Guillermo Altadill and Jonathan McKee left Cowes, UK for Barcelona today for Barcelona World Race qualifier 16/8/07

Guillermo Altadill and Jonathan McKee left Cowes, UK for Barcelona today and will sail the 2,800 mandatory miles en route to qualify for the two-handed, non-stop Barcelona World Race that starts on 11 November, 2007.

The electrical problem that forced the Estrella Damm crew to retire from the Rolex Fastnet Race earlier this week has been fixed and a few last details onboard thoroughly checked.

At 1034 BST hours, Guillermo Altadill’s Estrella Damm left her Venture Quays dock in Cowes and the duo hoisted their colourful sails to head out into the British Channel. Altadill and McKee will benefit from NNW winds to get out of the Channel and enter the Bay of Biscay. If the forecast is correct they will be sailing downwind all the way to the Azores before reaching the Gibraltar straight.

Leaving the Atlantic behind, they will enter the Mediterranean and sail to port of the Balearic Islands to add to the course and reach the 2800 nautical miles. “I hope the Azores High Pressure system won’t be too large so that we can sail as many miles as possible in the Atlantic. We are expecting light airs in the Mediterranean and that would extend the length of our qualification,” commented Guillermo Altdatill before leaving dock.

Jonathan McKee, Estrella Damm co-skipper explained: “Looking at the weather forecast, I believe it should take us about ten days. If all goes well and with a bit of luck, it could be quicker but it’s a detail that doesn’t really bother us.”