Barcelona World Race 2018


  • The FNOB (the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing) is studying the most suitable date for the start of the race, which will be between 20th December 2018 and 7th January 2019
  • Two pre-registrations have already been received for the two-handed round-the-world race, which will continue to be non-stop and with the same route as the previous edition
  • For the FNOB the race will be the culmination of an ambitious project to bring ocean sailing to a wider audience and support science, education and sustainable industrial development.


Work is now underway on the fourth Barcelona World Race, the non-stop two-handed round-the-world race that starts and ends in Barcelona. Now approved by the RFEV (the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation) and the IMOCA class, the FNOB has published the Pre-Notice of Race, which is the first step towards the holding of the only round-the-world, two handed, nonstop race organised by a Spanish organisation.  

The committee of experts convened by the FNOB meets regularly to assess various aspects of the race and, where necessary, propose improvement actions for participants, the media and the general public. This committee, composed of skippers, the media and public and sporting organisations, will be studying the best date for the race’s start, which will certainly be between 20th December 2018 and 7th January 2019. Coordination with other events and optimisation of media coverage are two aspects that will have an influence on this decision, which will be announced in the coming months. 

The fourth Barcelona World Race will start and end in Barcelona, will be two-handed, non-stop and in the IMOCA 60 class, as in the past. No changes are planned to the route, which will leave with the great capes to port and Antarctica to starboard, without passing through the Cook Strait as it did in the last race. 

In the coming race, the FNOB will redouble its commitment to the sustainability of oceans by collaborating with the scientific community in the collection of data and by disseminating this concern to the public through the sailors themselves and through the media. The FNOB has again renewed its collaboration agreement with UNESCO, which has been in place since the second race in 2010. The Barcelona World Race has been a pioneer in bringing sport and science together and has paved the way for other organisers of ocean races.

There will also be more educational initiatives, in order to promote ocean sailing to young people and highlight urgent concerns about the environment.  The tracking of the race will again be included in educational curriculum programmes, this time increasing their duration by making them permanent instead of every four years. 

For the city of Barcelona, the race that bears its name represents a five-star sporting and public event that helps to project Barcelona’s image as a leader in top-level sport, in the organisation of major events, in public solidarity and a city that is strongly committed to sustainability.

Team Ireland Vendee Globe Campaign 2016

Team Ireland Vendée Globe Challenge is a professional sailing team that will see the first ever Irish sportsperson compete in sailing's most difficult race, the Vendée Globe. A strong team of professionals, volunteers, and partners is working to ensure the Team's skipper, Enda O'Coineen, has the best chance possible of completing this non stop, unassisted, extreme sailing race around the globe.

Sean McCarter and Dave Kenefick join the team as reserve skippers and the Atlantic Youth Trust have become the team's Official Charity Partner.

"With recent focus on the 2020 Vendee Globe, it is both very exciting and a huge honour to join Team Ireland in the 2016 campaign. Enda has been involved in Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Race campaigns for Ireland over the years. Most recently, he came 3rd in the Single-handed B2B Transatlantic race."  Sean McCarter

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Why some of the most prominent and successful CEOs are sailors

You are racing for the final spot in the biggest title in the sport, and the conditions are less than favourable. Suddenly, your headsail explodes. Pulling down the sail and replacing it means almost everyone onboard is there on the foredeck, pulling the sail down and stuffing it through one hatch and bringing up the spare sail through the other — all this without a guard rail around. This isn't a hypothetical situation, but what actually happened during the build up to the biggest sailing event of 1987. "All of us immediately got to work, and soon we realised that half of us were stuffing the sail down one hatch, and the other half through the other, in effect clogging the egress," says Peter Isler, who was the navigator of the boat. It was in the middle of this chaos that skipper Dennis Conner walked onto the deck. He took in the scene and walked off in disgust at how 'professional' his crew was. Later though, he did tell them, "So we had a problem in that race, but we are the best team this year, I'm sure you guys will take care of it so that we don't have this problem again".

The team recouped, realised that while everyone had been almost too quick to react to the situation; there was a complete lack of organisation. What it needed was someone to take charge and call the shots.

"And what do you know, in the next race against Team New Zealand we had the exact same problem — under far more adverse conditions," recounts Isler. "Only this time, somebody took control and we knew exactly what to do. We managed to fix the situation even before the other team got close to us," he says. The Stars and Stripes team eventually went on to win that year's America's Cup, the Holy Grail of sailboat racing. In retrospect, it possibly wouldn't have happened had Conner not trusted his team enough to completely delegate important decisions to them, which eventually affected the outcome.

This is one of the most popular sailing stories that Isler, now also a motivational speaker and corporate trainer, likes to tell his 'students'. "There are a lot of similarities between business and sailing, the constant rate of change being just one of them," says the two-time Cup winner and best-selling author of At The Helm and Sailing For Dummies.

He likens his position of the Navigator to the CFO of a company, monitoring the boat's performance by keeping track of the conditions on the racecourse and other data.

According to Isler, what sets a good sailor apart from the rest is how he reacts to a change in conditions. "Sailing is intimately connected with the wind. The wind decides how fast you can go, how many people you need on the deck...everything. And the wind is never constant," he says. The mark of a good sailor then, is someone who can learn to embrace these changes. The one who reacts the fastest and smoothest to the change in conditions eventually wins the race — it's almost like a competitive advantage. Not unlike the current business environment where the tried and tested ways of functioning are no longer enough to see you through. Thinking on your feet to adapt to the rapid changes around is the only way for many to survive.

Apart from dealing with the fickle weather, manpower management too is a crucial aspect of running a successful sailing expedition . "Irrespective of the number of people you have on board, managing everyone can be a management and organisational challenge," points out Isler. Of course, it can also be a great exercise in leadership and team building, perhaps one reason why single-day sailing courses are increasingly becoming popular corporate learning tools world over.

Little wonder then, that some of the best known CEOs are also avid sailors, including America's Cup winner and media mogul Ted Turner, Oracle's Larry Ellison and Walt Disney Company's Roy Disney. Isler in fact won his second America's Cup sailing for the BMW Oracle team, backed by Ellison.

Two things he likes to repeat at all his management sessions are that there is no single formula for a winning team, and if you want to get the best out of your people, make it fun for them. "Every winning team is different and no formula is right or wrong, it's about what works for your team. Also, there are different ways of motivating people, and if you do so in a manner that is fun for them — which doesn't necessarily mean that it's not serious — then you will see that their performance also definitely improves," he explains.

Another aspect to his appearances as a celebrity sailor Isler enjoys are the little observations he picks up from the companies and executives that he can plough back into his sailing. Citing a recent example when he visited a health foods and pharmaceutical company developing a new product, Isler realised that the research team worked better when they had inputs from the sales team who was out there selling the product rather than all the units working in silos. "Similarly, while working on the boat design for the BMW Oracle team in San Diego, we realised that it helped if the sailors were there to give their inputs to the design team," he says. "Development doesn't only happen in the mind of the researcher or design team. If you can get the sales staff or sailors involved, you'll find that you'll end up with a better product."

Be it the sheer commitment to the end goal, degree of team work required or the uncertainties that one is almost certain to encounter, Isler says that the similarities between sailing and business are many. But what sets sailing apart from other sports is that one can never stop learning, no matter how many years one has been a sailor, he says. "Also, it's like being on a 3-D chessboard, one that is constantly moving at different planes," he adds. If you manage to make your way around this successfully, you can rest assured that tackling the ever changing business world too will be a breeze.

The Economic Times, Dec 11 2009.

New Year, New Partner!

SMC Racing to partner with Palma Sport & Tennis Club for 2016.  The newly opened club is located in the heart of the city and is a perfect fitness training base for what is shaping up to be a busy year.

Palma Sport and Tennis Club have a 25m heated outdoor pool, gym and Spa. The highly skilled and friendly staff offer a range of classes including Cross Training, Pilates, TRX&Core, Yoga, Body Pump and more. As well as a gourmet restaurant and bar, the club also offers space for meetings, coaching courses and presentations. 

"I am privileged to have access to a world class training facility so close to home. People often think that offshore sailing is a very healthy activity but in reality, the extreme conditions and physicality involved mean that you need a high level of fitness to begin with. Core strength and endurance are vitally important to long periods of offshore racing. They improve efficiency and reduce the risk of injury. " Sean McCarter   


Henri Lloyd sign up as Official Clothing Sponsor

We are delighted to announce Henri Lloyd as SMC Racing's official clothing provider.

Henri Lloyd was established in 1963 in Manchester, England. Mr Henri, as he is known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom and it is these principles that are the foundations of the Henri Lloyd brand today. One of Mr Henri’s many talents, passed on to his sons who have steered the business for the last 2 decades, is the ability to treat everyone with the same level of genuine interest, wit and charm whoever they are.

'Having used Henri Lloyd for my last round the world race, I know that the gear will stand up to the extreme conditions encountered. Henri Lloyd's Drysuit was put to the ultimate test and contributed massively to saving my crew members life during a man overboard in the North Pacific.'  Sean McCarter. '

'Henri Lloyd supplied Sean and his Clipper race team onboard Derry-Londonderry and are delighted to continue this support in the lead up to the Vendee Globe Race 2020.' Amy Grealish, PR and Sponsorship Manager, Henri Lloyd.


Transat Saint Barth - Port la Forêt: Ready, set…

Brian Carlin

It is at 11:00am local time (or 15:00 GMT) tomorrow that the seven competitors will set sail from St Barths bound for Port-la-Forêt in Brittany. For the majority of the skippers, the excitement of the start is likely to be mingled with a thoroughly justified apprehension at the prospect of traversing the Atlantic singlehanded for the first time. The start of a transatlantic race requires careful planning, whether it’s by the racers, the préparateurs or the Race Management.

The racers:

For the sailors, it’s a question of not letting the pressure get the better of them. To achieve this, everyone has their little tricks, their routines: for some it will involve a checklist, to note that the bulk of the tasks have been completed, for others it will be about escaping into physical activity: jogging, swimming, anything that may help to stay in shape is also a fantastic way of decompressing. Consulting the grib files in a bid to anticipate the optimum route is also an excellent way to get in the zone. Switching from stand-by mode to race mode is also a learning process.

The préparateurs:

Their job will be complete once the boat casts off from the port of Gustavia. Up until that moment, they’ll constantly be ready for action, meticulous to the very end, on the search for the slightest detail, the slightest blip, which could bring the fine machine to a grinding halt. For them, the lounging Caribbean vibe is an illusion: whatever the temperature, they are hard at it inside the carbon hulls, which soon resemble a furnace, climbing to the masthead one more time to check that everything is as it should be, diving beneath the hull to track down the slightest hint of a rough edge, which could prevent the hull from slipping cleanly through the water. St Barths is unquestionably the dream holiday location… except for the préparateurs.

The Race Management:

They are the event’s conductors. It’s down to them to melodise the race start and try to anticipate the next ten days of racing: “The start phase itself is always tricky. However much the guys want to be prudent, the competitive spirit soon gets the upper hand and that’s where there is the greatest risk of collision with another boat. This is why we’ll set a start line around 300m offshore, without a specific coastal course. The aim is to make the racers’ lives as simple as possible: manœuvring an IMOCA60 singlehanded is already sufficiently complicated. After that, things should become easier: in principle, the fleet is likely to launch into a long beat on starboard tack in the tradewinds to pick their way northwards as far as the latitude of Miami, or even a little further north, before hanging a right. Next, the pace should pick up as the sailors latch onto the prevailing westerlies. For now, there is no rough weather forecast… but in winter situations can quickly evolve. Vigilance is imperative.”

Last minute: Yann Eliès withdraws

He had planned to be at the start of the Transat Saint-Barth / Port-la-Forêt. Despite being a competitor through and through, Yann has decided to withdraw from the competition in liaison with his shore crew. Facing structural issues, the skipper of Quéguiner / Leucémie Espoir deemed it unreasonable to attempt a solo transatlantic race in the depths of winter. “It is not a decision taken by the heart, but rather one dictated by reason!”

List of entries

Fabrice Amedeo - Newrest-Matmut

Éric Holden – O Canada

Sébastien Josse – Edmond de Rothschild

Morgan Lagravière - Safran

Paul Meilhat – SMA

Enda O’Coineen – Currency House Kilcullen

Thomas Ruyant – Le Souffle du Nord

The course and the organisation

  • 3,400 miles along the great circle route
  • A poll every hour, except between 23:00 GMT and 05:00 GMT to set aside some time for the competitors’ strategic choices
  • Race Management Jacques Caraes assisted by Guillaume Evrard
  • Organisation by OSM
  • Event worth coefficient 4 in the IMOCA Ocean Masters Championship


TEC and Marlow ropes join SMC Racing

Trabajos en Cabos (TEC) are a leading international rigging company. TEC have experience from Olympic class dinghies through to some of the worlds largest mega-yachts.  Most importantly for SMC Racing, TEC Splicing team are at the forefront of Grand Prix and Offshore running rigging. Using Marlow's Grand Prix Series rope, TEC have fitted out numerous race boats including Acciona's 2012 Vendee Globe Open 60.

'I'm extremely happy to be moving forward with Pachi and his team at TEC. Having worked with them in the past, I know their products and skill are second to none.' Sean McCarter 

Peters & May are pleased to support Sean McCarter on his Vendee Globe campaign

Peters & May Ltd provides worldwide yacht transportation services to over 4,000 vessels each year via sea, road, rail and air - to any global destination. As a specialist marine transport provider, we are the first choice of many of the world's leading names in the marine industry. Our clients include professional and commercial organisations, individuals and leisure clients, and we are the long-term preferred logistics supplier to many manufacturers and race teams.

Having shipped IMOCA 60’s, keels, masts and containers for some of the top Open 60 sailors and teams like Michelle Desjoyeaux (Fonica) and Alex Thomson of Hugo Boss, our Race Logistics Division know what’s involved in a Vendee Globe campaign and how important it is to have a reliable team behind any racing campaign.

We have provided racing logistics and support to organisations such as IMOCA (Open 60), The Barcelona World Race, The Transatlantic Race, the Americas Cup, Extreme 40’s, the Melges 24 & 32’s and have supported competitors at the highest level. 

With a global network of offices, we are able to offer unparalleled worldwide reach combined with in-depth local knowledge. The result is a dependable, efficient and cost-effective service covering everything from customs to insurances.

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Future Fibres joins Sean McCarter Racing as Official Composite Rigging Provider

FF Logo.png

As market leaders, Future Fibres work with some of the highest profile race teams including America's Cup, Volvo Ocean Race as well as IMOCA Open 60s. Future Fibres believes in balancing a project needs; weight, windage, usability, durability and price, finding the right combination to meet the team´s specific objectives.

We look forward to working together over the coming years to develop the ultimate rigging package for the Vendee Globe 2020.

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VMG Racing Electronics signs up as Official Supplier


Experience, quality and personalized service are the pillars of VMG Racing Electronics. Founded in 2007, their philosophy is to provide technical and technological solutions with the VMG vision to the marine industry.

The VMG team consists of engineers, technicians and navigators with extensive professional experience of the highest caliber. VMG Racing work on developing new products while providing direct assistance.

The VMG philosophy means that commitment and involvement are fundamental for the success of any project. As your technological partner we offer customized global solutions in each project phase – from the initial idea to regatta assistance and after-sales service.

'Our response time and the quality of services and products offered have firmly consolidated and rapidly expanded. Our presence on the international market as a reference in electronics and electrical systems in top level nautical realms. We now have strategic partnerships and alliances all over the world'. Carlos Freire.

'Having a state of the art and reliable electrical and electronics package that you can trust in the the most extreme environments is critical to both performance and safety. With VMG Racing I know we are in safe and capable hands. I look forward to working with Carlos and his team over the coming years.' Sean McCarter 

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