If you’ve happened to pass by the Winter Garden you may have seen a stage set up for the New York – Transoceanic Sailing Record. Like so many of the random events occurring amongst the palm trees, you might have wondered what was this about? It really wasn’t until they screened the promotional video this week, did you realize the magnanimity of the event.
Apparently, two teams of sailboats sponsored by W Hotels and Estrella Damm, are in a race against themselves to make the journey across the Atlantic Ocean pond to be the first from New York to make it to Barcelona, which would be a new world sailing record. Each have three sailors from both nations. No matter which team wins, the recipe for the record will always go down asÂ 2 Parts Spanish: 1 Part American.
The race commenced today with the Estrella Damm, co-skipped by Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer, and the W Hotels, with Pachi Rivero, Tono Piris and Peter B. Becker led an inaugural departure at 11:00am (ET) in front of the North Cove Marina, where the boats were located since their arrival in New York two weeks ago. From there, they sailed through the Lower Bay and towards the Verrazano Bridge to their starting point: the Ambrose Light Meridian that they crossed in unison at 14:33h local time when the World Sailing Speed Record Council judges set the official chronometers that will record each boat’s time.
The improvement of the weather conditions, with southwest winds between 25 and 30 knots, has determined the departure date in order to achieve the best conditions to complete the record in the best possible time. According to Marcel Van Triest, official meteorologist of the New York â€“ Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record, the conditions are ideal for the boats to sail at very high speeds during the first few hours.
According to the official website, the aim is not only to achieve this amazing record but “to strengthen the connection between New York and Barcelona with a strongÂ socio-cultural, educational and sporting program.” What they probably didn’t tell us is that Soccer was their first choice sport, but would undoubtedly fall upon ambivalence on the United States side.
Sailing could not be a better choice of sport for our neighborhood, and an excellent way to kick off the spring sailing season in the North Cove Marina.
On a side note, we can’t help but mention that the 2:1 Spaniard ratio makes a heck of a lot of sense. I mean Ponce de Leon, Cortes, Balboa were experts in navigating the Atlantic pond — it’s in their Spanish blood!
We wish them well on their endeavors and if you’d like to find out more about the race, including a GPS tracking of their routes — check out the official website.