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Counting Down to the Start of Barcelona World Race

Just four days to go to the start of the Barcelona World Race – 125 000 visitors to the Race Village – Ellen MacArthur and Jordi Hereu, the Mayor of Barcelona, to give the race start – James Boyd, editor of thedailysail.com, gives his form guide…

There are now just four days remaining before the start of the Barcelona World Race, the first double-handed, non-stop, race around the world. All of the boats and crews are in Barce l ona, with each working hard on their final checklist. The race course takes the teams into some of the most inhospitable conditions imaginable in the deep Southern Ocean, so immaculate preparation is essential.

The atmosphere on the Moll de la Fusta reflects the build-up to Sunday’s start. Nearly 125 000 people have now visited the race village, where they can inspect the fleet of nine Open 60′s alongside the quay. These high-tech, carbon fibre, racing machines are an impressive and colourful sight, and the crowds in Barcelona have certainly taken advantage of the opportunity to see the boats as the teams get ready to tackle the 25 000 mile race course.

On Wednesday, Dame Ellen MacArthur participated in the Fundació de Navegación Oceánica de Barcelona (Offshore Sailing Foundation) and its educational programme for the Barcelona World Race. This project will continue for the duration of the event and consists of a number of learning activities, including one where the school kids were asked to create an illustration of threatened species of wildlife, and to write a short text on ways to improve the environment and prevent climatic change.

Today, a special presentation was made at the Barcelona World Race Village in the presence of the President of the Foundation Pere Alcober, and the Spanish skipper of the boat Mutua Madrileña, Javier “Bubi” Sanso. Here, the best nine drawings and environmental messages were selected and presented to the skippers by the kids and Ellen MacArthur.

“It has been really lovely to see the kids put so much effor in; the drawings were fantastic!” Ellen sa i d. “I think projects like this can really make kids dream. We are talking about a non-stop round the world race which is leaving from their city, and something they can really be engaged in, a part of, and follow every day, and I think that makes it really special. I’m sure they will be over the moon when they see the boats come back, it will be fantastic.”

At 13:00 on Sunday the 11th November, Ellen MacArthur and Jordi Hereu, the Mayor of Barcelona, will fire a flare to signal the start of the Barcelona World Race.

A state of the art IMOCA Open 6 0 yacht that is well designed and well built; enough sea time and race miles to ensure the boat will make it all the way around the course; a competitive, experienced crew with enough knowledge to keep the wheels on – these are just a few of the key components teams will have to have if they are to stand any chance of winning the gruelling Barcelona World Race. But the likelihood is that victory in this unique double-handed round the world race will come down to one word: reliability.

There is an old adage in offshore racing – “to finish first, first you have to finish” – and in no other Open 60 race is this likely to prove truer.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 7th, 2007 at 5:11 pm and is filed under Main Stories, ocean racing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Counting Down to the Start of Barcelona World Race”

  1. BRUCE ALLEN Says:

    Would be interested in which link we can find out more information about your racers and the race itself. I am at
    Windmill Village in Punta Gorda, Florida USA…33950. We have about adozen sailboats in our boatclub and we will be starting our race season soon…WE are all over 55years of age(some of us WAY OVER), but still enjoy racing..

    Thanks Bruce

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