The 2010/2011 Barcelona World Race - a two-crew non-stop round-the-world race.
Article: The Only American in the Race
Most days along the Barcelona port, African immigrants unravel their draw-string blankets full of counterfeit goods as swarms of tourists line up for the one restaurant with a front row seat to the harbor and its boats belonging to Barcelona’s wealthy and the international jetset touring the Mediterranean.
But on a morning walk the day before New Years Eve, my husband and I stumbled upon, first a photo exhibit of jaw-dropping photographs, some of the most remarkable points in the ocean around the world, then further on kids lined up with their parents to enter a simulated wind tunnel, extreme conditions out at sea, and finally a portable pool with toy sailboats zipping around under the gathering clouds. In the distance, a building made of inflated PVC and glass rose like an flame-hued organism breathing life into the dramatic skies of the final days of 2010.
As we followed the march of the curious down the pier at the end, instead of finding the prim white and blue sailboats that normally dot the southern view down to Barceloneta, we found slick state of the art sailing machines. These truly impressive vessels were covered in skins that looked more like the digital kind in video games than the vinyl film wrapped around racing cars (you just don’t expect sailboats dressed up in such clothing). Each boat was different from the next and outfitted for two-person crews, heralded by banners brandishing their pictures, men and women that would soon take the helm and lead these boats on a ninety-day race around the world. Some had big spindly skipper wheels light years different from the ships ahoy style wooden spokes you find on the walls of sailor-themed restaurants. Others had electric tills that looked like they might lead boats through galaxies rather than past continents.
We looked around and deliberated who to talk to. Ropes separated onlookers from last minute preparations on board - checks on vital equipment, course-plotting, weather mapping, and below deck, the bobbing heads in the water belonging to scuba divers scouting the perimeters of the boats for flaws. Sailors hailed from around Europe as well as the UK and even New Zealand. There was only one boat manned by an American. Only one? That piqued my curiousity and we made a beeline for the man that matched the picture on the side of the boat.
Read More: peterchaunceybarcelona.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/the-only-american-in-the-race/