Saturday, 9 October 2010

Barcelona World Race: The FMC team confirms their Barcelona World Race entry

Skippers Gerard Marín and Ludovic Aglaor make their début in the IMOCA Open 60 Class

The FMC team confirms their Barcelona World Race entry

* The cluster of companies and bodies known as Forum Marítim Català will join the Fundació Navegació Oceánica Barcelona in heading up a brand new team

* The insurance company Santa Lucía, sponsor of the Barcelona World Race, along with technology firms collaborating with the Barcelona Offshore Sailing Base are putting their support behind the project

* This participation in the round the world double-handed challenge will raise the profile of many innovative projects in the nautical sector

Boat Fòrum Marítim Català, © Barcelona World Race

by Isabel Genís

Gerard Marín (ESP) and Ludovic Aglaor (FRA) will be competing on board Fòrum Marítim Català (FMC) in the upcoming edition of the Barcelona World Race, the double-handed, round the world race which sets off from the Catalan capital on 31st December this year.

Their entry will also be a platform for raising the profile of the activities of the Fòrum Marítim Català and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona which foster innovation in the maritime and marine sector.

Both organisations have been developing extensive R+D programmes which they will seek to publicise and validate during this second edition of the round the world race such as the WIN-D project, which involves technological innovation applied to high tech ocean racing sails.

This initiative has been made possible thanks to the support provided by the Santa Lucía insurance company, official partner of the race, and by the official suppliers of the Barcelona Offshore Sailing Base: Renault, International Paints Akzo-Nobel, Marina Port Vell, Marina ’92, GAES, Quantum, Clínicas Vital Dent and Centro Médico Teknon.

Gerard Marin, © Miquel Casanelles

Gerard Marín and Ludovic Aglaor will be racing on the former Kingfisher, the IMOCA Open 60 that Dame Ellen MacArthur raced in the Vendée Globe.

With the name Educación Sin Fronteras, Albert Bargués and Servane Escoffier later took the yacht to the first edition of the Barcelona World Race. In early 2010 the yacht underwent a complete refit, incorporating the latest IMOCA technological developments into her features.

For young Spaniard Gerard Marin (L’Escala, 1982), the FMC project is a great step forward. His move into the IMOCA Open 60 Class is a step up from his great experience and progress in the Mini 6.50 Class, where he raced in 2006, 2007 and 2009 (Mini GAES Solidaria), having previously built up an important list of international achievements in the Europe Class.

Sailing alongside one of Spain's great young hopes will be seasoned French yachtsman Ludovic Aglaor (La Flèche, 1966) 2005 winner of the Jules Verne Trophy onboard Bruno Peyron's Orange 2 and winner of the Tea Route 2008 onboard the maxi catamaran Gitana 13 skippered by Lionel Lemonchois.

Ludovic Aglaor, © Gilles Martin-Raget

Aglaor's extensive career in offshore sailing includes 19 transatlantic crossings, however, his speciality is preparing yachts and he's been called upon for many different campaigns by Alain Gautier, Philippe Poupon and Dominique Vittet, among others.

Pere Alcober, Sports Councillor for Barcelona City Council and President of the FNOB reflected on the significance of this new project: “FMC will be a banner for all of the innovation projects supported by the Fundaciò and the Fòrum Marítim Català during the upcoming edition of the Barcelona World Race. We are very happy with this collaboration between public bodies and private companies, which allows this great sporting and technological challenge to come to life”.

Toni Tió, President of the Forum Maritim Català, went on to underline that: “The FMC team will allow the profile of the Fòrum Marítim Català and its objectives to be raised and will strengthen the collaboration between the FNOB and the R+D projects that form part of our programme across the maritime sector”.

Andor Serra, Director of the Fundació Navegació Oceánica Barcelona, commented on the important sporting aspect of the project: “It is very important for the FNOB and the Barcelona World Race to welcome young crews, taking their first steps into a regatta of this scale. The FMC team allows us to broaden the sporting horizons of Spanish offshore sailing and to make room for new talent”.

With this announcement from FMC there are now 12 teams on the upcoming Barcelona World Race entry list. There will soon be presentations from three of the other officially registered teams.

Barcelona World Race