Race Updates

2016 RORC Transatlantic Race - That's a Wrap

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

The crew of Aragon, winners of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race photo James Mitchel

 The crew of Aragon, winners of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race. Photo James Mitchell

 

Aragon Races to Victory
The third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association, proved to be a tough challenge for the competitors taking part in a true ocean race. Highly unsettled weather produced confused seas and at times upwind conditions. The disruption of the normal trade winds produced a real challenge for a highly diverse fleet of yachts, racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

Dutch Delight
Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Marten 72, Aragon was the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race and the winner of IRC Zero. Skipper of the Dutch Maxi, Nicolas Lecarpentier collected the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy at a presentation held in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina.

Aragon had some tough moments during the 14 days racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race as co-owner, Andries Verder explained: “The weather was very challenging and that was the stressful part of the race; we were trying to save every second; this was a transatlantic race and we always had that in our minds. We blew out a few spinnakers, but we managed to keep up our speed and performance and we finished the race with everybody safe and sound. The boat performed very well as expected. A large part of that is excellent planning; without that, small issues can easily damage your chances of winning. We have a good spirit in the team and that friendship, combined with the preparation of a great boat, is a winning combination.”

Nemesis Table for Two

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

James Heald and Ben Harris resplendent in dinner jackets having successfully completed the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016. Photo: RORC/Louay Habib

James Heald and Ben Harris resplendent in dinner jackets having successfully completed the RORC Transatlantic Race 2016. Photo: RORC/Louay Habib

James Heald's Swan 45, Nemesis crossed the finish line of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race on 15 December at 03 hrs 42 mins 47 secs on Thursday 15 December, winning IRC Two Handed. Despite a brilliant full moon, rain squalls greeted the arrival of Nemesis onto the windward coast line of Grenada. In the dead of night and through driving rain, the Two Handed team, rounded the southern tip of the island and crossed the finish line with their mainsail ripped to shreds, and after over 18 days at sea, the challenge was won.

James Heald and Ben Harris are both from Lymington, UK and battled against adverse weather, extreme fatigue and suffered significant sail damage to their yacht. The British duo were undaunted and arrived in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina dressed to impress in dinner jackets. Two pizzas and a crate of beer arrived from the Victory Bar Restaurant and the dynamic duo told their story dockside as they got stuck into the feast.

Aragon wins the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Dutch Marten 72, Aragon has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race and the winner of IRC Zero © RORC/Arthur DanielArco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Dutch Marten 72, Aragon has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race and the winner of IRC Zero © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Marten 72, Aragon has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race and also the winner of IRC Zero. Skipper of the Dutch Maxi, Nicolas Lecarpentier collected the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy at a presentation held in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and back in Holland, Aragon's owners held a private party where the rest of the crew, family and friends watched the presentation via internet connection.

Aragon had some tough moments during the 14 days racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race as co-owner, Andries Verder explained: “The weather was very challenging and that was the stressful part of the race; we were trying to save every second; this was a transatlantic race and we always had that in our minds. We blew out a few spinnakers, but we managed to keep up our speed and performance and we finished the race with everybody safe and sound. The boat performed very well and as expected. A large part of that is excellent planning; without that, small issues can easily damage your chances of winning. Everything held up perfectly and that is due to very good preparation. We also have a good spirit in the team and that friendship, combined with the preparation of a great boat, is a winning combination. It was wonderful to arrive in Port Louis and receive such a fantastic welcome.”

Challenger's Canadian Spirit

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

What an achievement. "We've crossed the Atlantic!" Cheers on the dock as the crew of the Nova Scotia-Based sail training vessel, Challenger complete the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada in 18 days © RORC/Arthur Daniel

What an achievement. "We've crossed the Atlantic!" Cheers on the dock as the crew of the Nova Scotia-Based sail training vessel, Challenger complete the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada in 18 days © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Chris Stanmore-Major's Whitbread 60 Challenger crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina today (13 December) at 15 hours 12 minutes and 37 seconds GMT. Two yachts are still to finish the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race; James Heald and Ben Harris, racing Swan 45, Nemesis have 290 miles to go and Giles Redpath's Lombard 46, Pata Negra has 322 miles to cover to finish the race.

Arriving in time for the RORC Transatlantic Race prizegiving, Challenger is one of the sail racing school yachts owned by Spartan Ocean Racing, based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Skipper Chris Stanmore-Major summed up the aims and aspirations of the company in his last blog at sea, before crossing the finish line in Grenada after 18 days at sea.

“After 3,300Nm we finally have Grenada in sight and the crew are elated. Whilst this has been a race and we have not won, the scale of the challenge we have completed is not lost on us, and as a sail training vessel, we are exceptionally proud of what we have accomplished. People with wildly differing skill levels have come together from all over the world and in just two weeks learned how to operate a boat that 20 years ago was at the cutting edge of performance.

Eärendil and Seconde Chance finish in Grenada

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr Earendil crew at finish ArthurDanielCatherine Pourre, Benoit Hochart and Anna-Maria Renken are highly experienced ocean racers, but the RORC Transatlantic Race first time they had come together as a team © RORC/Arthur Daniel

12 December 1600 GMT - Day 17 Report

Catherine Pourre's Class40, Eärendil crossed the finish line of the RORC Transatlantic Race outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina on 12 December at 13 hours 25 minutes and 02 seconds. Eärendil was nearly a day behind the Class40 winner, Campagne de France. However, Eärendil enjoyed a fast finish into Grenada as the trade winds fully filled in. The three crew on board were skipper, Catherine Pourre, Benoit Hochart and on helm through the finish line was Anna-Maria Renken. All three are highly experienced ocean racers, but this was the first time they had come together as a team.

"Eärendil is a new design from Sam Manuard and is a Mach40 Evolution 3 launched in September 2015. It is a very powerful boat with a lot of volume in the bow, designed for reaching; the chine lifts the bow and it just flies over the waves. The design is also good in medium conditions with a wind angle of 65-115, but it is not so good upwind, especially in light winds. So when we experienced these conditions we were not strong. Also we were did not have a watermaker and we were carrying 180 kilos of water. Even when the wind did come, we had a difficult sea state with waves coming across the boat. So we could not use our spinnaker all of the time. We were using the A5 a lot and to change from that to the spinnaker required 20 minutes, including a time bareheaded, as they both use the same halyard and control lines. We had a good battle with Seconde Chance; they did well going south early on and then we saw them going north around to Barbados to try to catch us up. We decided to go south of Barbados mainly to cover them, which worked very well. Our next race will be the RORC Caribbean 600 and we will probably have five crew for that," comments Catherine Pourre.