Start Of The Barcelona World Race 2015

The 2015-edition of the Barcelona World Race has started. One boat, two crew, ninety days of exhausting sailing. What it also means: Ninety days of excitement following those courageous sailors in their quest around the world.

There is no point in me trying to explain what the Barcelona World Race (BWR) is all about. Quite a few professional sites can do that much better than me, for example the Barcelona World Race website itself. The boats, IMOCA Open 60, are real sailing beauties – and fast. The circumnavigation and its approximately 25.000 nautical miles they will very likely complete in round about ninety days, meaning an impressive average boat speed of 11,5 knots.

The BWR has a very short history, having started in 2007 with its first edition. A second race around the world followed in 2011, and now it is time for number three. Also this time a German sailor is part of the fleet, Jörg Riechers on Renault Captur (last time it was Boris Herrmann on Neutrogena). This is quite amazing and (at least for me) close to unbelievable, as during the course of 2014 Jörg’s up to then sponsor Mare withdrew from its engagement.

For me, the at least daily check of the latest positions (including replay of the day’s events) is an absolute must-have during race time. Watching the offshore videos is a highlight, be it in wonderful cruising conditions or rough sea. As following this race is in addition to family, work and friends, those ninety days are exhausting not only for the sailors… ok, on quite a different scale, of course.

The BWR Fleet, 1900UTC on 02. Jan
The BWR Fleet, 1900UTC on 02. Jan

The little image to the right is a screenshot I have taken from the official website of the Barcelona World Race. It shows the tracker as of 02. January, 19:00h UTC. This tool is one of my favourites, as zooming in/out, moving over boats, replaying the entire race, and much more is easily possible. It looks so easy on the screen to sail around the world…

Virtual Barcelona World Race

What I have not yet mentioned is an additional fun part for the sofa-sailors… a virtual race can be joined by anyone, and looking at the tracker of that virtual race is extremely funny – I would like to see all those virtual boats out there for real… what kind of mess would that be?

Why do I like it so much?

Anyway, why am I writing about it? Because I love following, love watching it. It is a great challenge for the sailors and their teams, and anyone taking part has earned my deepest sympathy and respect. It is not only the challenge for the boats and crews during the race itself, it is about preparation, team work, technology, the will to achieve something. For some strange reason I do like the Barcelona World Race more than the also currently running Volvo Ocean Race, maybe that is because I am a fan and supporter of small crew sailing.

Fair winds and good luck to all those crews out there, enjoy the ride and come back safely.

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