Barcelona World Race 2011 to commence on New Year's Eve

Starting on New Year's Eve in Barcelona, Spain, the Barcelona World Race circumnavigates the globe in a competition that spans 25,000 nautical miles and boasts fifteen two-man teams backed by the likes of Hugo Boss, Renault, and luxury interior designers Roca.

The BWR's eventual winners aren't expected back in Barcelona until the end of March at the very least, having passed the isle of Gibraltar, the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), the Cook Strait (New Zealand) and Cape Horn (Chile) on their 46,300 km journey.

There are six speed trophies to collect along the way for the fastest two-person crew between each of the route's six key stretches.

Sanctioned by the International Monohull Open Classes Association, the race is giving a rating of 8, placing it just below an equivalent solo round the world effort such as the Vendée Globe 2012, but higher than a solo transatlantic sprint (the annual Route du Rhum).

Organizers of the Barcelona World Race are planning to embed a graphical tracking system on the official website, so fans around the world can follow developments live as they unfold.

Spanish stations TVE and TV3 have committed to live coverage of the race's first day, while UK channel ITV Meridian has been following the female Spanish-English crew of GAES Centros Auditivos during their training.

It seems that the 2011 Barcelona World Race is proving a popular sponsorship target for dairy brands as well as luxury marques, as Président and Groupe Bel (Babybel, The Laughing Cow) of France along with Central Lechera Asturiana of Spain are all involved in supporting entrants.