Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are winners of the Barcelona World Race 2014-2015 on board Cheminées Poujoulat
Victory at the first time of asking for the renowned Swiss-French duo
Wednesday, 25 of March, 2015 – 19:00hrs Barcelona, 18:00hrs UTC
The vastly experienced duo, Bernard Stamm (SUI) Jean Le Cam (FRA) have won the Barcelona World Race 2014-15 and set the reference time for the two crew round the world race: 84 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 25 seconds to complete the 23,321.76 miles of the theoretical course
Cheminées Poujoulat, co-skippered by Bernard Stamm, 51, (Switzerland) and Jean Le Cam, 55 (France), sailed to victory today, winning the third edition of the Barcelona World Race, the non stop, round the world race for two crew, crossing the finish line at 17:50:25hrs UTC (18:50:25hrs CET/Barcelona) in light winds, 10-15kts SE and smooth seas. The Swiss-French IMOCA 60 completed the theoretical course 23,321 nautical miles (43.191,9 Kilometres) of the theoretical course non stop (stops are penalized in this race) at an average of 11.53kts
The elapsed time for Stamm and Le Cam, since the start from Barcelona on 31st December 2014 at midday UTC, is 84 days, 5 hours, 50 minutes and 25 seconds. The actual distance over ground sailed by them is 27950 miles, at an average speed of 13.82 knots.
Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have established the reference time for the race, which followed a different course for this edition: from Barcelona to Barcelona, passing all three great capes Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, leaving Antarctica to starboard. But for the first time the course went direct under New Zealand rather than diverting north to pass through the Cook Straits between North and South Island. This reduced the course distance by about 1280 miles compared with previous editions.
Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam: Two established ocean racing stars with long, established track records
Bernard Stamm is a happy man this evening. Just before Christmas 2013, in fact during the night between 23rd and 24th December, he had to be rescued after his IMOCA 60 completely split in two in force 9 winds and 10 metre waves when he was delivering his boat back to Brest from Brasil after racing in the Transat Jacques Vabre. Stamm made global headlines, describing later how he knew that in order to survive he had to take to the icy waters of the Western Approaches 170 miles from the Scilly Isles to ‘swim for my life’
A year later he started this round the world race, and now, today Stamm has achieved his third victory in a round the world race, the first one non stop and two handed. The 51 year old Swiss skipper had already won the 2002/3 Around Alone solo; and again in 2006/07, under the most recent name of Velux 5 Oceans.
Theirs has proven a remarkab le partnership of close equals, a pair who have delivered victory thanks to their many, many years experiences, good and bad. They had never sailed together as a duo before this race, but had both achieved notable successes, racing two handed.
Jean Le Cam wins the 2013-2014 IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship, Stamm is runner up.
In turn, in his fifth round the world race , French legend Jean Le Cam, 55, known by some in his native France as “Le Roi Jean” (King Jean), adds his first ever outright victory in a round the world race to an extensive ocean racing record which stretches back 31 years, including second in the solo Vendée Globe in 2004-5 behind Vincent Riou.
In fact, now after winning 2013’s Transat Jacques Vabre to Brazil with Riou,Jean Le Camhas won the two biggest IMOCA two-handed races back to back.
Le Cam, like Stamm, has also cheated death on the ocean, rescued by Riou from his cap sized IMOCA 60 200 miles from Cape Horn during the Vendée Globe 2008-9.
He is one of the few French skippers to win La Solitaire du Figaro three times.
A winning boat. An IMOCA legend
The IMOCA 60 Cheminées Poujoulat is a monohull designed by the Farr design office, launched in 2007. With it, Michel Desjoyeaux won the Vendée Globe 2008/09, with an elapsed time of 84 days, 3 hours and 9 minutes. Stamm and Le Cam have made a very similar time including two Gibraltar Straits crossings and two Mediterranean legs. In the Barcelona World Race 2010/2011, this IMOCA 60 was second with Spain’s Íker Martínezand Xabi Fernandez as co-skippers. It made the start of Vendée Globe 2012/2013 with Jérémie Beyou. The boat has been modified several times to adjust to the rules evolution and improve its performance in big waves. With two victories and a second place in round the world races, this boat is established as a legend of he IMOCA class.
Three quarters of the globe as leader
Cheminées Poujoulat took the first place of the race on the 17th of January, when they overtook Guillermo Altadill (Spain) and José Muñoz (Chile) on Neutrogena in an intense head to head battle, approximately off Rio de Janeiro. Before Neutrogena, Alex Thomson (United Kingdom) and Pepe Ribes (Spain) had lead the race until they lost the mast on the 14th of January. Stamm and Le Cam’s rivalry with Neutrogena went on until Altadill and Muñoz had to pit stop for 24 hours in Bluff New Zealand on 12th February to repair an issue with their generator.
The arrivals of provisional second and third, Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos, is expected between 30th of March and 2nd of April.
Cheminées Poujoulat are upwind in 20-25kts of wind this morning, making about 9kts with 137 miles left to sail – at 0500hrs UTC – to reach the finish line in Barcelona. But the winds will drop away completely around midday and the final 30-40miles look set to be very slow, hence the ETA has now slipped to 1700-1800hrs local time (1600-1700hrs UTC) this evening.
Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam have been beating through their last night at sea, tacking at 20 miles off the Spanish coast, just north of Valencia.
Neutrogena are 140 miles north of the Canary Islands, upwind and making about 11-12kts in the 20kts NE’ly trade winds, they will work the Moroccan coast as Cheminées Poujoulat did and are due at Gibraltar on the evening of 27th March. Rivals GAES Centros Auditivos have found the Canaries right in front of them, and so Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin had to tack at midnight. They will probably tack again off Grand Canaria and then head on the long tack north to the latitude of Gibraltar Strait where they should pass on 29th.
One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton and We Are Water are not managing to make the more direct northerly course that their predecessors, the first three boats did. Their trade winds are more NNE’ly than NE’ly. In terms of DTF there is 85 miles between fourth placed One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton and fifth placed We Are Water and 120 miles of lateral spearation with Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa more east than the Garcia brothers who are still slightly quicker in the 12kts NE’ly trade winds.
Renault Captur have now some stronger E’ly trade winds. They are making 12.5 – 13kts reaching north toward the doldrums, 380 miles ahead, due at the Equator March 5th in the early morning.
Spirit of Hungary are runnning with the wind making about 11kts and are due on the equator 31 March.
This Tuesday morning their song remains resolutely the same, once again pledging to remain in full race focus aboard Cheminées Poujoulat until they can finally hear the winning gun in front of Barcelona’s iconic W-Hotel.
Their last few hours of racing will still be very challenging. At the Balearics and north they will have strong NE’ly winds, gusting to 30kts, with awkward seas. This is in sharp and sudden contrast to this morning’s drifting conditions in the Mediterranean. The ‘winners elect’ have made just 126 miles in the 24 hours to 1400hrs UTC this afternoon and their ETA was sliding into Wednesday afternoon, but Swiss skipper Bernard Stammrevealed his steely determination to simply complete the job:
” I think those ashore see it differently from us. We don’t feel like we have arrived, it’s something that is still ahead of us. The race isn’t over. And we still have to keep going. We’re not likely to have any damage sailing at two knots, but there could still be some strong winds ahead. No wind at all makes it just as complicated, as you just have to try to keep moving.”
” We’re taking care of ourselves first. For the boat, we mustn’t think that it’s over yet. There is still some strong wind ahead. All the equipment could still get soaked. We’re not going to start putting things away as if it is over.”
revealed that their race has, at times, been a battle to keep going suffering numerous incidents causing damage to sails, their mast track, halyards and locks, confirming that they have completed much of the course with no wind information:
” We had a few major technical problems. We still have our mast, keel, rudders and there are no holes in the hull. We did have some nasty problems with the mast track, no wind info for half of the passage around the world, we lost an important sail at the start, and there were some other things too. We are still suffering from those problems with our hooks and halyards. To get the genoa up requires us to climb to the top of the mast. And it’s a sail that is useful in the Mediterranean. I don’t think we had a day without one problem or another. There were no structural problems and we managed more or less to keep going in spite of these difficulties. We were lucky to have transition zones with fairly decent seas even in the Pacific to be able to fix the track back in place and hoist the mainsail. It certainly wasn’t smooth sailing all the way.”
” I don’t know how many times I climbed the mast. During the first half of the raceI seemed to spend all my time up there. After that I had to go back up because of the mast track problem and for the wind instruments after the Doldrums. Things were a little quieter on that front by the time we got into the Pacific, but some things take ages to sort out.”
report that a crash gybe on that date removed their stern mounted antennae. Their report to race direction and the fleet states that they have been unable to to use their Fleet Broadband or Iridium open port since that date.
Altadill explained: “In order to remain in the game we had to continue without being able to download weather or get the other boat’s positions. It is frustrating but there is no other option. Whilst we conserve energy we are focusing all our attention on sailing Neutrogena 100% efficiently. To communicate we are relying on our emergency Iridium to make ship to shore contact. All we can do is focus on sailing the boat fast with the conditions we have.”
They are racing just north of the Canary Islands still upwind heading in the NE’ly trade winds. Two of the fleet in the Atlantic are now temporarily in ‘solo’ mode following injuries. A fall for Anna Corbella, sustaining sprained knee ligaments, means that she is resting up now, leaving co-skipper Gerard Marín to do the majority of the physical work on GAES Centros Auditivos, just as Nandor Fa is still taking on the heavy work on Spirit of Hungary after Conrad Colman dislocated his shoulder a few days ago. Colman said today:
” During my watches I can still be useful by planning the navigation, easing sheets, controlling the pilot and now, after a couple of days of recovery, make a few hesitant turns on the pedestal with just my right arm. Normal use of the pedestal winch favours biomechanics in that you can be braced securely and balance the push of one arm against the pull of the other for maximum output. Now I can only grab it with one hand and try to whirl the handle as best I can.”
The battle for fourth and fifth continues as One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton and We Are Water emerge into the NE’ly trade winds. Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa still lead We Are Water’sGarcia brothers by more than 80 miles.
The two pairs still in the southern hemisphere, Renault Captur are into the SE’ly trade winds and making better progress towards the Doldrums and the Equator, while Spirit of Hungary have a transition zone to negotiate with light winds.
With the spotlight on Barcelona tomorrow for the finish of Cheminées Poujoulat those duos still in the South Atlantic can be forgiven for feeling a little more detatched and remote from the finish line.
Rankings Tuesday 24th March at 1400hrs UTC
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) at 216 miles to finish
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) + 1040 miles to leader
3 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) + 1266 miles to leader
4 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 2612 miles to leader
5 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 2696 miles to leader
6 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) + 3723 miles to leader
7 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 4461 miles to leader
ABD : Hugo Boss (A. Thomson – P. Ribes)