them running out of breeze and so their tack eastwards, towards the Straits of Gibraltar, was made early this morning. And as the Swiss-French duo progress east towards the Moroccan coast, passing south of Madeira, they will reconnect with the better NE’ly trade winds.

Cheminées Poujoulat has 1100 miles to sail until the welcome of the pillars of Hercules the iconic gates to the Mediterranean formed by the Rock of Gibraltar on the European coast and Jebel Musa (852m high) in Morocco’s Rif mountains.

The Swiss-French duo are due to pass back through the gates the evening of Sunday 22nd March. It will remain upwind all the way to the Moroccan coast but they should be progressively lifted as the trade wind backs a little more N’ly as they get closer to the coast. Today they were about 500 miles WNW of the Canary Islands. After tacking this morning their angle looked pretty horrible, pointing almost directly towards the islands, certainly south of east, but that has improved with speed today, making between nine and ten knots. Their lead remains static at just over 900 miles – or three to four days – ahead of Neutrogena.

GAES Centros Auditivos, (Gerard Marin, Anna Corbella). Gilles Martin-Raget

GAES Centros Auditivos, (Gerard Marin, Anna Corbella). Gilles Martin-Raget

The battle for second and third retains a frustrating status quo for Anna Corbella and Gérard Marin. They lost one mile to the leaders since the same time yesterday and three miles to Neutrogena. Each day in the NE’ly trade winds, 105 miles behind Neutrogena,GAES Centros Auditivos are still devoid of options. They can on ly follow the best course of the boat in front, still fighting for each metre, but it does not stop Corbella from thinking of her first run on the Catalan beaches with her golden retriever and Marín will be eagerly anticipating being reunited with his daughter who was only four months old when he left on this three month race around the world. Pre-start the duo said they would be happy with a podium finish, but having been so close to Neutrogena – they will finish frustrated not to get close enough to have a go at passing in the Mediterranean.

The three boats now in the North Atlantic were granted a brisk, business-like passage through the Doldrums, but that does not look to be the case for We Are Water and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton. The band of calms and unsettled winds – 600 miles ahead – is widening all the time and it looks increasingly like it will slow this match race which this afternoon is just 30 miles apart.

High light of the day for the Renault Captur duo has been a shower and a shave, a tonic for their physical and mental fortitude given that they are close to the Uruguay and Brazilian coast trying to piece together a jigsaw of downwind and reaching lanes to get north while the route to the east is barred by the Saint Helena high. And Spirit of Hungary are making good speeds but start to have a high pressure ridge in front of them.

Rankings Wednesday 18th March at 1400hrs UTC
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) at 1605 miles to finish
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) + 906 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) + 1011 miles to leader
4 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 2137 miles to leader
5 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 2154 miles to leader
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 3340 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 4654 miles to leader
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)

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Duels for Duos. Setting the Red Line

Posted on 12 March 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Cheminées Poujoulat’s lead at the head of the Barcelona World Race is being eroded the rate of over 100 miles a day by the ever tenacious duo of Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz on Neutrogena. Spirit of Hungary are less than 1000 miles to Cape Horn.

But with a lead of 1165 miles and 2589 miles to sail to the finish in Barcelona, right now Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are not going to be biting their nails unduly. The advance of Neutrogena is only one stress among others.
The leading duo have constantly spoken out against complacency, letting their guard down. They know that misfortune has visited skippers in the closing stages of many of the recent IMOCA 60 Round the World Races. They know that after more than 21,500 miles of hard racing the boats are at least as tired as their skippers. And the concept of……. ‘well, we have made it this far, so chances are we should make to the finish’ holds no substance.’ Indeed the regular, almost metronomic slamming upwind in the NE’ly trades at best works your dental fillings loose, and worst exposes the small weaknesses to become big problems. As ever, setting the red line, how hard to press, is probably more relevant now for the t op three boats as it is at any time in the race.
The last cut is the deepest?

Jean-Pierre Dick lost the four tonne bulb off his keel of Virbac-Paprec 3 with just over 2000 miles to go during the last Vendée Globe and lost third to Alex Thomson. Spain’s Javier Sanso lost his keel 360 miles south of the Azores whilst on course to complete that same race and had to retire. In the previous edition in Feburary 2009 Marc Guillemot dropped his entire keel at 960 miles to the finish in Les Sables d’Olonne. Days earlier Roland Jourdain lost second place in that edition, chasing victor Michel Desjoyeaux, when his keel fell off Véolia 600 miles from the Azores.

Estrella Damm, during the last Barcelona World Race had their strongest winds, and boat breaking conditions when Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella were returning back through the Straits of Gibraltar.

It is never, ever over until the finish line is crossed.

Guillermo Altadill, the well travelled Spanish skipper on Neutrogena is clearly continuing to press the Farr IMOCA 60 as hard he and Munoz dare. They have opened distance on third placed GAES Centros Auditivos again today to be 233 miles ahead of Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín this afternoon.

Since yesterday Neutrogena have added more than 40 miles to their advance ahead of their pursuers, as well as clawing back 278 miles on the leaders. But, in comparison to Stamm and Le Cam,Altadill and Munoz are reaching, making easier miles in E’ly trades, whilst the leaders are slamming, almost upwind in moderate NE’ly trades. Cheminées Poujoulat will pass the Cape Verdes tomorrow and likely have another two or three tacks to make before Gibraltar which they should reach on 21st March. Stamm and Le Cam have been especially quick in the South Atlantic, sailing between Cape Horn and the Eq uator in just 12 days, 19 hours and 57 minutes.

Duelling Duos

And within that race for the top five places two duels endure. Neutrogena v GAES Centros Auditivos has ebbed and flowed since Altadill and Munoz restarted from New Zealand on 13th February. Corbella and Marín got as close as five miles astern in the Pacific, but in the Atlantic, Neutrogena have stepped away steadily. But they have a Doldrums ‘lite’ experience ahead, a relatively straightforwards transition expected.
If the duel for second and third is maybe opening out, the battle for fourth and fifth remains close. This morning there was just seven miles – terms of distance to finish – between We Are Water in fourth and One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton in fifth. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa continue to defy predictions with the former Kingfisher and this evening there is 23 miles between them and the Garcia brothers on We Are Water which has been faster th is afternoon

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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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