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Barcelona WR: Politics forces suspension of RTW Race

by Barcelona RTWR 29 Mar 2018 09:33 BST 29 March 2018
Competitors line up in Barcelona Round the World Race © Barcelona RTW Race

In view of the political and institutional difficulties faced in Spain, the FNOB (Barcelona Ocean Sailing Foundation) Board of Trustees has decided to suspend the upcoming edition of the Barcelona World Race, due to start on the 12th of January 2019.

A sporting event of this scale requires significant private sponsorship, which is its only source of funding. And this last year, the course of events has prevented the FNOB from ensuring a reliable sponsorship process, and therefore guaranteeing the delivery of the best Barcelona World Race to the teams, their sponsors and the public.

The decision to suspend the race is all the more difficult given that its new format (start January 12, mandatory stopover in Sydney and possible change of co-skipper) has significantly increased interest among the IMOCA teams and strengthened its relevance within the IMOCA Globe Series calendar.

Understandably, this is a very disappointing situation for all the stakeholders, in particular the IMOCA class, and the teams engaged. In everyone’s best interest, this decision could not be delayed any longer. In the meantime, the FNOB will do everything in its power to support IMOCA with potential alternative solutions.

And as of today, the FNOB is starting discussions with IMOCA with the aim to secure a future edition of the Barcelona World Race in 2022-2023.

About the Barcelona World Race

The Barcelona World Race is a double-handed (two crew – skipper and co-skipper) round the world race, starting and finishing in Barcelona, with two legs: Barcelona – Sydney – Barcelona.

The event is a highlight in the Barcelona sporting and cultural calendar, where the sea, sailing, sport the spirit of Barcelona and its citizens come together in a grand celebration. The regatta turned 10 years old this November 2017 and notching up three editions so far, it has become a cornerstone event in the worldwide transoceanic yacht racing calendar. This is a sporting challenge, a transoceanic adventure which pushes human strength and endurance to the limit. The yachts race round the world on a route some of 26,000 nautical miles (48,152 km) in length.

Created and organised by the FNOB, the competition is part of the IMOCA Globe Series and is classified as a World Sailing Major Event. The Barcelona World Race has also developed a highly-successful cross-sectional model; bringing sport, education, science and industry together, generating not only economic wealth, but also intellectual, scientific and environmental rewards.

The first edition was held in 2007/08; the second in 2010/11 and the third in 2014/15. Until now the regatta was non-stop, making the brand-new stopover in Sydney an exciting new racing feature.

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