In Spain, the Barcelona World Race is a big deal! Starting on December 31, 2010, it’s a race that has two skippers on a boat, challenging other skippers with a round the world, non-stop sailing tour that starts and ends in Barcelona. The race is essentially the first two-crew regatta around the world and it is creating a major buzz in Europe.
Television stations will cover the departure will be outside the Hotel W in Barcelona and will cover 250,000 nautical miles or 46,300 km of water. The course is a round the world trip via the “three cape route.” This means that the yachts will leave Barcelona towards the Gibraltar Strait (Spain and Gilbraltar), go south on the Atlantic, port at the Capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn (South Africa), to the Cook Strait (New Zealand). This is the Great Circle Route, which is the shortest possible distance across the world on water.
In addition to the being the first yacht to arrive back to the start, there will also be trophies for speed during certain lengths between the longitudinal points of the passages.
The yachts have been engineered and designed using the very best propellers and parts, but designers have been given freedom in the overall design as long as the IMOCA Open 60 yachts meets specifications. Many high luxury design and fashion companies have taken an interest in sponsoring these teams.
Fans will be able to track their favourite teams in real time via the GPS tracking system on each yacht that will show its location on the official website. Viewers can view rankings, weather conditions and predictions online in addition to typical media content like videos and commentary.
The race takes place every four years only and the winner of the first edition of the Barcelona World Race (2006) was the Paprec-Virbac 2 with crew members Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall, who finished in 92 days, 9 hours, 49 minutes and 49 seconds with an average speed 11.13 knots. This year’s winner should land in Barcelona again sometime in March 2011!