Switzerland’s Bernard Stamm and France’s Jean Le Cam have hardly stopped over the past few months, busily putting their new project into place: to take part in the third edition of the Barcelona World Race. Logics and circumstances have brought them together and now these long time rivals join forces forming an incredibly experienced tandem.
The Cheminées Poujoulat team formed by Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam has been through quite bustling days. Following two busy refit months in Brest, during which the rigging, the ballast configuration and the keel have been modified, the boat is finally back on the water. Last Tuesday the boat left the shipyard on a semi-trailer, the keel was fitted yesterday and the boat was launched today in the commercial port of the French city.
Swiss skipper Bernard Stamm is no stranger to the highs and lows of solo and short handed ocean racing. In 2012 he was devastated not to be given a finish to the Vendée Globe solo round the world race after he was inadvertently given outside assistance while making repairs in the south of New Zealand. After finishing fourth in the 2013 Transat Jacques Vabre his IMOCA 60 was lost at Christmas last year when he was on delivery back from Brazil, reporting later that ‘I swam for my life’ during an incredible rescue. He and Jeff Cuzon were rescued to the Azores from Cheminées Poujoulat during the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre.
Regularity and routine, such as they want it, has kicked in for the leaders of the Barcelona World Race as they race past the latitude of Recife, Brazil. Leaders Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes were 260 miles east of the NE corner of Brazil and closest challengers Neutrogena, Guillermo Altadill and José Munoz are now about 80 miles further inshore. There is still very little to separate the two IMOCA 60’s in what is essentially a boat speed race, straight line, on a close reach in the SE’ly trade winds, scrolling parallel lines down the South Atlantic chart.
News from Guillermo Altadill on Neutrogena, as both father and son look set to face the Southern Ocean: "The waves have increased in height, wind in intensity and the noise in decibels. The Indian Ocean reminds us who's really in charge here; we take high pressures as a break that our adversary offers us, so we can breathe, recover and gain strength.