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Barcelona World Race : Brothers Bruno and Willy Garcia finish fifth

The brothers completed their first full circumnavigation in 99 days, 3 hours, 6 minutes and 28 seconds

jeudi 9 avril 2015Redaction SSS [Source RP]

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Theirs was one of the most epic battles of the Barcelona World Race Barcelona World Race #barcelonaworldrace , exchanging places with One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton throughout almost the entire 23,000-mile course. As We Are Water entered the Mediterranean three days ago they were fewer than 60 miles behind their long-term rivals, closing to just 44 miles as strong headwinds tested both teams. But while ultimately fourth place may have remained just beyond their grasp, fifth place, non-stop, remains a phenomenal achievement for this duo, who bring a Corinthian spirit to the race, both working in demanding professions as well as building exemplary sailing careers.

Brothers Bruno and Willy Garcia may have a lifetime of shared experiences between them, but they began their preparation for the Barcelona World Race Barcelona World Race #barcelonaworldrace just three months before the start. Taking a well-proven boat (the winner of the 2007-08 edition of the race), with a succinct campaign and training plan managed by the FNOB, they hav e exceeded their objectives through teamwork, focussing on the essentials and sailing conservatively when required.

The duo sailed an actual distance of 28 292.73 miles in 99 days, 3 hours, 6 minutes and 28 seconds, at an average speed over the ground of 11.89 knots. They arrived 14 days, 21 hours, 16 minutes and 3 seconds after the winning boat, Cheminées Poujoulat, skippered by Bernard Stamm (SUI) and Jean Le Cam (FRA), who arrived on March 25th at 18.50 local time (17.50 UTC). Second went to Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and Jose Muñoz (CHI) on Neutrogena and third to fellow Spanish skippers Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín on GAES Centros Auditivos, while fourth placed Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa (ESP) arrived home the previous day on We Are Water.

In honour of the Garcia brothers’ achievement, Jean Le Cam, Gerard Marín, Aleix Gelabert, Dida c Costa, Pepe Ribes and Andor Serra welcomed them into Barcelona onboard the winning IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA 60, Cheminées Poujoulat. Prolonging the agony – or protracting the enjoyment – of waiting to finish in their home city, the final hours of We Are Water’s race were drawn out by light south-easterly winds that saw them make slow progress home over the course of today, zig-zagging just a mile or so off the coastal marshes of Llobregat. We Are Water crossed the line in sparkling Spanish sunshine at 15.06 UTC (17.06 local time), before arriving at a festive Portal de la Pau with crowds waving balloons and flags to welcome the Barcelona pair back to landfall.

The duo

Bruno Garcia is big brother : five years senior to Willy at 47, and the more experienced of the two in ocean racing. This is Bruno’s second attempt at the Barcelona World Race Barcelona World Race #barcelonaworldrace – in 2010-11 he set off with this year’s winner Jean Le Cam on Président, before retiring when dismasted off the Cape Verde islands. A highly respected cardiologist, Bruno has twice finished fifth in the gruelling Mini Transat singlehanded race, and competed in three Solitaire du Figaro Solitaire du Figaro #LaSolitaire races.

Like his brother, Willy Garcia is married, was born in Barcelona and lives there to this day. A skilled jeweller, Willy has also competed in the Mini Class, including a ninth in the 2003 Transat, and two Sol itaire du Figaros. He raced together with Bruno in the Figaro class in the Transat AG2R Transat AG2R #TALM 20 years ago, but this was his first round the world race.

The boat

A 2007 launch by Farr Yacht Design, We Are Water has an impressive pedigree in the Barcelona World Race, having won the inaugural 2007-08 event as Paprec-Virbac 2 with Jean-Pierre Dick and Damian Foxall. Three years later it was back, sailed to fourth place as Estrella Damm by Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes in 2010-11, and four years further on it has completed yet another round-the-world voyage, this time non-stop.

The boat carried the name of We Are Water, a foundation established to promote awareness of the need for sustainable management of the world’s water resources, in association with Roca. It is the second IMOCA Imoca #IMOCA 60 to carry the foundation’s message, following Jaume Mumbrú and Cal i Sanmartís entry in the 2010-2011 edition of the race.

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