The rustle of the waves, bright eyes of the public, competition spirit these are the first factors that stick out a mile when you have an opportunity to contemplate a great regatta. This time we, at aBoatTime, are proud to bring you some information about one of the most significant sailing venues in Spain – Barcelona World Race 2014-2015. Are you curious?…Enjoy!

Charming Barcelona

Charming Barcelona

The history of this regatta goes back to 2007-2008 when the first edition took its place. Then, in 2010-2011 there was the second round.  One of the most interesting peculiarities is that it’s the first double-handed or two-crew regatta worldwide. Also, Barcelona World Race sometimes requires outside assistance, however, it depends on the rules and penalties. This regatta goes without any stops that makes it even more challenging. The route stretches around the world. As about the organizational level, this high level nautical competition forms part of the IMOCA calendar with 8 points in the rating. Barcelona World Race 2014-2015 is sponsored and organised by the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona.

Barcelona World Race 2014-2015 will begin in December 31st 2014 in front of the Hotel W that is located just opposite the Port. The estimated duration of the regatta is about 3 months, so the winners are expected to come back at the end of March 2015. According to the initial plan, the route will run through several spectacular spots such as Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait with 25,000 nautical miles in total. This length is equal to around 46,300 km which can be performed as one of the shortest distances for such kind of international competitions. However, crossing the world is not an easy task and the distance is impressive.

Participants of this serious nautical venue will cover 12 climatic zones within the race and will need to adapt and prepare their boats to different climatic fluctuations. In particular, this regatta contains several barriers to overcome, to give you an example, just imagine how difficult is it to cross the Gibraltar Strait keeping with all  its unstable currents.

Below you will find the main milestones of the race:

The route

The route

1. Barcelona – Gibraltar Strait

This is the first stage of the regatta that consists of about 530 nautical miles in total.The route stretches across the Mediterranean sea relatively nearby the coastline. From the one hand, this detail makes it easier to track the overall boats performance, however, from the other hand, it brings more complexity with the weather predictions. This phase is very challenging due to the number of reasons, but also because being the very beginning of the race it launches the competition spirit and gives an idea about a boats potential.

2. The passage through the Gibraltar Strait

The next insidious milestone prepares even more difficulties for every boat since the moment it enters the Gibraltar Strait. The duration of the leg is around 640 nautical miles. Everything here highly depends on the blowing wind. Well, a good occasion to try the luck. Moreover, potentially there can be some strong storms that would significantly complicate participants’ life. So, we just can’t wait for such an exciting show meanwhile you can discover wonderful Catalan city of getting of your boat rental in Barcelona.

3. The passage through the Canaries

Overcoming the previous phase, fearless participants will face a new challenge due to the wind variations. If everything goes smoothly, there won’t be any real problems, however, if the intensity significantly increases, all the skippers will put all their forces to deal with it in order to follow the established course and perform in the most efficient way. At the same time, every boat should be really careful approaching the Canary archipelago because of the geographical peculiarities and changeable weather conditions.

4. Canaries to the Equator

On this stage all the participants will be free to choose the route, meaning that some inclinations are permitted. Precisely, they have a choice to cross or not the Equatorial lulls. Normally, according to the initial plan, the boats should come closer to the coastline. So, the total distance variation can reach up to 200 nautical miles. Well, let’s leave this issue to the experienced sailors because they know better which route to choose taking into consideration the boats technical characteristics, weather conditions and the current situation during the race.

5. Passing the Equator

Step by step the middle of the regatta will be reached. During this phase it’ll become more clear who is who on the arena that will make us reflect even more about the end of the competition. To mention, this milestone especially stands out by the almost absence of the  wind. In fact, the main part of the year the winds are practically unnoticeable over the region.  The ‘Doldrums’ is the most difficult part where racers will need to overcome a ring of sophisticated lulls forming a natural barrier for adventurers.

6. The Equator to the Cape of Good Hope

The Equator represents a new step because crossing it regatta participants automatically will enter another semisphere. South Atlantic do has some differences from the Northern part even though the line that divides them is not visible. This leg occupies between 3,200 and 3,600 miles. The main attention should be paid to the sailing conditions keeping in mind possible anticyclones, tides and other wind variations.

7. Crossing the Southern Ocean

5,000 miles of this leg will test the strength of the racers. They should be able to demonstrate stamina and vitality so necessary qualities to cross perhaps the most difficult stretch of the regatta which is spread out from the Cape of Good Hope to South Tasmania. The weather forecast isn’t really optimistic because this region is well-known by its unpredictability with occasionally cold and wet conditions.

8. South Pacific to Cape Horn

The present stage will be the beginning of the end or, simply speaking, the race will enter to the final phase. The total length is around 4,000 miles with potential threat of fog and strong winds. Special attention should be paid around the Cape Horn due to the changeable winds from the Andes.

9. Cape Horn to the Equator

Overcoming around 4,000 nautical miles brings more challenges for already tired racers. They have to decide some many things, basically, to be flexible to make inclinations from the initial strategy because the tactics requires occasional revisions. The most difficult issue is how to avoid anticyclones, successfully pass by Falkland islands and along the Brazilian coastline.

10. The Equator to the Gibraltar Strait

Slightly more than 2,500 miles nearby the Azores islands will give us some food for thought. Here again, the most complicated task is to catch the right wind and follow the tactics keeping in mind the distances between the entries.

11. Gibraltar Strait – Barcelona

The last and the most exciting and worrying leg. Sailing conditions are similar to the first stage.

So, as you can see, each stage is a new challenge for the participants. Some of them will perform better since the very beginning, others will keep their forces till the end and several boats will definitely surprise us. Well, regatas are like a mystery, we can make some predictions and build hypothesis, however, our mind should be ready for any unpredictable and astonishing result. It’s like in the real life, probably, that’s why, in aBoatTime, we are keen on sailing and everything it implies, such as yacht charter. We can’t wait watching this significant nautical event. Do you share our passion?

Many thanks to the official webpage: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org.