The first decision time
Going into the first night of the Barcelona World Race – and the Eve of 2015 – it is Jean Le Cam and Bernard Stamm on ‘Cheminées Poujoulat’ who hold the opening day’s advantage, leading the fleet past the Spanish city of Tarragona.
On their tail are Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín, with GAES Centros Auditivos just half a mile behind. Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes have moved up to third in the rankings, slightly to the east on Hugo Boss. Renault Captur, now in fourth, lies about 2.5 miles behind this group. Neutrogena holds the fifth place, around 7 miles east of the leading trio. One Planet One Ocean Pharmaton has also gained a place, with Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa following the leading boats’ line. In seventh and eighth place, We Are Water and Spirit of Hungary are around 15 miles north-east of the front-runners. Most have picked up more pressure in the past hour, and are averaging around 11-13 knots.
One question which looks likely to be answered by the close of 2014 is whether any boats will opt for a more easterly route, bidding to reach the Tramontana wind for a potentially faster – but high-risk – ride to the Balearics, or whether they will continue along the Spanish coast line and rhumbline? With the first boats to exit the Straits of Gibraltar potentially gaining an early advantage there may be significant temptation to break away from the fleet, but with 24,000 miles to go the 16 skippers may not consider it the right moment to make any radical moves.
Follow the race:
See the Barcelona World Race Leaderboard, Tracking, Weather Guide, TV schedule and much more at http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/race-live. Tracker positions are updated at 0500, 0900, 1400 and 1900hrs (UTC).
Ranking at 19:00 UTC December 31, 2014:
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm - J Le Cam) 23,392.1 miles from the finish
2 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella - G Marino) 0.4 miles to leader
3 Hugo Boss (A Thomson - Ribes P) 1.1 miles to leader
4. Renault Captur (J Riechers - S Audigane) 2.8 miles to leader
5 Neutrogena (G Altadill - Muñoz J) 6.3 miles to leader
6 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert - Costa D) 10.8 miles to leader
7 We Are Water (B Garcia - Garcia W) 15.2 miles to leader
8 Spirit of Hungary (N F - C Colman) 16.3 miles to leader