Off to Spain
Estrella Damm is all fired up for the second leg of the Istanbul Europa Race, which ends in the team’s home port of Barcelona. The first real test for team’s Open 60, formerly Gitana 80, could not have ended any better than with a win in Leg 1 of the Istanbul-Europa Race, from Istanbul, Turkey, to Nice, France. The 1450 mile leg presented a number of challenges for Guillermo Altadill and Pachi Rivero’s team, who had to contend with unstable conditions and at times very little wind, as well as sail against five of the most competitive IMOCA 60s in the world. “We have fought against them all,” said Rivero, “Foncia, Paprec-Virbac, Veolia in the Straits and also against Groupe Bel. They were all head to head battles and it was hugely satisfying to have got ahead each time.”
“I’m happy with the work we did,” said Guillermo Altadill “and to have won this first leg. We had some pretty complicated situations and constant changes in the leader board. It was complicated but fun! The level of crews in the fleet is incredibly high and the boats are all very even with similar performance, so the differences between us are minimal. After all we have done here, we now have a moral obligation to achieve the same at home”. Looks like Spanish sailors are getting to be serious players in ocean racing. Pic from Jacques Vapillon and more here.