In twenty days the third edition of the Barcelona World Race begins. This race is a double-handed, non-stop, round the world regatta starting and finishing in Barcelona, Spain. The sailboats will cover approximately 23,000 nautical miles, passing the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia) and Cape Horn (Chile). During the race the yachts will pass though twelve climate zones and cross three oceans. The yachts are expected to cross the finish line at the end of March 2015.
The boats are IMOCA 60 yachts which are specially designed for solo and double-handed ocean sailing. The IMOCA is an ‘open’ class, meaning that they are individually designed within certain parameters. For example maximum measurements are: 18.29 metres (60 feet) length, 4.5 metre draught and a maximum mast height of 29 metres above the waterline. The yachts must also comply with a series of safety requirements regarding structural design and stability. The IMOCA 60s have hulls designed for gliding over the waves, allowing the boats to hit peak speeds of around 25 knots.
What is really fantastic is that while the race is running, the Barcelona World Race Ocean Campus is offering several free on-line courses – MOOCs. The Campus was created by FNOB (Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona), the University of Barcelona, and the El Far Consortium, with a mission to disseminate the broad knowledge base in ocean sailing. The Campus will kick off with five courses on the subjects of Meteorology, Medicine, Food and Nutrition, Oceanography and Chronobiology, with study materials available in Catalan, Spanish and English. The courses will take place from November 2014 to May 2015. They will each have a duration of between six to eight weeks.
Follow the race here: www.barcelonaworldrace.org