A global sporting challenge
The Barcelona World Race is the world's only double-handed, non-stop, round the world race. It is part of the IMOCA Ocean Masters World Championship. It was created by Barcelona's ocean sailing foundation, the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB) and is their flagship project. In just two editions (2007/08 and 2010/11) the competition has established itself as an international benchmark for ocean sailing.
27 teams and 46 skippers from over 10 nationalities (14 Spaniards), including some of international ocean sailing's most successful skippers have put their double-handed sailing skills to the test in this race. The two editions so far have produced two World Speed Sailing Records and seen the first Spanish woman, Anna Corbella, race around the world non-stop with no external assistance.
The third edition of the race sets off on the 31st of December 2014. The pontoons where the nine expected entries will be tied up, situated at the bottom of the famous Ramblas, under the watchful eye of Christopher Columbus, will be officially opened on the 12th of December 2014.
A bid for the city
The race was developed in response to the Strategic Plan for Sports for the City of Barcelona in 2002. The Plan identified a niche in the market for a nautical sporting event, backed by the city of Barcelona. Within the IMOCA Class racing schedule, the Barcelona World Race offered the opportunity to create a double-handed, non-stop, round the world race aboard IMOCA Open 60 yachts. That put Barcelona at the forefront of the international offshore racing circuit.
In addition to the event's sporting prestige, the Barcelona World Race is a magnificent visibility platform for the FNOB's numerous initiatives and projects. Since 2005, when the foundation was set up with the support of its patrons; Barcelona City Council, the Exhibition Centre, the Port Authorities and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, it has been heavily involved in developing and promoting socioeconomic activities [link a la FNOB] connected to sport, industry and the key values of sailing along four key lines: R+D, Education and Knowledge, Science and Technology and the Environment.
The FNOB is currently working along these four key strategic lines in close collaboration with universities, institutions, businesses and the citizens. This dynamic intrasectoral collaboration between different socioeconomic agents, built around the four key branches of activity, are underpinned by the FNOB's awareness of its responsibility to wider society and its drive to achieve sustainable management on all fronts. This creates projects of value, built on a desire to generate benefits for the city of Barcelona, the local area and its people and the sport of sailing.
Projects integrated into the Barcelona World Race 2014/15 include:
- The schools and university Educational Programme
- Collaboration with ocean science
- Initiatives involving technology, universities and the environment
- Revival and promotion of the city's nautical culture
The Barcelona World Race is a leading sporting event. Its priorities are quality, innovation, respect for the environment and ethical and socially responsible management. In July 2014 the Barcelona World Race obtained the ISO 20121 certificate for sustainable event management and became the first international race to receive the accolade.
Collaborating sponsors, institutions and organisations
The main sponsors of the Barcelona World Race 2014-2015 are Renault, Johnson & Johnson and Estrella Damm, joined by six official sponsors, ten collaborators and six technology suppliers; a total of 25 companies putting their support behind and actively collaborating with this event.
A number of institutions are involved in the event across different aspects: the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV), the Royal Spanish Cruiser Association (RANC), the Catalan Sailing Federation, IMOCA, the Quirón Teknon Hospital, the Sant Cugat High Performance Centre, the Real Club Náutico de Barcelona, the Reial Club Marítim de Barcelona yacht clubs.
The Barcelona World Race is also supported by the Spain's Ministry for Education, Culture and Sport's Sports Council and the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
Collaboration from universities and social and research institutions is also key: The University of Barcelona (UB), the Institut Químic de Sarrià (IQS), the Catalunya Polytechnic University (UPC), Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), the Barcelona School of Design and Engineering (ELISAVA), the Escola Massana art school at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Barcelona Educational Consortium, the Teaching Department at the Generalitat de Catalunya, The Oceanography Society, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography, the Spanish Institute of Sea Sciences (ICM), the Spanish Scientific Research Council (CSIC), Business with Social Value, the Barcelona Institute of Culture (ICUB) and Caritas.