Barcelona World Race/ Open 60's

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    From Scuttlebutt Europe today:

    Out of the Grey and Into the Blue

    After a tough weekend Barcelona World Race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3 are now making good speed north east toward the Cook Straits.

    This afternoon they passed the latitude of the tip of the South Island, 280 miles off Cape Providence, and for the leaders this ascent of the Tasman and through the straits will not be without its challenges, but it promises to be one of the most memorable stages for Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron.

    The duo have their lead at 504 miles this afternoon over MAPFRE who crossed into the Pacific this morning, and Estrella Damm who passed from the Indian at 1420hrs UTC this afternoon.

    There have been glimpses of sunshine and often benign conditions in the south, but after three weeks in the high latitudes - spirits and moods will climb as the typically grey southern oceans vista, chill temperatures and drizzle gives way to the vibrant colours, blues and greens, and summer temperatures of New Zealand in its pomp.

    For Dick and Peyron's it will be their first sight of land since their technical stop in Brasil on 15th-16th January, for MAPFRE and Estrella Damm probably since leaving the Mediterranean five weeks ago.

    Virbac-Paprec 3 are still expected to start their passage of the Straits on Wednesday afternoon/evening. Their arrival to the northern corner looks set to become increasingly slowed by the light winds of the high pressure.

    Saturday the crews of Estrella Damm and MAPFRE reported unusually big waves at around 47 degrees south, in strong SW'ly winds, waves which were significantly bigger than those suggested on the weather forecasts for the area.

    These formations happen occasionally driven by a range of different factors, sometimes what Anglo Saxons call 'freak' waves, but are usually the result of the aggregation of different swells and wind waves.

    The weather scenario still looks generally favourable for the top three boats for their approach to the Cook Strait.
    Rankings at 1400hrs UTC Sunday 13th February

    1. Virbac-Paprec, 12162 nm to finish
    2. Mapfre, 504 nm to leader
    3. Estrella Damm Sailing Team, 627
    4. Groupe Bel, 908
    5. Renault Z.E, 1471
    6. Mirabaud, 1796
    7. Neutrogena, 1796
    8. Hugo Boss, 2091
    9. Gaes Centros Auditivos, 2189
    10. Forum Maritim Catala, 3651
    11. Central Lechera Asturiana, 3981
    12. We Are Water, 4057
    RTD FONCIA
    RTD PRESIDENT

    www.barcelonaworldrace.org
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's---V3!

    From the race site:

    Welcome to the spectacular Cook Straits

    The most dramatic stage of the course is fast approaching for Barcelona World Race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3, as Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron (FRA) approach the northerly tip of New Zealand’s South Island and prepare to cross the Cook Straits.

    Leading the Barcelona World Race by over 540 miles, the short passage through the Cook Straits – which separate the North and South Islands by just 20 miles at their narrowest point – will be something of a victorious homecoming for Virbac-Paprec 3. The latest generation IMOCA 60 was built in New Zealand at the Cookson yard in Auckland.

    For skipper Jean-Pierre Dick this will also be the second time he has led the Barcelona World Race through the iconic stage of the course: after doing so in 2007 (see pictured above) following 44 days and 32 minutes of racing he went on to win the inaugural double-handed round the world race.

    The high pressure system which has lodged itself either side of the South Island has had less effect on the leaders’ progress than anticipated, and the French pair were just 5.6 miles off Farewell Point, making 9.7 knots of boat speed at 1730 (UTC) this afternoon. They are anticipated to pass Wellington around 0800hrs in the morning of Wednesday February 16 (Barcelona time, the equivalent of Wednesday evening in New Zealand which is 12 hours ahead of the Spanish start city).

    “It's faster than expected,”wrote Jean-Pierre Dick to race organisers this afternoon. “In six or seven hours we’ll pass Farewell Point, at about 1900hrs (GMT, 2000hrs UTC) and then we have about 90 nautical miles of beating upwind into a north-westerly with lots of tacks which will take us around 12 hours. So that means we’ll be at Wellington around 0700hrs (GMT, 0800hrs UTC) on the 16th, so around 2000hrs local time (we might be on time to be on the news with Claire Chazal!)”

    Just how close they were to landfall was evident a few hours later when Jean-Pierre Dick again emailed from just off Farewell Point to say could smell a nearby farm: “No, I’m not dreaming, it really does smell of cows here! In the flesh and blood too! After so many few weeks at sea, it's weird but strangely pleasant.”
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's / V3 48hr penalty

    From the race site:


    Virbac-Paprec 3 have this evening announced an 11th-hour pit-stop into Wellington, New Zealand.

    At 2005hrs (UTC) this evening, Tuesday February 15, Virbac-Paprec 3 skipper Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) contacted Denis Horeau, Race Director of the Barcelona World Race, to report that he and co-skipper Loick Peyron (FRA) wished to make a technical stop in Wellington, having broken two mainsail batten cars in the previous hour as they reefed the mainsail.

    The batten cars are an essential part on the IMOCA 60, holding the mainsail to the mast. Virbac-Paprec 3 report that they have already used their other spare batten car to repair a breakage shortly after Recife, where the team first made a technical stop to fix damage to the mainsheet track. They will also take the opportunity to work on some other wear and tear incurred during the race.

    The stopover is unscheduled and Virbac-Paprec 3 have no technical support crew in Wellington. The only team member present in New Zealand is team manager Luc Talbourdet who was there to greet the crew during their anticipated passage close to shore. However Luc Bartissol, who was the technical manager for the build of their previous boat, Paprec-Virbac 2, lives in New Zealand and will be assisting with the repair. Other suppliers who were involved in the build of Virbac-Paprec 3 will also be called in to help.

    The race rules state that any stopover after 140 degrees East must be for a minimum duration of 48 hours once the boat arrives at the dock. This is unlike Virbac-Paprec 3’s previous stopover in South America, after which they were able to depart and resume racing as soon as the repairs had been made good.

    The current Barcelona World Race leaders had rounded the top of Farewell Spit at the north-eastern edge of New Zealand’s South Island at 1815hrs this evening, en route to Cook Strait, a compulsory leg of the course which takes the fleet past the capital city, Wellington.

    Virbac-Paprec 3 are expected to arrive in Wellington at some point over the course of tonight (European time, equivalent to the during the day of Wednesday 16 February, New Zealand local time).

    Jean-Pierre Dick spoke to his team by telephone this evening, saying: "We replaced the two broken pieces late this afternoon. We have no more spares to finish the race and have no confidence in the replacements. So we have a sword of Damocles over our heads because they are indispensible for us to complete the second half of the circumnavigation. Without them, we cannot sail. To continue is to take a big risk. Stopping is the best solution even if it's a tough decision because it means a 48-hour time penalty. We need to restart at virtually the same time as our pursuers. It's a new race that starts then, just as we have known in Recife! We won’t give up...”
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's / V3 48hr penalty-OVER!

    V3 is on her way again still 150 miles ahead of second after 48hrs dead stopped! Go V3!

    At 1111hrs on the dot, or 2311 in Wellington, Virbac Paprec-3 left the dock under engine.

    The team reported that Jean-Pierre Dick took the helm while Loïck Peyron prepared to hoist the mainsail – in less than an hour, they would be sailing in the Pacific Ocean.

    Virbac-Paprec 3 restarts the Barcelona World Race around 150 miles ahead of second-placed MAPFRE, who are currently nearing the top of Farewell Point, on New Zealand’s South Island
     
  5. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    Mapfre, another "foiler"(angled foils* for a small amount of vertical lift) has decided not to stop in NZ since they are relatively closer to V3 (161 miles) than they have been since the race start and because they are 221 or so miles ahead of Estrella.....

    * top of board outboard-opposite of the traditional daggerboards on Open 60's.

    http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/index.php


    CNN International story on the race: http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2011/02/17/main.sail.feb.2011.bk.a.cnn
     
  6. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    Estrella Damm has broken their forestay just a few miles from Wellington,NZ:

    Damm will stop in Wellington
    Estrella Damm have confirmed this morning that they will make a technical stopover in Wellington after their forestay is reported to have broken and their Solent furling drum.

    “We were 15 miles from the southerly point of Cook with Bel five miles behind when the forestay broke. The mast stayed up because of the staysail and the Code Zero stays. The Solent furling drum is also in two pieces. It is impossible to repair this with the material we have on board, we have to make a stop in Wellington to repair and to be able to continue. It is a big disappointment to us. We will also benefit from the stop to repair and make sure the boat is in a state for what is to follow.”
    Reported Alex Pella to Race Direction this morning.

    The incident happened around 2100hrs last night (and is clearly visible on the tracking).

    This morning Estrella Damm was sailing in just under 11kts of breeze, making upwind and are around 70 miles from Wellington. When the problem happened they are reported to have been sailing in 18kts breeze, sailing upwind, making around 10kts of boat speed.

    Clearly the two Barcelona skippers are disappointed but they will also consider that the incident happened close to Wellington and not in the deep south.

    Groupe Bel, who are around four miles ahead of Estrella Damm, gave an ETA for Wellington of around 2000hrs UTC this evening
    .
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    Uh Oh: V3 is only about 86 miles ahead of Mapfre and Mapfre is still going
    slightly faster.....
    --
    Update 2/22:

    Head to head drag race in the Pacific

    And still MAPFRE squeeze into Virbac-Paprec 3, the miles between the two leading boats tumbling this morning to just less than 75. This trend will continue until the two IMOCA Open 60’s are into similar wind conditions. Then it will be a straight head-to-head drag race, who is fastest wins the battle at least until the middle of the Pacific.
    The leading duo still look to be unaffected by any new or different weather features for the time being and will be on very much the same course up to the next ice-gate and beyond.One weather feature which is a concern, but unpredictable for its timing is the tropical cyclone Atu which is hovering to the NW of New Zealand and will accelerate SE. That rate of speed increase is hard to model at the moment.
     
  8. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    From race headquarters:

    Mapfre at max speed!

    MAPFRE’s challenge for the leadership of the Barcelona World Race continues this evening, with Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) just 31 miles behind Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron (FRA) on Virbac-Paprec 3.


    Fast reaching conditions have turned this stage of the track into a speed trial between the two as they head on a parallel north-easterly course towards the Western Pacific Gate. At this evening’s 2000hrs update Virbac-Paprec 3 had the edge, at 17.7 knots to MAPFRE’s 17.4, but over the course of the afternoon the Spanish duo averaged a full knot faster than their rivals, also making them the fastest on course, prompting Xabi Fernández to comment this afternoon: “We are now in the same waters with the same wind... and I'm not sure if they don't have a problem to be honest. It's almost as if they are sailing with a smaller jib...”

    He added: “We'll get to the gate tomorrow and in theory we'll be hoisting the spinnaker this afternoon and we should have another couple of days downwind with 25 knots or so. We'll see, but the good thing is that since we are so close it won't be a case of them catching different breeze to us and getting away. If they go a bit faster they'll get a bit further away and if we go a bit faster we'll catch up with them. I hope that we can keep up the pace until Cape Horn.”



    Go V3!!
     
  9. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    from the race site: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/index.php

    Passing time? 2/24/11

    At 16 miles from Virbac-Paprec 3 this morning and holding a continued speed advantage over the long time leaders, might we see the French duo Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron overtaken at the head of the Barcelona World Race fleet for the first time since 23rd January when Dick and Peyron passed Foncia?
    And it looks like on GAES Centros Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella might also be poised to pass Hugo Boss, the two teams locked on the same miles to finish this morning.

    Virbac-Paprec 3 and MAPFRE are passing the second ice gate this morning and we should see them gybe and head to the south again which may see the speed differential even out under spinnakers? Meantime the Spanish Olympic medallists have made 492 miles in the last 24 hours to 0400hrs UTC.


    Go V3!!!


    UPDATE: 2/24/11

    The Empire Strikes Back

    And the advantage swings back to Virbac-Paprec 3 as speeds climb again between the two leading IMOCA Open 60's opening out the gap to the pack which is now slowed by a high pressure slowing them to single figure speeds. Virbac Paprec 3 has been quickest gaining a couple of miles on their Spanish counteparts
    . Together they now have a lead of over one thousand miles over third placed Renault Z.E Sailing Team, with around 2500 miles of the Pacific left to Cape Horn. In fact tomorrow they will be approximately mid way from Wellington to Cape Horn.
    Light winds are still affecting third to seventh places.
     
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    Both the leaders(V3 and Mapfre) are doing 18.8 knots in a spectacular Southern ocean drag race. These two "foilers"* are over a thousand miles ahead of the rest of the fleet and just 12 miles apart with V3 still in the lead.

    *Mapfre using angled boards for some vertical lift; V3 uses curved boards for the same reason.

    UPDATE: late 2/26/11- V3 back up to 19.2 miles ahead....


    http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/ranking/
     
  11. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    from the site:

    At the front of the fleet, the five-hourly averages are even higher, with race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3 maintaining a 19.9 knot pace over the course of the afternoon. After problems with their tracker transmission systems saw MAPFRE sailing without position reports for 15 hours, the Spanish duo of Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández have this evening reappeared back on record at 50.5 miles behind the first boat – double the distance of yesterday.

    UPDATE: 3/1/11- V3 now 79.7 miles ahead of Mapfre.
     
  12. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's / dismasting!

    The third boat to lose its mast:

    The third dismasting occurred Tuesday evening as the IMOCA Open 60 Central
    Lechera Asturiana was approximately 160 miles west of Cape Farewell,
    heading for the Cook Strait and lying in 11th place. No injuries reported,
    with the co-skippers now heading for Wellington which was 290 miles from
    their reported position.


    Race Tracker: http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/ranking/

    http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/e...tasman-and-are-heading-for-wellington-0-14226
     
  13. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    V3 passes Cape Horn

    At 1020hrs UTC this morning Virbac-Paprec 3, the leader of the Barcelona World Race passed Cape Horn. The elapsed time of the fleet’s pacemaking duo Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron since leaving Barcelona on 31st December at midday UTC is 61days 22hours 20 minutes.
    Virbac-Paprec 3 leaves the Pacific in their wake, just ahead of a strong depression which is set to bring even stronger winds to the Horn. Some 55 miles behind at the time of their passage was the second placed duo Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez on MAPFRE.

    In 2008, en route to winning the first edition of the race, Jean Pierre Dick passed Cape Horn after 59 days, 18 hours, and 20 minutes. The course for this edition is approximately 600 miles longer because of the ice and safety gates and Virbac-Paprec 3 stopped in Recife, Brazil for 13 hours to make repairs to their mainsheet track, and then a further 48 hours in Wellington to make repairs to their mainsail batten cars.

    Dick said: “It is always a magical day to pass Cape Horn, and it as you would expect it to be, especially good to be passing in first place. It is brilliant, magical. And especially for the two of us, Loïck and I both gave up our Vendée Globe races before we got here, so there is a certain sense of revenge. And passing here is a recognition for the sailor, passing out of the south, having made it to this point.We will maybe have a small glass of Coke or Champagne, Loïck Coke and me champagne."


    UPDATE: V3 91 miles ahead of Mapfre and gaining....Mapfre has veered off course for a couple of hours and then returned to the right heading at much slower speed-8-10 knots while V3 is doing 19....No report from Mapfre of any trouble.


    Go V3!
     
  14. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's--Mapfre stopping temporarily!

    From race headquarters:

    MAPFRE takes refuge for halyard repairs

    Second placed MAPFRE has had to find shelter to fix a halyards problem. The Spanish Olympic medallists have just set a race record for the Pacific stage from the longitude of Wellington to Cape Horn today.
    After a tough night with very violent winds in excess of 50 knots Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez on the MOCA Open 60 MAPFRE have reported that they have had to spend a period sailing under mainsail only due to a halyard problem. Co-skippers Martínez informed the shore team tonight that "in view of the circumstances we go to Isla Nueva to anchor, to lower the mainsail and to repair the damage on our own without outside assistance, and our objective is to start again as soon as possible.


    http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/en/index.php
     

  15. Doug Lord
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    Barcelona World Race / Open 60's

    from the race site:

    Mapfre back on track, but lost distance to leaders

    After stopping last night at Isla Nueva to make their halyard repair MAPFRE appear to be back on course but still are not back up to full speed. They have been making just nine knots compared with Virbac-Paprec 3’s 18 knits and so Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez have seen their deficit grow and this morning at 0400hrs they were 270 miles behind the leaders. And they made just 27 nm through the night.
    Virbac-Paprec 3 have made 330 miles since Cape Horn and are on a route which is taking them east of the Falklands. Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron have around 25kts of W’ly wind and are in a low pressure circulation. MAPFRE’s breeze remains a little more irregular so it is hard to guage the exact situation on board with the Spanish Olympic medallists.

    ----
    more:

    Serious Pursuit

    After their detour and four hours halt to try and sort out a halyards issue MAPFRE have clearly channelled their frustration and disappointment into simply pressing the accelerator pedal back to the floor as they immediately try to make up the 200 miles that they lost to Barcelona World Race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3 yesterday night and this morning.

    Since getting back on course and up to race speed Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez have already clawed back nearly 20 miles on the race leaders Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron.

    In fact the leaders, seeing the fate of their pursuers, and the size of the margin which was opened so quickly after Cape Horn, might just have given themselves a few hours of much needed respite to recharge their energies after a very fast Pacific since Wellington and a robust passage of the Cape.

    Seeing the Spanish duo get back into racing shape, Dick and Peyron responded over the later part of this afternoon’s schedule and Virbac-Paprec 3 was the quickest of the fleet on the 1400hrs ranking.

    The loss will be felt deeply by Martinez and Fernandez especially after such a promising rounding yesterday, pulling miles back on the leaders on the approach to the Horn, but the repairs which included a difficult mast climb in building wind and fading light for Iker, add another dimension to the duo’s transition from highly supported Olympic and Volvo athletes, to the demanding self sufficiency of solo and short handed IMOCA Open 60 racing.

    They had to find a quiet location, between Lennox and Neuva islands at the entrance to the Beagle Channel, slowed or stopped for close to four hours, while they managed to get themselves one useable halyard.

    Martinez reported today: “Of course it's sad that we got so close and then this happened, but the distance now is by no means irretrievable. If we get back to 100 miles away from them, we'll be able to start thinking about that again, but if we don't, we won't be able to think about that. Also there may be the possibility that we'd have to stop over at a port for repairs and as we said before, if it's not absolutely necessary for safety reasons, we don't want to make technical stopovers and incur 48 hour penalties.

    “We already knew that if we didn't stop in New Zealand that this sort of thing could happen, because you check over all of these things on land, but our aim is still a Barcelona World Race with no stopovers.”

    From leading by 77 miles at Cape Horn yesterday Virbac-Paprec 3 have stripped out a margin on MAPFRE of 252 miles.

    ---
    still more on Mapfre's recovery and

    28-metre challenge

    MAPFRE are back up to speed this evening after Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez’s (ESP) successful halyard repairs last night. The pair can take heart from having successfully dealt with one of the most difficult challenges to face a short-handed sailor: a problem at the top of the 28m-high IMOCA 60 mast.
    In fact MAPFRE became the fastest boat as this evening’s 2000hrs update was taken, at 20.6 knots, and taking 4 miles off race leaders Virbac-Paprec 3 this afternoon. However the French team are maintaining high average speeds, clocking 18.6 knots between updates this evening to lead to 247 miles. For the Spanish duo on MAPFRE the distance will be galling, but they were determined not to give up the fight. “Of course it's sad that we got so close, but the distance now is by no means irretrievable,” commented Iker Martinez today.

    Solving seemingly irretrievable problems is a key skill of the solo sailor, and a problem at the top of the rig is amongst them. An IMOCA 60 carries both masthead and fractional halyards, allowing different sails to be hoisted to different points of the mast. Masthead halyards are used to fly the Code Zeros and largest spinnakers, usually held in place once hoisted by halyard locks which are designed to withstand around 6 tonnes of load.

    Generally speaking if you have a problem with one, then you can use the spare to ascend the mast and sort out the issue – the added complication for Iker and Xabi yesterday was that both masthead halyards jammed, so even if one of them was to climb up using a fractional halyard, they wouldn’t be able to reach the problem.

    Climbing an IMOCA 60 rig is no simple matter in itself: MAPFRE’s is over 91ft above the water. After donning a climbing harness the options include attaching yourself to one of the working halyards – usually with a spare as a ‘safety line’ despite the fact that the ropes themselves are capable of supporting around two and a half tones. On a crewed or doublehanded boat your team mate can winch you up using the pedestal grinders and winch to raise you to the top. Singlehanded sailors use ‘ascenders’, geared pulleys which sailors can hoist themselves incrementally up a halyard, a serious physical workout to both arms and legs. The most challenging method of all is to free climb the mast, using the spreaders, and other parts of the rigging to hoist yourself up, tied to another line for safety.

    “To start with we thought we would fix it in a short time and that it was a small problem, but quickly we realised we had no means to climb the mast because we did not have a halyard to pull me up. But fortunately 12 days ago when we were off New Zealand we had moused an extra halyard guide, so we decided that I would climb the mast myself and Xabi would not pull me up and would use the guide for safety,” explains Iker.

    Of course, once they reach the top, the hard work has only just begun. The mast sways a huge amount in even the smallest waves, and if they let go being swung back against it can cause serious injuries and bruising, which is why race skippers carry body armour and helmets for the task.
     
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