Strangers at Sea

Video Feature: Two Men Cross the Atlantic, Sailing Together for the First Time

by Chris Museler

Chris Museler's excellent documentary on the double-handed New York-Barcelona Race came out today on the New York Times. "You're the first to get the link," says Chris. What follows is the complete documentary that Chris filmed and helped produced. It was the first time someone had documented a double-handed race as such. Hear Chris talk about the experience on the podcast by clicking here. Thanks to the NY Times for letting us run this. Click here for the original piece.

Ryan Breymaier is hardly known outside the national sailing community. In the port cities Barcelona and Les Sables-d’Olonne, France, he is recognized as a skipper of some of the most challenging racing sailboats in the world.

Breymaier’s training and ambitions are aimed at the Vendée Globe, a solo, nonstop, round-the-world race held every four years. He is the first American in a generation to be considered a threat to the French stranglehold on that race and on the Barcelona World Race, the nonstop double-handed race on the same track.

Pepe Ribes of Spain, a decorated America’s Cup and ocean-racing sailor, shares Breymaier’s ambitions.

In June, Breymaier and Ribes took major steps toward fulfilling their solo sailing hopes by winning the International Monohull Open Class Association Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race.

An unlikely match, the two were thrown together on a boat that was purchased only months before. On the delivery to New York from Europe, the mast broke; the two sailors wound up waiting until the start of the race to work together as a double-handed team.

They proceeded to cross the Atlantic Ocean on a 60-foot monohull, one of five boats in the competition.

“We wound up racing hundreds of 15-minute races all the way across, with each one putting more pressure on us,” Ribes said.

Conditions in the New York to Barcelona Race included drifting, 40-knot winds and breaking waves. Only three of the five starters finished the race.

The Ocean Masters founder, Sir Keith Mills, authorized a reporter to chronicle the race from aboard the boats. Only three of the five participating boats agreed to offer a spot.