Everything is ready for the Barcelona World Race
The yachts are all moored in the Port Vell dock and the crews have received the scientific material that they will take with them on the race. The boats will be on view in the port until December 31, starting day in a race that will take them around the world without touching dry land for three months.
The eight yachts that are taking part in the Barcelona World Race, the first and only double-handed (two crew per boat) non-stop around the world event, are moored in the Port Vell dock, awaiting the start on December 31. For a week or two, however, the crews and support teams continue to prepare for what is one of the most extreme sports competitions anywhere.
Mayor Xavier Trias welcomed the competitors and handed them the scientific material that they will take with them on the race. Trias stressed that this race helps to “project our city internationally, as well as generating economic activity and jobs”. The crews received floats known as Argo, which they will cast into the sea at remote points, from where they will transmit all the information that they gather over the next seven years by satellite. The floats form part of an oceanographic research project launched by UNESCO. Argo is a system for observing temperature, salinity and currents in the Earth’s oceans at depths of up to 2,000 metres.
Extreme life aboard
The yachts taking part in the Barcelona World Race are 18 metres long and have masts as tall as ten-storey buildings. Inside, however, conditions are Spartan for a voyage that will last around three months, without touching dry land. As Bruno García, co-skipper of the yacht We Are Water, explains: “down below, everything is designed for navigation. There is just a card table and a computer, a single bunk, because whilst one steers the other rests or sleeps, and a tiny kitchen”.
The eight crews will sail some 24,000 nautical miles, passing through 12 different climatic zones and three oceans, a tremendous physical and emotional challenge. According to Anna Corbella, co-skipper of the yacht GAES Centros Auditivos and the only woman taking part in the race this year: “We will pass through really extreme zones on the planet, complicated oceans, and all that makes the race really special”. In the opinion of Pepe Ribes, co-skipper of The Hugo Boss, “the fact that the route takes us south of New Zealand makes this a very hard and fast race, but for those who truly love sailing it means a lot to return to the purist concept of the round-the-world voyage”.