Here are the positions of yachts at 1400 hours Sunday, 4th January, 2015: 1st Hugo Boss, 2nd Cheminees Poujoulat, 3rd Neutrogena, 4th GAES Centros Auditivos, 5th Renault Captur, 6th One Planet, One Ocean/Pharmaton, 7th We Are Water, and 8th Spirit of Hungary.
My favourite, ‘Hugo Boss’, is in the lead. She is skippered by Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes. I feel most for the underdog, Nandor Fa, along with his co-skipper Conrad Coleman, of ‘Spirit of Hungary’.
This sort of ocean yacht racing must be the most competitive, arduous and challenging of all sports. It requires out-and-out superhuman effort on the part of crews for up to three months, during which time they may face extreme conditions. In the Southern Oceans there are dangerous waves generated by gale force winds and it is icy cold. In mid-Atlantic there are the Doldrums, where the wind is fickle or non-existent. The yachts pass through contrasting climatic zones. Add to that danger of possible collision with ships, whales, icebergs and floating objects. Crews suffer from sleep deprivation, physical and mental exhaustion, and sometimes illness and injury. They may have to cope with gear failure, or the loss of electrical power. Successful competitors are outstanding achievers who have great determination and courage, knowing the dangers. Just to finish the race is a fantastic achievement. Getting to the start line is meritorious, leave alone, participating! For Me, Nandor Fa and Conrad Coleman are already winners by their magnificent efforts bringing them to the start line with precious little help from benefactors.
Barcelona World Race
Barcelona World Race: Departure Live
Barcelona World Race Leaders on schedule for fast Med exit
Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes ready for Barcelona World Race
From Conrad Colman on Spirit of Hungary ‘Imprisioned’