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  • Day Four of the RORC Transatlantic Race and the MOD 70s are heading west at alarming speed. Zed 6 is about to have it all on to the north and the IRC fleet is experiencing light winds in the high pressure off the Western Sahara.

    Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson, and Tony Lawson's Concise 10/Ms Barbados, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield gybed west as the sunset yesterday. Concise 10 took a more southerly line than Phaedo3, recognising the low pressure system to the south. Phaedo3 responded by gybing further south, giving up precious miles to cover the potential advantage. Phaedo3 still holds the upper hand but Concise 10 are still very much in striking distance. Concise 10 sent in this video via satellite link.

     On board update from Concise 10/Ms Barbados

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  • 2015-RTR-Phaedo-3-start-james-mitchell

    Phaedo3 setting off on their Transatlantic match race - photo RORC/James Mitchell

    On the third day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the duelling MOD 70s are locked in a high speed battle approaching the Cape Verde Islands. 800 miles to the north, Zed 6 is cutting a cold lonely figure and Tales II is back in the race after a pit stop in Tenerife. The trio of powerful maxis have played their first tactical battle and further back in the fleet, there is a very different standard of cuisine aboard Nunatak and Aloha.

    On the second night at sea, Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson was still leading the charge south, but only just. Tony Lawson's Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield - re-branded Ms Barbados - has significantly closed the gap. At one stage Phaedo3 had pulled out a 50 mile lead, but on the morning of day three the two MOD 70s were parallel approaching the Cape Verde Islands. Phaedo3 has the most westerly position, but Concise 10 seems to have more breeze to the east. Phaedo3 has a new set of carbon sails which may have given them an edge, but Concise 10 is sporting radar, which Phaedo3 has not: “The radar dome fitted to the front of the mast can be a bit of a pain when gybing but it gives us 'eyes' at night, especially to spot squalls which can have significantly more breeze to give us a real push,” explained Team Concise's Jonny Malbon.

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  • 2015-rtr-silvi-belle-2-at-start-JamesMitchellMike Gascoyne's Silvi Belle 2 leads the Class40 fleet following rudder problems to Tales II - photo RORC/James Mitchell

    Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the International Maxi Association and supported by Marina Lanzarote Camper & Nicholsons Marina, Port Louis Grenada and Grenada Tourism Authority.

    Only the second day into the RORC Transatlantic Race and race tactics, unbelievable speed and boat damage have already added to the story. Gonzalo Botin's Spanish Class 40, Tales II, diverted into Tenerife last night. All four crew are fine but they have sustained damage to their port rudder and need to weld the problem before the Spanish team continue racing. Meanwhile Mike Gascoyne's British Class 40 Silvi Belle 2 has been eating up the miles. Mike knows all about unplanned pit-stops having spent 30 years in Formula One and expects Tales II to come roaring out of Tenerife. Tales II showed extraordinary pace at the start and will be looking to chase down Silvi Belle 2 once they get back out on the race track.

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  • 2015-rtr-windfall-tales-II-aloha-photo-james-mitchellWindfall leads Talse II and Aloha away from the start - photo RORC/James Mitchell

    The second edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race got away as scheduled from Marina Lanzarote with the fleet enjoying a reaching start in Atlantic swell and a solid 15 knots of breeze from the north east. Close battles are expected within the fleet for the next 3,000 miles before the yachts reach the finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

    "A fantastic start," enthused Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive of the Royal Ocean Racing Club. "Beautiful conditions for the fleet which all got away extremely well under full sail. Every single yacht competing in this race has been so well prepared and they are all expecting a very competitive race across the Atlantic. There are battles throughout the fleet which will undoubtedly have many twists and turns over the next few days and weeks of racing. Safety is always our top priority and after that major consideration, these teams are all up for the challenge of pushing hard across the Atlantic."

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