Mixed gender pair complete non-stop sail around world

29th February 2008, Comments 0 comments

Spain's Albert Bargués and France's Servane Escoffier sailed into Barcelona this morning to finish the first ever Barcelona World Race in fifth place

29 February 2008

MADRID - Spain's Albert Bargués and France's Servane Escoffier sailed into Barcelona this morning to finish the first ever Barcelona World Race in fifth place. The two, backed by the charity Education without Borders circled the globe in 108 days 18 hours, 55 minutes and 2 seconds.

The pair, one of only two mixed crews in the race, as well as the least experienced, said that they felt "as if they had finished in first place." This is Escoffier's first round-the-world sailing trip, as well as the first nautical adventure in 20 years for native Barcelonan Bargués.

Bargués described an emotional arrival to his home city: "We both suffered for all the people waiting for us in Barcelona," he said. The sailor added that their boat, built in 1999, was not "on the same level as the others," all of the newest generation. He added, however, that the two hit the waters "very prepared."

On 11 November nine teams debuted in the Barcelona World Race to circumnavigate the globe non-stop. After four teams retired, Education without Borders yesterday was the final team to completed the feat, as well as being only one of two teams to finish the race without having stopped. The other was winner Paprec Virbac 2, which pulled into port on 11 February.

"This is a very big experience in my young life," admitted Servane, at 26, the youngest skipper in the competition. Bargués, 21 years her senior said, "If just one day on land can change a person, imagine what 100 days at sea can do. Of course this has changed me, and hopefully for the best!"

The all-Spanish team of Javier Sanso and Pachi Rivero riding for Mutua Madrileña finished fourth on 19 February.

[Copyright EL PAÍS / KELLY RAMUNDO 2008]

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