A moment to reflect

Last night was a time for celebration for Bruno and Willy Garcia, who finished the Barcelona World Race in fifth place, and for the fellow competitors who greeted them. But after greeting their loved ones, there was also some time to reflect on their achievements at a busy, lively press conference, while the designer of One Planet One Ocean & Pharmton praises the skippers. In the Atlantic, Renault Captur is forecast to reach Gibraltar on April 12 and Spirit of Hungary is racing to be back for the prizegiving on April 21

News APR 10, 2015 15:59

Bruno was particularly keen to pay tribute to Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa, with whom they shared such prolonged and close competition for fourth place: “One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton had the better race, I think they deserve it, and it is the only bittersweet part, but everything is compensated by the arrival and by a dream come true which is doing the round the world race with my little brother, a fantastic round the world, very tough, very intense.

“It made our days fly by. There were days that we said to each other: ‘How can that be, it's night again?’ It has been phenomenal. Then the result... we would have liked to win, because we are competitors, but it has been very good. After all, this is a race. We have really had one hell of a race.”

Asked to pick their most memorable moments from the race, both struggled. “There are many,” commented Willy, “From crossing Cape Horn to the first days in the Southern Ocean, the first low, the first front, the climb north, crossing the Straits of Gibraltar again, the truth is they are many different emotions. There are also bad days, when you have a low on top of you, the tension and worry. I mean, I could not pick just one moment. Today, the day of the arrival, the start, the aurora...”

A significant highlights for both was the fact that hey completed the race non-stop.

“From the team and boat points of view, it is a 10, it could not be done better. Despite having such a short time, we were so well prepared, and arriving... we haven't made any pit-stop, we haven't stopped! We have been able to manage with the technical teams' advice so, I think this is a 10, it is impossible to do better,” commented Bruno.

The other unique element to their voyage is, of course, that they did it together as brothers. Willy Garcia: “I know him very well. Obviously I know him better now, but I also know myself better now, and I think he knows himself much better. You go through many adverse or tense situations, that you get to know yourself much better.”

The legend lives on

With the end of each team’s race, the history of each boat gains another chapter. Merfyn Owen of Owen Clarke Design designed the oldest boat in the race, One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaaton back in 2000 before Ellen MacArthur famously sailed her to second place in the 2000-01 Vendee Globe (as Kingfisher). Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa sailed her to fourth place. Owen responded to Gelabert’s modest assertion that they had not contributed to the legend of the boat, saying: “Alex is wrong. I think he and Didac have made the legend bigger. What they've achieved given their experience before this race is remarkable, and they did it without stopping and only 14 days behind one of the latest Open 60s.

“No one has a God-given right to make it around the world in a racing sailboat, that's challenge enough but to have done it in style like this, they deserve to be very proud of themselves... average 11.8 knots!”

Back in the Atlantic

But the Barcelona World Race is not over yet. Sixth-placed Renault Captur today passed the 1,000-mile mark to the finish and is currently around 380 miles from Gibraltar. Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane are expected to pass through the Straits on Monday, April 12th., although the northerlies they have been reaching east in look set to fade thanks to a dissipating low pressure system south-west of Portugal. Renault Captur was this afternoon making 11.8 knots of boatspeed (1400hrs UTC), but likely to sail into winds of just 5-10 knots over the next 24 hours.

Spirit of Hungary, meanwhile, is back on a northerly track having tacked twice in the past 24 hours, around 620 miles south-west of the Canaries. This morning Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman also broke through 2,000-miles to the finish, and are currently expected at Gibraltar around April 16th. The challenge for the seventh-placed team is to arrive in Barcelona by April 21, when the prizegiving for the Barcelona World Race will be held with the 14 fellow skippers. Spirit of Hungary continues to make steady progress at 9-10 knots, with trade winds expected to strengthen over the course of this afternoon and into tomorrow.

We Are Water press conference, skippers’ quotes:

Bruno Garcia:One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton had the better race, I think they deserve it, and it is the only bittersweet part, but everything is compensated by the arrival and by a dream come true which is doing the round the world race with my little brother, a fantastic round the world, very tough, very intense.

Best memories?

Willy Garcia:My best moment, just one special memory? There are many…. From crossing Cape Horn to the first days in the Southern Ocean, the first low, the first front, the climb North, crossing the strait of Gibraltar again, the truth is they are many different emotions. There are also bad days, when you have a low on top of you, the tension and worry. I mean, I could not pick just one moment. Today, the day of the arrival, the start, the aurora...”

Bruno:The aurora I think is a day we will remember all of our lives. I don't know if they are seen very often, but it was a spectacular night.

Their achievement:

Bruno:From the team and boat points of view, it is a 10, it could not be done better. Despite having such a short time, we were so well prepared, and arriving... we haven't made any pit-stop, we haven't stopped! We have been able to manage with the technical teams' advice so, I think this is a 10, it is impossible to do better. With hindsight, the fact we could have been fourth, it would have been the cherry on top... I don't know. We tried everything... it is more merit of the others than a lack of effort from us. We have done everything, but One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton has done it a little bit better.

Willy: I know him very well. Obviously I know him better now, but I also know myself better now, and I think he knows himself much better. You go through many adverse or tense situations, that you get to know yourself much better. Living together, we haven't had any major problems, only the little normal problems, but we had already experience of that so it was a strong point for us.

Damage to the boat:

Bruno:We have fewer sails than when we started. We have been quite short of sails. It was something that we knew could happen because we went out with old sails, and besides we have broken many electronic things but we have been able to fix them, not 100%, but we have managed. We were limping along more than we let on. We didn't want our rivals to know, but now we can say it.

The match race with One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton:

Bruno:“It made our days fly by. There were days that we said to each other: ‘How can that be, it's night again?’ It has been phenomenal. Then the result... we would have liked to win, because we are competitors, but it has been very good. After all, this is a race. We have really had one hell of a race. Maybe there are some other boats who have had less of a race than we have.”

Things they are looking forward to

Willy:We are looking forward to seeing family, friends, to eating something fresh. I even had a dream that I was going to the market to buy veggies. It is what you miss here. Maybe tomorrow I will go to the square and have that pleasure of buying something fresh. So it’s just a bit of that: being with your loved ones, friends, a shower, and eating something good.

Bruno:My answer is similar, we are brothers after all. Maybe, going with friends to climb a mountain, that is one of the things we like doing the most and which we have spent the round the world trip remembering, dreaming of and looking forward to, so we will do it for sure.