100 days at sea

The four skippers still competing in the Barcelona World Race have been at sea for over 100 days. For Renault Captur, it is their final day in the Atlantic – Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane are expected to pass through the Straits of Gibraltar in the small hours of tomorrow morning, while for Spirit of Hungary it is time to mark the milestone and look back over 100 days of ocean racing

News APR 11, 2015 17:40

Renault Captur is just 80 miles from the Tarifa, with Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane set to become the sixth team to pass through the Straits of Gibraltar in this edition of the Barcelona World Race early tomorrow morning, likely 0400-0600 UTC.

The German-French duo have had a straightforward approach in solid north-easterlies, but Riechers and Audigane have seen their speed reduce in the Gulf of Cádiz with easing pressure and are currently sailing directly east at just under 7 knots.

As ever the narrow funnel between Africa and Europe looks set to complicate life for the pair, with one of the busiest commercial shipping lanes in the world, and a forecast fresh easterly. Once in the Mediterranean, the customary unpredictable conditions look set to carry them to Barcelona on April 15th.

100 days of the Barcelona World Race

2.5 days on land during our New Zealand technical stop

Miles sailed: 25,640

Litres of diesel used: 60*

Miles per gallon: 1,855

Average speed 10.6

Litres per 100km: 0.12

Animals seen: Dolphins, albatross, sooty petrels, gannets, flying fish in their thousands, squid, Portuguese man of war jelly fish and several types of unknown (to us) sea birds. No whales, sharks or giant squid sadly.

Number of times hit by a flying fish: 1, and that was enough!

Fishing nets caught on keel: 2

Biggest fishing fleet: 30 Chinese squid fishing boats next to the Falkland Islands

Times up the mast: More than 20

Full moon cycles: 3

Amazing sunsets: 50

Times I’ve asked myself “What am I doing here?” – several!

Salt water bucket showers: 12

Max/ Minimum sea temperature: 28.2/5.4° Degrees Celcius

Best freeze dried food: Spinach with farfalle pasta in a gorgonzola sauce. Yum!

Worst freeze dried: Pasta Bella Italiana – i.e. little noodles in a gooey white sauce. No texture, no taste. Yuk!

Freeze dried meals consumed: 224

Preserved food to be consumed in the next 6 months: Zero!

* We use diesel to run the engine to charge the batteries. The engine is never used to drive the boat forwards.

So Conrad Colman dissects the past three months of racing. Some of the statistics are more telling than others – more than 20 trips up to the top of Spirit of Hungary’s 29-metre high mast for example, is not a record any short-handed ocean racer would welcome. The monotony of the food is unavoidable. The spectacular sunsets and wildlife, however, are privileges only earned by those who sail over 25,000 miles.

Some 1,200 miles from Gibraltar 1,200 and 1,760 from the finish in Barcelona, Spirit of Hungary is this afternoon sailing about 500 miles west of the Canary Islands, at just under 7 knots on a north-easterly heading. Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman may expect a challenging day of light winds before the trades intensify again on Monday to accelerate their passage to the Strait. They are scheduled to arrive at Gibraltar around the morning of April 16th, and in Barcelona on April 20th.

Rankings Saturday 11th April at 1400hrs UTC

  1. Cheminées Poujoulat (B. Stamm - J. Le Cam) - finished 25/03/2015 at 17:50:25 UTC in 84d 05h 50min 25s
  2. Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) finished 30/03/2015 at 23:47:00 UTC in 89d 11h 47min
  3. GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marín) finished 01/04/2015 at 17:09:28 UTC in 91d 05h 9min 28s
  4. One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) finished 08/04/2015 at 21: 12:09 in 98d 09h 12min 09sec
  5. We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) finished 09/04/15 at 15:06:28 UTC in 99d 3h 6min 28s
  6. Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 610 miles to Barcelona
  7. Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 1150 miles to leader
    ABD Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)