Open 60s Set for Dash to Spain

The two nearly identical Open 60 monohulls set to establish an inaugural New York-Barcelona (NY-BCN) Transoceanic Sailing Record have arrived in New York in preparation for their passage across the Atlantic sometime in mid-April.

This past week, hundreds of New Yorkers gathered at the World Financial Center’s Winter Garden to take part in the opening of a Transoceanic Sailing Exhibit that will include a series of events leading up to the yachts’ departure some time between April 5-12, depending on the weather.

The two IMOCA Open 60s—W Hotels and Estrella Damm—underwent an extensive refit in Barcelona this past winter before being shipped to Baltimore. They were then sailed on their own bottoms up to New York. Each will carry a three-person crew comprised of sailors from both the United States and Spain. On April 3, the two crews will take part in a series of inshore races in New York Harbor.

It is expected the 3,700-mile passage will take about three weeks, a record other yachts will hopefully attempt to better in the coming years. The two boats are also scheduled to take part in the double-handed Barcelona World Race, set to begin Dec. 31.

“Our team has put in a great effort to be here and to have the boat ready. We still have to make some adjustments, but we are really happy as [the boat] has reacted very well to the Baltimore-New York route,” said Estrella Damm teammate Alex Pella.

“We’ve tried a couple of sails, and we’ve been tightening up for hours off the Chesapeake shore,” said W Hotels crewmember Pachi Rivero. “We are all creating a perfect environment for the boat, and we can’t wait to begin sailing.”

The New York Yacht Club, the New York City Sports Commission, Spain’s Real Club Nutico de Barcelona and the Fundaci Navegaci Ocenica Barcelona (FNOB) are all helping organize the pending record. FNOB is also the primary organizer of the Barcelona World Race. For more on the NY-BCN Transoceanic Sailing Record click here.

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