Columbus welcomes the Barcelona World Race teams
Barcelona's famous statute of seafarer Christopher Columbus welcomed the eight IMOCA 60s which will compete in the third edition of the Barcelona World Race this afternoon as the fleet answered the December 11th deadline, lining up along the race dock. As the winter sunshine maintained pleasant daytime temperatures, the race fleet assembled on cue, ready to make final preparations for the start gun of the two-handed non-stop round the world race which will sound at 1300hrs local time on Wednesday December 31st.
By afternoon the fleet was all tied up to the race dock which is at the Portal de la Pau, just a matter of 50 metres from the Columbus statue, the famous Barcelona landmark. The race dock officially opens tomorrow Friday in readiness for the weekend. An extensive visitor centre is adjacent to the race dock, but people will be able to walk the pontoon where the international fleet of IMOCA 60s is moored. Depending on their schedule and movements there will be a good chance of seeing and meeting the skippers and their technical teams as they prep their boats, making ready for this huge sporting and human challenge.
The Barcelona World Race dock will open at midday Friday and thereafter from 1000hrs to 2000hrs each day. It is over 100 metres long and 12 metres wide, allowing the eight IMOCA 60s to be lined up. Each is over 18 metres long with a mast 30 metres high. And inevitably all the final preparations will be in close public view, allowing a great insight into the last days and hours pre-start.
GAES Centros Auditivos of Anna Corbella (ESP) and Gerard Marín (ESP), Hugo Boss of Alex Thomson (GBR) and Pepe Ribes (ESP), One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton of Aleix Gelabert (ESP) and Didac Costa (ESP), Renault Captur of Jörg Riechers (GER) and Sébastien Audigane (FRA) and Spirit of Hungary of Nandor Fa (HUN) and Conrad Colman (NZL) were the most punctual and were already moored at the pontoon.
Cheminées Poujoulat of Bernard Stamm (SUI) and Jean Le Cam (FRA) took their spot in the afternoon after being moored 100 metres away at the RCNB. Neutrogena of Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and José Muñoz (CHI) were slightly delayed by very light winds but were in place this afternoon in the heart of Altadill's home city. And finally, the as yet unnamed IMOCA 60 of the Spanish brothers Bruno and Willy Garcia, the last team to enter the race, were on the other side of the harbour in the FNOB technical area repairing a spreader which was damaged in strong winds. They will announce their sponsor imminently.