Around the world in just over 80 days
After 84 days at sea, Frenchman Bernard Stamm and Swiss sailor Jean Le Cam have not only won the double-handed Barcelona World Race, but set a new record for the event, which was first established in 2007. Read more
In contrast to the Volvo Ocean Race, the finish to this event was hardly a nail-biter, with Stamm and Le Cam aboard the Open 60 Cheminées Poujoulat arriving in Barcelona, Spain, over 1,000 miles ahead of their closest competition.
However, the victory was no less sweet for the veteran pair, given their separate bad luck in recent years.
Stamm, for example, was disqualified from the last Vendée Globe for inadvertently receiving outside assistance, and in four campaigns has yet to finish first in the solo round-the-world event.
As for Le Cam, not only did he have to drop out of the 2008 Vendée Globe when his boat capsized off Cape Horn, he had to retire from the last Barcelona Race after losing his rig just north of the Cape Verde islands.
Asked whether the earlier dismasting ever weighed on his mind this time around, Le Cam replied: “Only all the time. It is always with you. It is the most visible and important thing you can see. And when it has happened to you before, it is always in your mind."
After a slow start to the race, with the fleet departing Barcelona on December 31, as in years past, Hugo Boss, with British sailor Alex Thomson and Spaniard Pepe Ribes onboard, quickly established itself as the boat to beat. However, on January 15, Thomson and Ribes were dismasted just south of the equator, paving the way for a round-the-world battle between Cheminées Poujoulat and Spaniard Guillermo Altadill and Chilean sailor José Muñoz aboard Neutrogena.
Not until the two boats had transited the Indian Ocean and were preparing to enter the Pacific did the pressure let up, when Altadill and Muñoz were forced to divert to the South Island of New Zealand for a technical stop to repair their electrical system—a necessity given the importance of an effective autopilot to shorthanded racing. After that, Stamm and le Cam found themselves sitting on a fairly safe comfortable 1,000-mile cushion, and they were are able to control the race from there, with the only real question being whether or not they would be able to set a new record.
For more on the race, click here.
Photos by Gilles Martin-Raget/Barcelona World Race