By tomorrow, Sunday, morning there should be five Barcelona World Race boats in the Atlantic. Due this evening, around 1930hrs UTC, are the Garcia brothers Bruno and Willy on We Are Water. Some 132 miles astern are Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa who should pass the third of the classic course's three Great Capes at around 0200hrs Sunday morning.
For all four, each of them graduates from humble beginnings in the Mini Class, the rounding of Cape Horn will be the realisation of their dreams as sailors.
Both of the two Barcelona based IMOCA 60s are expected to have moderate to fresh, rather than frightening conditions. The complicating factor is likely to be the big, leftover seas. But as soon as they are safely round they should smooth out as the westerly breezes are broken by the South American landmass.
"Now in the Atlantic we might have a chance if we choose one option or another. If there is any chance, we will try. We know it is very difficult but we will certainly try. " said Costa today.
Gelabert is set to experience Cape Horn first hand, after working on the last race as 'preparateur' (shore-side technician) with Anna Corbella and Dee Caffari'sGAES Centros Auditivos in 2010-11. He admitted today that he has taken with him a can of Coke and Popcorn so that he can envision the Cape as if he were at the cinema.
Their challenge extends beyond racing. Costa and Gelabert are collaborating on numerous oceanographic research projects as they sail round the world. These form part of the agreement set out between the FNOB and the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC), whose motto is “One Planet, One Ocean”.
The boat and crew are acting as a platform for raising environmental awareness; unique witnesses of global climate change on the world's oceans. Gelabert from Blanes, Girona and Costa from Barcelona are a great example of the career trajectory were originally supported by GAES in a “Follow your Dreams” (Persigue tus Sueños) programme as well as by the FNOB.
Meantime Neutrogena, Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz, have gained miles again on Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin and now also lead by 132 miles. Renault Captur and Spirit of Hungary will be the remaining pair in the Pacific, JorgRiechers and Seb Audigane due to round on the 10th March, ironically only 24-48 hours ahead of 2011 when Audigane rounded on a stricken Groupe Bel and then had to retire into Ushuaia with keel damage on the 10th March four years ago.
Aleix Gelabert (ESP) One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton:"We have 20kts from behind and the last hours we have been reaching in 40kts and so we had some tought conditions for the last few hours but now it is quieter. We are more relaxed and just focused on arriving at Cape Horn. We think we will arrive there in about 24hours, maybe a little less if we are lucky with the winds, but more or less in 24 hours. With the meteo we expect we will arrive close to the coast, not too close to the shore as it will be a lee, and then pass and after that the strategy starts really.
Rankings Saturday 07 March 2015 at 1400hrs UTC