The Barcelona World Race, around the world non-stop, the greatest challenge to yachts crewed by two people only, celebrated its second edition on December 31 2010. At 13:00 on the last day of the year, 14 boats, each one crewed by two sailors, set off to face the toughest conditions sailing can offer. 25 men and 3 women departed with the aim of covering over 25,000 nautical miles across the three great oceans on board yachts designed using state-of-the-art technology and prepared to push their vessels to the limit over 3 months of uninterrupted competition, from Barcelona to Barcelona. This is an unprecedented sporting, human and technological adventure.
On its second edition, the Barcelona World Race exceeded its own standards in spectacular style. While the first edition, in 2007, saw the participation of nine partnerships, on this occasion fourteen took part, representing seven different nations. At the starting line, located on the city’s sea front, were many of the leading figures in offshore sailing, for alongside the international greats of the first edition – Jean-Pierre Dick, Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret – were most of the world elite of the IMOCA Open 60 class: Loïck Peyron, Michel Desjoyeaux, Kito de Pavant, Jean Le Cam and Dee Caffari. The great challenge also attracted some of the other monohull and multihull experts, like Sébastien Audigane, Ludovic Aglaor, Boris Herrmann, Ryan Breymaier, Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak, the latter replacing Alex Thomson at the last minute.
This second edition of the Race also boded very well for Spanish sailing. At the first edition, four Spaniards set off from the starting line: Javier Bubi Sansó, Pachi Rivero, Albert Bargués and Guillermo Altadill. Guillermo had to withdraw at Cape Town, although Bubi and Pachi established a milestone by being the first Spaniards to sail around the world double-handed. They came in fourth and only a few days later Albert Bargués became the first Spaniard to circumnavigate the globe non-stop. Three years later, the Barcelona World Race has managed to gather 13 Spanish skippers at the starting line, a figure that would have been inconceivable three years earlier, which is evidence of this regatta’s power to lure excellent, though disperse, competitors from among this country’s offshore specialists. Established figures devoted to a variety of specialities, such as Álex Pella, Pepe Ribes, Pachi Rivero, Antonio Piris, Iker Martínez, Xabi Fernández, Bruno García, Jaume Mumbrú, Cali Sanmartí and Juan Merediz came together in the IMOCA class alongside young up-and-coming talent like Gerard Marín, Fran Palacio and Anna Corbella.
This is an unprecedented human, sporting and technological test that has marked a before and after in the field of international offshore sailing.