The Barcelona World Race, a non-stop round the world regatta, the biggest challenge that double-handed sailing could conceive, marked the departure of it second edition on 31 December 2010. At 13 hours, on the last day of the year, 14 monohulls, each of them manned by two crew, departed on a voyage set to experience the toughest conditions sports sailing could offer. 28 men set off with the objective to cover more than 25,000 miles sailing across the three great oceans. They did so on-board state-of-the-art regatta crafts, ready to sail these to the very limits of their possibilities during 3 months of non-stop racing, without break, from Barcelona a Barcelona. An unprecedented sports, human and technological adventure.
During its second edition, the Barcelona World Race outdid itself in the most spectacular fashion. Its first edition, in 2007, involved the participation of nine teams, whereas this time around, there were 14, representing seven countries. Many of the very best in the world of ocean sailing lined up at the starting line located on the city’s waterfront, including the major international figures who participated in the first edition -Jean-Pierre Dick, Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret- who were joined by a fair share of the IMOCA Open 60 craft world elite: Loïck Peyron, Michel Desjoyeaux, Kito de Pavant, Jean Le Cam and Dee Caffari. This big challenge also attracted major ocean racers from other specialities, both monohull and multihull, such as Sébastien Audigane, Ludovic Aglaor, Boris Herrmann, Ryan Breymaier, Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak, the latter joining as a last-minute stand-in for Alex Thomson.
The success of the event also proved highly encouraging and promising for Spanish sailing. In the first edition, there were four Spaniards at the starting line: Javier Bubi Sansó, Pachi Rivero, Albert Bargués and Guillermo Altadill. Guillermo was forced to quit at Cape Town, but Bubi and Pachi set a milestone as the first Spaniards to sail around the world two-handed, finishing fourth. A few days later, Albert Bargués became the first racer to achieve this nonstop. Three years later, the Barcelona World Race achieved a line-up of 13 Spanish racers at the departure line, a number that would have been unthinkable only 3 years earlier, which goes to show the attraction exerted by the regatta among the great, yet sparse cast of oceanic skippers in our country. Some great values enshrined and specialised in various modalities, like Álex Pella, Pepe Ribes, Pachi Rivero, Antonio Piris, Iker Martínez, Xabi Fernández, Bruno García, Jaume Mumbrú, Cali Sanmartí and Juan Merediz have come together in the IMOCA class, together with some younger figures like Gerard Marín, Fran Palacio and Anna Corbella.
An unprecedented race, which marked a before and after in the world of ocean sailing.