Daily Yacht Boat News

Barcelona World Race ~ Touching distance

Barcelona World Race – The finish line is within touching distance for One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton, with Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa embarking on their final night at sea.

They are forecast to arrive in Barcelona in fourth place tomorrow evening (April 8), and have around 250 miles left to sail to Barcelona. Behind them in fifth place, We Are Water is now around 85 miles behind.

Both teams encountered 35-38 knot north-easterly headwinds and a rough swell earlier this morning, which saw them both short tacking close to the southern Spanish shore – We Are Water at one point less than a mile off the coast of Adra, ducking into the shelter of the Gulf of Almería to change to a storm sail. The manoeuvre also required them to untangle some halyards, and the combined time spent just off the beach of San Rafael saw We Are Water drop around 30 miles back from One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton – potentially erasing any remaining chance of taking fourth.

Over the course of the day the two teams headed east to clear the headland of Carthagena. We Are Water were this afternoon continuing on this easterly track in 32 knots of northeasterly pressure, while 80 miles to the north One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton are on a northerly heading approaching Alicante in around 20-25 knots.

Pedal down

However, despite their widening margin, Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa were conscious that a fickle coastal breeze in the final miles could yet erode their advantage. “We know we have a little advantage over We Are Water, we have 50 miles of advantage. And we still need to sail as fast as possible because you never know – when you arrive towards Barcelona then you normally arrive at night and then you have a calm, and the wind usually starts again from the land so they will maybe have a chance to catch us, so we need to be careful there,’ explained Aleix by video conference this morning.

The forecast is for the winds to build further over the course of this evening, throwing one final battering test at the skippers, before potentially fading to zephyr-light conditions tomorrow evening for last miles to Barcelona.

Gelabert added that the boat was holding up well to this final punishment after some 27,000 miles of sailing and that whilst he and Didac were tired, the excitement of arriving home was spurring them on.

“The boat is really in good shape. We have a little leak with closures, but only small things, and things that we can fix and we can solve without difficulties. So we are really happy with the boat, and I think it could do another Barcelona World Race easily this boat!

“Sailing in these conditions it is a little bit tiring for us, but now we are really excited to arrive and our mind is on the arrival, and that is stronger than the feeling of being tired. There’s only 30 hours more of sailing so we will be in Barcelona soon.”

Smelly fish and sticky weed

Renault Captur in sixth is on one of the longest tacks of the Barcelona World Race, with a northerly breeze now lifting Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane up towards Madeira. There is potentially more than 1,100 miles sailing on this course to reach the mouth of the Mediterranean – over the course of the day they over 11 knots of boat speed in 20 knot winds.

Spirit of Hungary is also in good north-easterly trades, with what appears to be a straightforward track to Gibraltar. As the seventh and final boat on the course their ETA to Barcelona is in around two week’s time, from April 21.

However, Conrad Colman and Nandor Fa remain plagued by flying fish, and Sargasso weed. Fa reporting today: “The seaweed-matter is unchanged. We are already at the 12th latitude, and we’ve been having seaweed since 2° South. That’s 850 miles, roughly 1500km, how much seaweed is this? I wouldn’t want to be a fisherman here.

“Our curt little summer is over, we need to wear clothes during the day too, and in the night we have to seriously dress up. Though the water is still 21°C, the air is only warm while the sun is up. My hope, that the seaweed would disappear with the drop in water temperature, is dead. The weed’s shape and appearance has changed, they are much bigger and float randomly solo, not forming islands, probably because of the wind and waves. But they are still good at sticking on the boat! A little less, but we still have to stop the boat from time to time to get rid of them.”

Rankings Tuesday 7th April at 1400hrs UTC

Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm – J. Le Cam) – finished 25/03/2015 at 17:50:25 UTC in 84d 05h 50min 25s
Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) finished 30/03/2015 at 23:47:00 UTC in 89d 11h 47min
GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marín) finished 01/04/2015 at 17:09:28 UTC in 91d 05h 9min 28s
One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 249.3 miles to Barcelona
We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 84.8 miles to leader
Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 1404.3 miles to leader
Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 2205.9 miles to leader
ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)

Skippers quotes: 

Aleix Gelabert, One Planet One Ocean and Pharmaton 

“We are really excited to arrive in Barcelona. So for the last days we are thinking about our arrival so I think we are getting ready for whatever is there, so we are very excited and prepared for everything. 

“We know we have a little advantage over We Are Water, we have 50 miles of advantage. And we still need to sail as fast as possible because you never know – when you arrive towards Barcelona then you normally arrive at night and then you have a calm, and the wind usually starts again from the land so they will maybe have a chance to catch us, so we need to be careful there. 

“The boat is really in good shape. We have a little leak with closures, but only small things, and things that we can fix and we can solve without difficulties. So we are really happy with the boat, and I think it could do another Barcelona World Race easily this boat! 

“Sailing in the se conditions it is a little bit tiring for us, but now we are really excited to arrive and our mind is on the arrival, and that is stronger than the feeling of being tired. There’s only 30 hours more of sailing so we will be in Barcelona soon. 

“For the next few hours we will probably sail north, as north as possible.” 

Nandor Fa, Spirit of Hungary 

“I heard an impact, then heavy thrashing… I go outside, and there it is under the rope bag. I take its wing and throw it back to the water. There is another one next to it, not making any movements any more. I throw the latter one back too. By the time I get back into the cabin, I hear the sound of an impact, little silence, then thrashing. I go out, it landed on the side of the cabin, in quite a bad shape but still alive, it goes back in. Here we have some of those too, which landed earlier but I didn’t realise in time. I flick them to the water too. Every three or five minutes a flying fish arrives, w hich has misjudged the runway – most of them pay with their lives. They are not too big, around 15 cm, but I wouldn’t eat them even if they were bigger. They are frigging smelly! The fish smell would not come out of the pot if I cooked them. Earlier I gave it a shot, but I regretted it afterwards. 

“The seaweed-matter is unchanged. We are already at the 12th latitude, and we’ve been having seaweed since 2° South. That’s 850 miles, roughly 1500km, how much seaweed is this? I wouldn’t want to be a fisherman here. 

“Our curt little summer is over, we need to wear clothes during the day too, and in the night we have to seriously dress up. Though the water is still 21°C, the air is only warm while the sun is up. My hope, that the seaweed would disappear with the drop in water temperature, is dead. The weed’s shape and appearance has changed, they are much bigger and float randomly solo, not forming islands, probably because of the wind and waves. But they are still good at sticking on the boat! A little less, but we still have to stop the boat from time to time to get rid of them.”

by sail-world.com

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