Ruta de la Sal: The Race from Barcelona to Ibiza 2010

La Ruta: The Epic Version

01 April, 11:00 AM – Leaving Les Botiques

Marina Port Vell, Barcelona

Marina Port Vell, Barcelona

We prepare the  boat from the largest Genua to the Spi, because you never know. It is unlikely to be raised, but you just want the 150 square metre of extra sails up…

Preparing the sails

Meanwhile the tactical team struggles with iPhones and UMTs modems to get the latest Gribfiles downloaded and save the latest Windguru predictions. Fair weather and southeastern wind of 10-15 knots expected, meaning an upwind course to Ibiza.

Around 1100 AM we leave the harbour with the other participants heading to the startline. In the middle of the harbour one of the bigger ships hit grounds. Damn, that just looks very stupid in front of everyone.

12:10 PM – The Start

Start of Ruta de Sal

At 11:50 AM the 10 minutes before start signal is given. Hundreds of boat make their moves to get the best position for the start. A flag is raised, a delay of the start for 10 minutes. Reasons unknown, no one really cares. All boats, from a classic cut schooner to a big dark Wally, have to rethink their strategy. Stick to the strategy shown to the sharp observer or change plans to the best start approach.

Sailing Ruta de la Sal

We have a good start and because we expect a windshift more from the North we head for a port tack first.

14:35 – The Chase


About 80% of the participants do the goose walk down mainstreet and went starboard along the Spanish Coast. Some brave challengers tried to follow the Eagle and are heading their first tack also to the east expecting the more northern wind.

17:00 PM – The 5 O’Clock Show

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At Five it the ancient wisdom prevails, a “kopstoot” (I am told it is translated something like a “gin with a chaser“) along with our Dutch national bard & boozer André Hazes.

Statistics: Sailed 26.8 nM in 4.8 hours with an (ergo) average speed of 5.54 knots

20:00 PM – Dinner


At 8 oclock we have a lucios dinner. A special prepared meal by the top chefs of Barcelonetta.

The delicate mix of the finests ingredients of Catalunya combined with the splendour of powerfood. No iceberg will stop us with this ménagerie à trois of bami, rice and pasta.

02 April, 00:00 New watch

An impressive moon is born out of the sea. The gracious star-spangled sky is replaced by the full moon coloured to red by the asscloud of Icelandic Vulcano called Eyjafjallajokull. The cloudless night gives a panoramic view over the Balearic Sea lighted by the full moon of Eastern.

Unfortunately this poetry just does not cover for the extreme coldness of that night.

In reality five deepfrozen people dive down looking for their berth. Five just awakened but still sleepy people have to go outside taking an ice-bath. Picking everything up that can provide some shelter (from hot coffee to a nice comfortable warm sock).

Statistics: about 61.30747 nM further from start in 10.8 hours averaging it out at 5.7 knots

11:00 AM – Sailing Racing Sleeping


The old ancient wisdom of racing the Balearic: it is just better to sleep and enjoy.

02 April 13:58 Finish


Raced from Barcelona to Ibiza with S/Y Colombe, a Swan 441 R from 1979 during Eastern. The track distance of the race was 138 nautical Miles (nM), we sailed 152 nM in 25.8 hours and had an average speed of 5.9 knots. We had finished as 2nd in our class.

Colombe crossed the line as second in our class and 10th overall of the ca. 300 participants. “Jay Walker“, a Dutch J-35, finished first in our class and “La Floresta del Mar” a Swan 56, won La Ruta de la Sal overall. The complete overview can be found here.

Time for a drink in the Pacha

More pictures at Flickr (including the directors cut of the return to Barcelona)

The Beancounters Voice

A more quick way of telling about a sailing race would be just showing the numbers. It is the beancounters way of telling a story and it would go something like this:

Raced from Barcelona to Ibiza with S/Y Colombe, a Swan 441 R from 1979 during Eastern. The track distance of the race was 138 nautical Miles (nM), we sailed 152 nM in 25.8 hours and had an average speed of 5.9 knots. We had finished as 2nd in our class.

Nice? This is just the start…

Step 1: Data Visualisation

To get it a little bit more attractive you could start visualizing the data. Using the combined magic of Google Earth, GPSBabel, GPS Visualizer and good old Excel you could tell the story of route, speed, distance, heading as a more attractive story:






Average Speed per Hour Speed per 20 minutes



Speed versus Heading over Time
Measurement Statistics

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