Skip to main content

NY-BCN Boats Set Sail

The crews of the two matched IMOCA Open 60 Estrella Damm and W-Hotels set out today from Ambrose light, at the mouth of New York Harbor, on their way to set a new record between New York City and Barcelona, Spain. Both yachts are carrying a mixed Spanish-American three-man crew. The passage is expected to take about three weeks.In a weather briefing on Wednesday,
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

The crews of the two matched IMOCA Open 60 Estrella Damm and W-Hotels set out today from Ambrose light, at the mouth of New York Harbor, on their way to set a new record between New York City and Barcelona, Spain. Both yachts are carrying a mixed Spanish-American three-man crew. The passage is expected to take about three weeks.

In a weather briefing on Wednesday, meteorologist and veteran ocean racer Marcel van Triest said the weather conditions look set to provide the crews with a fast start, with winds off Ambrose Light out of the southwest around 17-19 knots. With luck, van Triest said, they will be able to ride these winds, and the frontal system spawning them, until Saturday or Sunday.

“The key for the crews will be to stay ahead of the weather front, and they should be able to do that for the first 48-60 hours. It will certainly be fast and wet to start with, and they will have to work hard to stay ahead of the front for as long as possible,” van Triest said.

After that, said van Triest, things are going to become pretty light for a time in a transition area, which will be made easier the farther north they are.

As for the crews, they couldn’t be happier.

“We have had a very good time in New York, but we are itching to get going,” said Estrella Damm crewmember Alex Pella, shortly before their departure. “The weather looks pretty good for the first four or five days with southwesterly winds. Then there will be a shift to the northwest, then there may be a bit of a stop, or not, that is not very clear. The first four for five days will be a question of straightforward speed, and then some strategy will be required after the shift…. If everything is OK, in nine or ten days we could be off Gibraltar.”

“The earliest we could leave was [Tuesday] and we have been ready to go since Sunday,” said Pella’s teammate, Stan Schreyer, whose wife is about eight months pregnant. “All the preparations were made to go Monday, so the past couple of days have been quite relaxing…. I do hope we sail fast enough so I don’t miss the baby!”

Although the two boat are both funded by Spain’s Fundaci Navegaci Ocenica de Barcelona, which also organizes the doublehanded Barcelona World Race, set to take place Dec. 31, the two crews said they are very much in the crossing to win, and that they don’t expect to communicate out on the water. This past weekend, the boats staged an inshore regatta on New York Harbor as they continued preparing before going to sea.

The New York Yacht Club is also supporting the record, and hopes a number of other boats will attempt to better it in the years to come. For more on the record, click here. SAIL's Web site will also be posting reports on the two boats throughout the passage.

Related

m138123_14_00_210609_TORE02_SE_2152_2504-2048x

The Ocean Race to be “Climate Positive”

The 2023 Ocean Race intends to be one of the world’s first climate positive sporting events, offsetting more greenhouse gasses than are produced. The two-fold effort means cutting emissions by 75 percent and investing in ocean projects that sequester carbon and restore ocean ...read more

01-LEAD-Ancients-3-2048x

Cruising Lake Superior

Almost anywhere a sailor drops the hook someone else has been there before. We are hardly ever the first. That remote Maine harbor without a soul in sight: there’s a lobster trap. The south coast of Newfoundland: the crumbling remains of a fisherman’s cabin lie hidden among the ...read more

01-LEAD-Tablet-Holder-4

Fabricating a Tablet Holder

During the pandemic, I was stuck aboard Guiding Light, a Lagoon 410, in St. Lucia for over a month. During that time, as I worked on the boat, I started by doing a spring cleaning in my spares locker and finding some parts and material that I forgot I had. As soon as I saw them, ...read more

00-LEAD-AdobeStock_486335954

A Catamaran for a New Era

Anacortes, Washington, is an unassuming sea-salty town near the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, and the Betts Boats yard is easy for a passerby to miss. But within Betts’ facilities, the dawn of an era in Pacific Northwest production boatbuilding could be breaking with the ...read more

X5_plus_slide-01

Boat Review: Xquisite X5 Plus

The Xquisite X5 Plus is a major update of the boat that SAIL awarded Best Large Multihull and Best Systems titles in 2017. The changes were not just cosmetic, but genuine improvements to an already fine boat, making it lighter, faster and less dependent on fuel. The builder’s ...read more

01-LEAD-AdobeStock_40632434

Cruising: Offshore Prep Talk

When I began preparing Minx, my 1987 Pearson 39-2, for extended Caribbean cruising, I had to balance my champagne wish list against my beer budget. Every buck spent on the boat before leaving would be one less frosty can of Carib down in the islands. On the other hand, I had to ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Barcelona Venue Shaping Up

The decision to host the next America’s Cup in Barcelona ruffled the feathers of some fans, but the Defender is happy with how the venue is shaping up. The process of allocating team bases, spectator zones and the race village is underway. “I cannot speak highly enough of the ...read more

ELAN-GT6---273

Boat Review: Elan GT6

Elan’s first sporty “Grand Turismo” yacht, the 43ft GT5, launched in 2017, and was actually a bit of a mash-up. It combined an existing go-fast hull from Elan’s sexy E5 racer with a new deck and interior optimized for cruising comfort, and a somewhat detuned rig to create a ...read more