Barcelona World Race duo running on empty

Mapfre - Barcelona World Race
With 50.9 miles to the finish of their Barcelona World Race, their first IMOCA Open 60 race as a duo, Spain’s sailing icons Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez were making around 10kts on Mapfre and, at 1630hrs GMT/1830hrs UTC, had an ETA in Barcelona of between 1200hrs and 1500hrs local time.

As with their predecessors, Virbac-Paprec 3 their progress after the Balearics has been slow and there is little wind forecast for close to the rhumb-line course for Tuesday.

For certain the end probably cannot come quick enough for the double Olympic medallists. They have eaten the last of their food and used the last of their diesel. The message to their shore team this afternoon amounted to ‘whatever you do, bring food and fuel, we have none left’

In a very brief call Xabi Fernandez said 'We have no food, and no diesel. We cannot even start the engine now. We hope everything will be OK to the finish in Barcelona, but as soon as we finish bring us food and fuel. All the systems are off and we are trying to conserve ourselves.'

The Mapfre team have been in touch with Iker and Xabi’s physical trainer Inigo Lasada, who trained them for the last Volvo Ocean Race, to get advice as to what the best food for the hungry duo will be.

Renault ZE Sailing Team have 539 miles to the finish with just under 220 miles between them and fourth placed Estrella Damm. Pachi Rivero and Toño Piris. At 1630hrs UTC/1830hrs local the duo from Santander had just 10 miles to make to pass the longitude of Gibraltar.

Estrella Damm were making towards the straits at good speed but are heading more towards the Moroccan coast in 20kts of NE’ly breeze which is heading them progressively as the it veers E. Pepe Ribes reported this morning that they expect to be tack up the coast by Espartel, as Virbac-Paprec 3 did.

The Barcelona duo are expecting 40 knots of Levant headwind in the Straits and so they expect to sail super conservatively to get through in the difficult conditions with a tired boat and wearied sailors.

www.barcelonaworldrace.org