The Barcelona World Race: Stars head the line up
There will be eight crews at the start, boasting some powerful duos such as Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes (Hugo Boss), Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane, as well as Bernard Stamm and Jean le Cam (Cheminées Poujoulat). The latter duo, had the opportunity to present their project on the main stage of the Nautic Paris Boat Show today, accompanied by a surprise guest in the form of French actor, François Cluzet. A real complicity has been forged between the actors and the two sailors, who have the same desire to share their dreams and their work ethic … And so the Barcelona World Race is the next major meeting in the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship. This exceptional adventure takes the form of a double-handed round the world race setting sail from Barcelona on 31 December 2014 and its organiser, the FNOB, has laid on a first-rate start and finish venue. The highly educational race village is designed to attract even the youngest sailing fans, with awareness-raising activities centring on environmental protection and the chance for visitors to discover a whole used world with tours of the boats on the pontoon. Partnership with UNESCO This first anniversary of the collaboration between IMOCA and OSM, Sir Keith Mills’ company, is the perfect opportunity to unveil an exclusive partnership with UNESCO. Initiated by the FNOB, it consists of using the IMOCA fleet to help with its observational work and collect data about the state of the oceans. During the Barcelona World Race, each crew will take with them an Argo beacon, which they will drop into the ocean between the Cape of Good Hope and the Kerguelen Island. This initiative will become par for the course on every one of the upcoming races that form part of the IMOCA Ocean Masters race circuit: Transat Jacques Vabre and Transat B to B in 2015, and the Vendée Globe in 2016.
Seven used boats This fleet will take to the water in a series of staggered launches from the spring of 2015. The first major confrontations for these oldest generation boats will be the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Transat B to B revenge match from Brazil back to Europe in the autumn of 2015. The used projects: Banque Populaire for Armel Le Cléac’h (VPLP – Verdier) Safran for Morgan Lagravière (VPLP – Verdier) Edmond de Rothschild for Sébastien Josse (VPLP – Verdier) Hugo Boss for Alex Thomson (VPLP Verdier) Saint-Michel-Virbac for Jean-Pierre Dick (VPLP – Verdier) Vento di Sardegna for Andrea Mura (VPLP Verdier) Spirit of Hungary for Nandor Fa (N. Fa & A. Dery) usedcomers A number of used projects have already seen the light of day, which augurs well for an increase in power for the IMOCA class. In all likelihood, we’ll have a fleet of 20 to 25 craft for the next Vendée Globe. Among these projects we have Armel Tripon, who’s bought Kito de Pavant’s former Groupe Bel, Yann Elies who’s just bought Marc Guillemot’s Safran and Eric Bellion from the Comme un seul homme (As one man) project aboard Marc Thiercelin’s former DCNS, a Finot Conq design from 2007.
Finally, MACIF, the winner of the last Vendée Globe is officially sold, even though the name of the happy buyer has yet to be revealed. Perhaps the surprise will be unwrapped during the Christmas festivities. Quotes: Jean Kerhoas, President of IMOCA: “The Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe concluded with victory going to François Gabart, who sailed an exemplary race within the class before setting sail for fresh horizons. We wish him all the best. The class is continuing to develop. We’ve drawn up some precise rules and everyone has agreed on the fact that they cannot be changed until the end of the next Vendée Globe. It’s a guarantee of stability, which can only assist with the further development of our class.” Peter Bayer, Managing Director of OSM: “It’s the first anniversary of our collaboration.
We’ve already managed to form bonds during the 2014 races, with a notably fine event, the used York – Barcelona, which testifies to our desire to open our arms to international horizons. The estimated media coverage for 2014 equates to around €35M. This is particularly encouraging in the search for future partners. Sir Keith Mills is eager to reaffirm his support for the IMOCA class and its 2015 programme. We’re continuing to promote the class around two key values: education and the protection of the environment.”
by MARION CARDON and BYM