First Among Equals
Barcelona World Race prizegiving takes place
Barcelona's historic Maritime Museum was the perfect venue this afternoon for the prizegiving and awards ceremony for the 2014-15 Barcelona World Race. The reception honoured all of the eight pairs of skippers who competed in the race, particularly highlighting the top three finishers: Cheminées Poujoulat, Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. On behalf of the organisers and the skippers, thanks were extended to all of the sponsors and supporters of the event which combines sport with adventure, science and education.
All of the schools, universities and scientific institutions which collaborated with the different programmes and initiatives of the Barcelona World Race were afforded special recognition.
Jean Le Cam (FRA) was crowned IMOCA Ocean Masters World Champion, the IMOCA World Championship concluding with this 2014-15 Barcelona World Race. Second was Bernard Stamm (SUI) and third, Guillermo Altadill (ESP.
The ceremony opened with one minute's silence observed in memory of the victims of a tragic school shooting in Barcelona yesterday and for the loss of lives in the Mediterranean on Sunday.
The key awards were presented by Jean Kerhoas, the president of the IMOCA class, Sir Keith Mills, president of Open Sports Management, the organisers of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship by Xavier Carbonell, managing director of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona, by José Ángel Rodríguez, president of the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation and by Xavier Torres, president of the Catalan Sailing Federation.
Jean Pierre Dick, the French skipper who won the first two editions of the Barcelona World Race was in attendance, choosing to visit the prizegiving to honour his peers.
A key event for Barcelona
The Mayor of the Catalan capital Xavier Trias did not attend the awards ceremony because of official mourning, but sent a message of support, highlighting the importance of the Barcelona World Race for the city:
"This edition of the Barcelona World Race has become a benchmark of how to project to society the values of sport and the knowledge of an event at the highest level. The city of Barcelona is good at this way of communicating sport, knowing how to develop and add value value to the usually elite business of ocean racing."
The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of trophies to athletes. The winners of the race, Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, accepted the warm applause of their rivals and peers which honoured their extraordinary race aboard Cheminées Poujoulat, setting the new reference time of 84 days 05 hours, 50 minutes and 25 seconds.
The other podium finishers, second placed Neutrogena of Guillermo Altadill and José Muñoz, and the third placed GAES Centros Auditivos of Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín received loud applause when they accepted their prizes. But all of the eight teams were recognised, not least for their collaboration in scientific projects commissioned by various institutions such as UNESCO. So skippers of One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton, the We Are Water, the Renault Captur, the Spirit of Hungary and also Hugo Boss also received their awards.
The reception just after midday with a the welcome and appreciation of the sponsors of the teams and the event. Cheminées Poujoulat, sponsor of the winner, was represented by its Director of Communication and Promotion, Benoit Bodineau. Neutrogena had Myriam Nissim, Brand Manager in attendance. Conchita Gassó represented GAES Centros Auditivos Boehringer Ingelheim had Santi Cull, Director of Communications and Public Affairs there. Xavier Torras, director of We Are Water has attended the event as part of this foundation. Renault had Luis Subías, director of Renault Retail Group Barcelona, and Javier Sánchez-Oliva, Head of External Communications and Public Relations for Renault in Spain. The Damm Group was represented by marketing director, Jaume Alemany.
On behalf of educational and scientific institutions Jordi Serra is delegate rector for Sustainability at the University of Barcelona; Agustí Mallofré Martin, Dean of Institutional Relations at the School of Nautical Studies Barcelona at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya; Josep Trigo is of the Chief Development Advisory Council of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra; Jordi Teixidó, dean of IQS; Javier Peña, head of the Degree Courses in Engineering from the Escola Elisava; Gemma Amat, director of the Escola Massana Centre of Art and Design; Albert Palanques, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences, CSIC; Jordi Baldrich, vice Management Community Services of the Generalitat de Catalunya; Gualis Bethlehem, the Chiron-Teknon, medical director of the Barcelona World Race Medical Center; Luis Valdés, director of Ocean Sciences Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.