Photo Miguel Rajmil

New York-Barcelona record

W Hotels and Estrella Damm Open 60s set off on new record course

Thursday April 8th 2010, Author: Laia Jardi, Location: United States

The Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record - a new event to establish the best sailing record time between New York and Barcelona, began today at 14:33 local time with the departure of the IMOCA Open 60 Estrella Damm at 14:33:18, followed by W Hotels at 14:35:48, from Ambrose Light, 25 miles south of New York harbour.

With southwest winds between 25 and 30 knots, the Spanish Open 60s have approximately 3,750 nautical miles to cover before they arrive in Barcelona.

Estrella Damm

is co-skipped by former Mini sailor Alex Pella, Volvo Ocean Race veteran Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer, while

W Hotels

, is sailed by Pachi Rivero, Toño Piris and Peter B. Becker. The two boats set off at 11am local time from the Manhattan's North Cove Marina, where the boats have been moored since their arrival in New York two weeks ago. From there, they sailed through the Lower Bay and towards the Verrazzano Bridge to the Ambrose Light from where the timers with the World Sailing Speed Council started the official stop watch.

The improvement of the weather conditions, with southwest winds of 25-30 knots, has determined the departure date in order to achieve the best conditions to complete the record in the best possible time. According to Marcel Van Triest, official meteorologist of the New York–Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record, the conditions are ideal for the boats to sail at very high speeds during the first few hours.

“Winds from the SW and SWW at 25 to 30 knots have helped the IMOCA Open 60s depart from Ambrose Light quickly," stated Van Triest. "The key for the next 48 to 60 hours will be the ability to overtake the front that is moving from the American to the Atlantic Continent. They will have to work hard to overtake the front as they depart towards the end of an ideal meteorological window.”

Estrella Damm and W Hotels are expected to reach Barcelona in 14 to 16 days (22-24 April), the finish line located in front of the W Hotels in Barcelona.

“We are really happy," said Toño Piris. "At the beginning we had a lot of pressure and it has been an exciting moment. Now that we are sailing with favorable winds and in this great weather, we are more relaxed.”

Assuming they are successful, the new record will be recognised by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, which will hand out the WSSRC Performance Certificate to the skippers on the winning boat. They will also receive the Príncipe de Asturias y Girona Trophy.

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