While the Barcelona World Race winners Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have been granted the best Spring weather the Catalan capital can muster for them to find their land legs after 84 racing days, the final 230 miles to Gibraltar for second placed Neutrogena look like being relatively straightforwards.
Speaking of the winning duo, the double Barcelona World Race winner Jean-Pierre Dick said today: "Things really gelled between them. They complement each other so well. It proves they have a wealth of experience. Taking their experience into account, you see why they were so successful. They really managed this race well. I'm pleased as it should allow them both to bounce back."
Le Cam: World Champion
This victory allows Jean Le Cam to secure the tile of IMOCA Ocean Masters World Champion for the 2013-2014 season. After winning the Transat Jacques Vabre alongside Vincent Riou, he has now won this title ahead of co-skipper Stamm and probably Guillermo Altadill, if Neutrogena finishes in second place in the Barcelona World Race. He follows in the footsteps of François Gabart and Jean-Pierre Dick.Jean Le Cam was awarded the title of IMOCA world champion in 2006. There is no age limit for the top teams and experienced sailors often want to prove how good they are still.
But while the beautiful Spring weather which is taking hold, sunshine and settled, high pressure weather is pleasant for the back-to-earth victors, and for Easter holidaymakers in the city, it seems to promise a slow Mediterranean for Neutrogena'sGuillermo Altadill and José Munoz. The Catal an-Chilean duo should reach Gibraltar and return to the Mediterranean on Saturday 27th March around 2200hrs in the evening, but the current ETA Barcelona is the evening of Tuesday 31st March.
They have just one more tack to complete before they breach the entrance to the Mediterranean and today are racing in about 15-18kts of NE'ly trade winds off the Moroccan coast. Altadill and Munoz seem blessed with their NE'ly backing to the NW'ly as they get north.
GAES Centros Auditivos are still sailing in a lighter breeze, and only managing to make slightly less speed than their second placed rivals. Co-skipper GerardMarín is very much in solo mode still. Following Anna Corbella's knee strain, Marin has continued to undertake most of the harder physical work on board as Corbella rests her injury:
" She is not doing very much physical stuff and does not have much mobility yet." Marín reported today,
"For the moment I'm doing it alone. She could probably do things if we needed her to, but for the moment it is not worth it. We have two or three days of upwind and we are tacking so those are pretty easy maneuvers so for the moment I'm doing it by my self."
GAES Centros Auditivos is now 320 miles behind Neutrogena.
Four hundred and 30 miles SW of the Cape Verde Islands, the upwind duel in the NE'ly trade winds continues to see the advantage of One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton increasing thanks to Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa's position in the east. Their leverage gained now - 150 miles of lateral separation - can become increasingly significant as they approach Gibraltar.
Renault Captur,Jorg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane, are now moving clear of the NE corner of Brazil and have just 185 miles left in the Southern Hemisphere, due to cross the Equator tomorrow. And Spirit of Hungary, now just north of the latitude of Rio, have had a slow day in variable winds making just 3.2kts this afternoon.
Rankings Thursday 26th March at 1400hrs UTC
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) finished 25/03/2015 at 17:50:25 UTC
In 84j 05h 50min 25s
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) + 783 miles to finish
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) + 329 miles to leader
4 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 1779 miles to leader
5 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 1900 miles to leader
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 2669 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 3445 miles to leader
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson - P. Ribes)