Big apple bound

IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona boats to depart Newport this afternoon

Saturday May 24th 2014, Author: James Boyd, Location: United States

After a great stopover in Newport, where the teams have been able to carry out all the final preparations after their transatlantic delivery trips from Europe, the competitors of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona race will head for New York tomorrow at around 1500 local time, on a prologue.

Jacques Caraës, who is co-Race Director with Guillaume Evrard, explained: "The fleet will start off Fort Adams with a short course around the Bay of Newport and around two race marks. They will then leave Long Island to starboard and head directly for New York to reach the finish line just off North Cove Marina, in Downtown Manhattan." Until the start the boats will remain in Newport Dockyard on display.

Unfortunately the competitors are likely to face tricky weather conditions. The 155 mile course will be raced in winds are forecast to drop fairly quickly after the start, possibly to the point of disappearing altogether overnight.

Caraës continues: "I think the beginning of the Prologue Race will be the most interesting part, since the competitors should be able to get out of Newport with favourable current and a decent breeze, but that will disappear during the night ….which means it could take them some time to reach the Verrezzano Bridge."

The IMOCA 60s are expected to reach the suspension bridge, linking the boroughs of Brooklyn with Staten Island, by late morning on Sunday.

Spaniard Guillermo Altadill, co-skipper of Neutrogena with Chilean Jose Munoz, is looking forward to the arrival: "Entering New York by boat is always a great emotion. I have arrived here onboard of all kinds of racing boats . It is a city with a long maritime history, a strong story that runs from the very first explorations by sea through to race record attempts and the arrivals and departures of big races ... and the Statue of Liberty, that greets skippers as they pass, is a beautiful symbol ! " .

For Safran co-skipper Morgan Lagravière, who completed his first IMOCA 60 transatlantic crossing en route to Newport, the Prologue will provide another valuable opportunity to understand the operation of his new beast before the start of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race.

Lagravière commented: "I view this as a nice prologue race from a human perspective first because we are going to have quite a few people on board, including my elder brother who has come here especially from Canada, where he lives ... But that will not prevent us from trying go faster than the others! And then we have the chance to enjoy again the beautiful environment that surrounds us. I was very taken by Newport ... but I'm also looking forward to enter New York City by sea."

Meanwhile Hugo Boss, which is still awaiting the delivery of some carbon rigging being sent from Sri Lanka, but currently stuck in Abu Dhabi. She is due to have her mast restepped late afternoon Saturday, will carry out a test sail the next day before rushing to New York.

Hungarians Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth on Spirit of Hungary are continuing their delivery trip across the Atlantic and are making good progress. They are expected to reach New York on 29 May.


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