Thursday, 23 September 2010

100 Days to the Start of the Barcelona World Race 2010/11

Start of the Barcelona World Race 2007
© Jean Marie Liot

by Isabel Genis

The second edition consolidates its sporting prestige and is set to be a great public event attracting important media interest.

The world's most successful skippers have chosen the Barcelona World Race and for the first time in history they will face a healthy Spanish fleet.

The 15 ocean yachts boasting cutting edge technology and their 30 skippers will be based in Barcelona for the month of December at the spectacular regatta Village.

On December 31st they will set off to cover the 46,300 kilometres from Barcelona to Barcelona from West to East on the three-cape course (Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn).

With just 100 days to go until December 31st the national and international response to the regatta is testament to the level of prestige the Barcelona World Race has attained: 15 teams have signed up for the race and the event is right at the top of the ocean racing calendar. The starting operation will be broadcast live and distributed to channels around the world. During the competition Barcelona World Race TV will ensure that over 45 channels will deliver event news to 137 countries. This race will also benefit from the latest technological innovations in the broadcasting field, offering an exceptional level of audiovisual information in real time, which is set to boost media coverage of the event.

For Pere Alcober, President of the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB), the organisation behind the regatta, these final 100 days in the run-up to the start will be full of excitement: “Barcelona is going to live this adventure in a very special way. We are talking about a regatta that belongs to the city in which it starts and finishes. This event projects a new sporting and organisational perspective of Barcelona on an international level, which is up there with the city's other great achievements.

Barcelona is going to reverberate with the energy of thousands of fans coming to the city to experience the intensity of the run-up to the race and to wave the ocean heroes goodbye. There's no doubt that the city is going to enjoy some great moments”.

December in Barcelona, an ocean fiesta

Photo 2: Race Village in Barcelona in 2007

The Barcelona World Race 2010/11 is set to be a great adventure, both for the sporting world and for the city itself. On Saturday 18th December the race Village will open opposite the Marina Port Vell, kicking off a programme brimming with events open to the public which will continue right through to the 6th of January. The countdown to the start will be marked out by a wealth of activities, bringing maritime culture together with education, gastronomy and music. Audiovisual equipment will allow the public to follow events as they unfold on land and at sea. The quays where the yachts will be moored will be open to the public, offering visitors a close-up view of the ocean's most sophisticated boats and allowing visitors to witness the intense activity of sailors and technical crews as they work on the last minute details ahead of the race. The crowning event on the programme schedule will arrive at midday on December 31st, when the fleet will set off on their adventure, cheered on by thousands of fans lining the docks and breakwaters of the port area.

Following a brief course in front of the city, the 15 opposing entries will take the start in front of the Hotel W. The first night the sailors will spend at sea will coincide with a very special New Year's Eve party with live links with the yachts that will be broadcast around the world.

The response from the elite and an up and coming Spanish fleet

Of the 15 crews signed up for the race, 11 of those have officially confirmed their entries, with the four remaining teams expected to do so over the coming weeks. The entry list includes sailors from seven different nationalities (France, UK, Switzerland, Germany, USA and Spain) and some of the world's best ocean sailors. These are names of such prestige as Jean-Pierre Dick, Michel Desjoyeaux, Alex Thompson, Dominique Wavre, Michèle Paret, Loick Peyron, Kito de Pavant, Sébastien Audigane, Dee Caffari, Andy Meiklejohn , as well as young and up and coming talent such as Boris Hermann, Ryan Breymaier and François Gabart. They'll be competing against a promising Spanish fleet, made up of Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes, Pachi Rivero, Toño Piris, Iker Martínez, Xabi Fernández, Juan Merediz, Fran Palacio and Anna Corbella, who, along with Dee Caffari will make up the only female crew in the round the world challenge.

Sponsorship based on structure and participation

Since the end of the first edition of the regatta back in March 2008, the FNOB has been working intensely on consolidating sponsorships, as well as on the development of the main organisational guidelines for the second edition. Estrella Damm remains in place as main sponsor with Renault España and Johnson & Johnson Spain also joining them in this category. The group of sponsors is completed by 26 supporting partners, ten official suppliers, 10 media partners and seven technology suppliers.

Andor Serra, Director General of the FNOB has confirmed that the final stage of preparation for the race has begun. Both the organisers, teams and sponsors are happy with the progress made up until now: “We are working at a good pace, moving steadily forward. We have a solid sponsorship structure in place and the very top level of sporting participation. We are confident that this great adventure, due to set off from Barcelona again in 100 days time will not only spark the passions of sailing and sporting fans, but will also ignite all-round interest from the general public. This second edition of the Barcelona World Race is a brand new exciting challenge that each and every citizen can make their own. We are going to live these 100 remaining days until the start to the very maximum!”

Barcelona World Race