Race Upates

RORC Transatlantic Race is Born

on . Posted in 2014 Race Updates

Lupa of London crosses the finish line of the RORC Transatlantic Race. Photo: RORC/Arthur Daniel and Orlando K Romain

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Historians argue as to whether the Vikings, an Irish Monk or others were the first to cross the Atlantic. Since the five-week voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492, crossing the Atlantic, quickly and safely, from Europe has always been an important part of seafaring history. The Royal Ocean Racing Club's RORC Caribbean 600 is now in its seventh year and the RORC decided that a dedicated feeder race for the Caribbean's premier offshore event was required.

The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), started on Sunday 30 November from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada, West Indies, 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. An international fleet of yachts took part with crew from at least 12 different countries racing magnificent Maxis crewed by top professional sailors, as well as production yachts crewed by friends and family.

For all the yachts the adventure started long before the start line. It takes months, sometimes years, for the dream of racing across the Atlantic to become a reality and many of the yachts sailed thousands of miles just to make Lanzarote. Derek Hatfield's Spirit of Adventure started their journey from the frozen shoreline of Novia Scotia 2,800 miles away, crossing the Atlantic to join the race. Marc Lepesqueux racing Class40 Sensation Class 40 should not have been in the race at all. After keel failure in the Route du Rhum, Marc sailed Sensation to Lanzarote and successfully completed the race with a novice crew from France. Yves and Isabelle Haudiquet racing Pogo 40, Bingo, was the only husband and wife team in the race completing their second Atlantic crossing together. Every team have their story from the race and their feelings and emotions have been captured in the race blog.

RORC Transatlantic Race Prizegiving

on . Posted in 2014 Race Updates

Fred Pilkington is presented with the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy - Photo RORC/Arthur Daniel and Orlando K RomainThe RORC Transatlantic Race Prizegiving was held at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Guest of honour was the Honourable Yolanda Bain-Horsford, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Grenada. Newly elected RORC Commodore Michael Boyd opened proceeding by thanking the Government of Grenada, Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Puerto Calero Marina and Westerhall Rums for their generous support. Jeremy Pilkington's Baltic 78, Lupa of London, was announced as the winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy with the best elapsed time under IRC.

Moonlight Sérénade

on . Posted in 2014 Race Updates

L-R (standing) Andrew McIrvine, Matthew Thomas, Glynn Thomas, Pita Porta, Eddie Warden Owen, Denis Villotte, Nick Kingsman, Alain Houchard, Nick Elliott. (Sitting) Chrislynn Lashington , Lynn Thomas, Danny Donelan. RORC/Arthur Daniel & Orlando K Romain

RORC Transatlantic Race Update 19th December

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Denis Villotte's French JNP 12, Sérénade, crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada in the early hours of Friday 19th December with an elapsed time of 18 days, 20 hours, 01 minutes and 55 seconds. The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race.

Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew were understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them.

Bingo Finish

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Bingo crossing the finish line in the RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - photo RORC/Arthur Daniel & Orlando K RomainRace Update - 17th December PM

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Yves and Isabelle Haudiquet's French Pogo 40, Bingo crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada at 17:35:31 UTC on Wednesday 17th December 2014 with an elapsed time of 17 days, 07 hours, 35 minutes and 31 seconds.

Isabelle Haudiquet was on the helm as the bright yellow hull blasted through the finish line. Having safely moored Bingo after 17 days at sea, the French crew enjoyed a cold beer dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina.

“For me to sail with three men in a boat is normal, we have sailed together so many times, so the atmosphere on board is no different, even when we cross an ocean. We are an agreeable crew, we eat together, sail together and laugh together. This is my second Transatlantic with Bingo but the first time from east to west and it was very different, sailing from Lanzarote to Grenada is far easier than the other way!”

Optim'X Finish

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Frank Lang and his crew arrive in Camper Nicholsons marina in Grenada at the finish of the RORC Transatlantic Race - photo RORC/Arthur Daniel & Orlando K RomainRace Update - 17th December 2014

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Frank Lang's X 40, Optim'X crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada at 05:17:31 UTC on Wednesday 17th December 2014 with an elapsed time of 16 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 31 seconds.

As with every yacht participating in the race, staff from Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina greeted the French team on arrival with warm congratulations, a cold beer and a welcome basket from the Grenadian Tourism Association on behalf of the people of Grenada.

The crew of five looked tired after nearly 17 days at sea and over 3,000 miles of racing, but owner Frank Lang was full of praise for his crew and the yacht that had looked after them so well during the Atlantic crossing: “I was born in La Baule and it is a town famous for sailing. It is in my blood, but this journey has been full of surprises. During a period of strong wind, when we had 30 maybe 35 knots, we sailed 248 miles in 24 hours, averaging over 10 knots which is a very fast speed for Optim'X. It is the fastest that the boat has ever been, but for the last three days of the race, we have had very light winds, which has made it a long race for us. The finish was hard with no wind as we arrived. We were tacking continuously, looking for that last breath of wind.