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Barcelona World Race

November 20, 2010

Hugo Boss, 2nd place last time; to be co-skippered by brit Alex Thompson and Kiwi, Andy Meiklejohn.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Barcelona World Race will be the sailing event of 2011 (Kick off – New Years Eve 2010). This will only be the second edition but judging by the quality of the field this has already eclipsed other world races and is frankly second only to the Vendee Globe.

So why has this event established itself in the world sailing calendar? The Barcelona World Race is co-skippered which means the Open 60 yachts, the F1 machines of the sailing world, go full-on round the world with someone at the helm the whole time. The yachts can be pushed to their limits and sailed ‘on the edge’ 24/7! The Vendee Globe, of course, provides the ultimate single handed challenge, which means the yachts sail on auto-pilot whilst the skipper sleeps with an inevitable compromise in speed. There is a fine balance between speed and attrition, ‘if you want to win, first you must finish’. So, the Barcelona World Race is well timed, midway between the Vendee editions and provides great preparation for the Vendee aspirants. New yachts are tested to the limits on the race track, providing a great opportunity to expose weaknesses before the big event. On the Barcelona however, you have a mate on board to share a cup to tea!

So it’s fast and furious and arguably more dangerous. Remember, more people have scaled Everest than sailed the Southern Ocean. We can expect plenty of drama – dismasts, broken keels and lost yachts (but hopefully crew safe with modern communication and equipment, such as EPIRB’s). We can expect the monohull round the world record to be broken.

Over the next few weeks during the build up to the event I will be introducing the teams and their boats and explaining how, with the power of the internet, it’s possible to follow the daily drama as it unfolds. And what a great way to keep the sail juice flowing over the winter!

[HOEOCA offers low cost yachting for experienced sailors and beginners. Our yacht cruising programme includes the legendary November Rally, the Spring Rally and the curiously named Hot Hot Hot! Alternatively, blast the cobwebs and test your ollies with some lively, competitive Racesailing on the Solent near Portsmouth!

New membership is welcome, including yacht owners and keen crew with a genuine interest in offshore yachting. Membership (+18 years) is just £27.50/year. See website for more details.

HOEOCA has an informal Social Evening on the first Tuesday every month at 8pm; adding Training and a monthly Speaker Nights covering a range of sailing topics during the winter. Speaker nights are usually on third Thursday at 8pm. We are located at Berkswell and Balsall Common Sports Association Clubhouse, Meeting House Lane, Balsall Common, West Midlands, CV7 7GE, UK.]

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