Points on the scoreboard for the new Barcelona World Race
The Barcelona World Race 2018/19 reveals another new feature: rankings will be by points and not by time taken across both legs. The new system is aimed at boosting the competitive edge of the round the world regatta.
The fourth edition of the Barcelona World Race, which sets off on the 12th January 2019, will have two legs (Barcelona – Sydney – Barcelona) and teams will be able to change co-skipper for the second leg. These two significant new features seek to enhance competition, to open up ocean sailing to a broader group of sailors and to expand the international horizons of the regatta. In the recently-published Notice of Race, the Barcelona World Race unveiled further tweaks to the format: the rankings for the race would now be calculated using a points system, in the place of finishing times across the two legs.
According to Jacques Caraës, the Race Director, this system, which has already been tried and tested in other regattas divided into legs such as the Volvo Ocean Race or the Tour de France à la Voile, means a more balanced and intense sporting challenge along the length of the entire course. “The chance to fight back is still there in the second leg. Both legs, with a coefficient rating of 4.5 for the IMOCA World Championship, are worth more”.
Caraës also says that the scoreboard with ranking by points will also intensify competition: “Teams, who for example have lost a considerable amount of time during a leg because of technical issues, will have more of a chance to fight back on the leader-board and it means skippers will have more freedom to stop for repairs and maintain their competitive edge”. The Notice of Race stipulates that teams are allowed a technical stopover on each leg, with a minimum duration of 12 hours and maximum of 48 hours. The head of the Race Management Team for the Barcelona World Race also highlighted the suitability of the system for the characteristics of today’s IMOCA fleet: “The fleet is made up of boats from many different generations, with varying speeds. The points system evens out the playing field somewhat and will make it easier for the public to understand the scoring. Where teams are joint on points, the Race Committee will be able to decide on the rankings based on racing times. The organisers will also be able to uphold the additional awards for the best times for each leg”.