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.

SN.int

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

Canal-1-Marina-Hemingway-looking-west-spring-2016

Cruising: A Farewell to Cuba

For a few sweet years, American cruisers had the freedom to sail to Cuba. It was good while it lasted, says Addison Chan Cuba has assumed near-mythical properties in the community of sailors around the world. It is almost impossible to utter the name without conjuring up images ...read more

brickhouse

Is Cruising Still Safe?

It is with great sadness that we read of the murder of New Zealand cruiser Alan Culverwell, and the attack on his family, by criminals who boarded their boat in Panama’s Guna Yala/San Blas Islands early in May. The San Blas were known as a “safe” area to cruise. Aside from petty ...read more

QuarterdeckBuildingWatercolor

Bitter End Yacht Club 2.0

Amid the widespread devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria when they swept across the northern Caribbean in September 2017, the destruction of the iconic Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands was particularly keenly felt by sailors. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The back door Satisfied with your headsails? So was I, until one day I took a long, hard look up the luff of my genoa, making sure I inspected the leeward side as well. The sail had plenty of life ...read more

02-Lydia12-01

Losing Sight of Shore

I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d spent my time racing and, in ...read more

Squall

The Face of a Squall

They are the worst of times, they are the best of times There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we ...read more