370 miles of separation - Day Three

on . Posted in 2017 Race Updates

Third day at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race to Grenada - photo from on board Friedrich Boehnert's Xp-50 LunatixAs dawn broke on the third day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the northerly route across the Atlantic looks to be the favourite for many of the 23 teams taking part in the race. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge towards the low pressure system which has attracted the fleet to this route. The low has moved further north east than predicted allowing the fleet to take a more direct heading across the Atlantic. To the south, the convergence zone, acting as a barrier to the tradewinds, is the focus of attention for Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS which has chosen the southerly route.

After beating into big seas for most of the second day, CQS tacked south at around midnight last night. To reach the tradewinds, CQS need to cross a convergence zone, an area of scarce wind approximately 100 miles across. The Australian Maxi has pointed their bow towards the coast of Senegal, West Africa and will be hoping to have picked the narrowest gap. By sharp contrast, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is 370 nautical miles (682 km) north of CQS, blasting along on a tight reach into the low pressure system and experiencing close to gale force conditions.

CQS Go South - Day Two RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2017 Race Updates

Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race  © RORC Race/James MitchellAfter the first night at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race, the vast majority of the international fleet were north of the Canary Islands, negotiating the wind shadow of Gran Canaria and Tenerife created by the unusual southerly wind.

Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet on the water and having now raced over 200 miles and left Tenerife to port, as required by the Sailing Instructions, the next mark of the course is 3,000 miles away. CQS now looks to be taking a different tactical option by leaving La Palma to starboard and going south in a divergence route to the rest of the fleet.

Two yachts have broken away from the chasing pack and look to be heading for the low pressure system north of the rhumb line. The centre of the low is 500 miles away, but they are already feeling the effect as the wind direction and speed becomes unstable, with torrential rain very likely. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge, nine miles ahead of Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine. Of the Maxi yachts, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is by far the most northerly yacht, whilst Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon is going well, pulling ahead of Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

Gentle Start...Not For Long

on . Posted in 2017 Race Updates

2017 rtr cqs start jmLudde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet at the start of the 4th RORC Transatlantic Race; the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta © RORC/James Mitchell

Prior to the start of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race you could feel the apprehension amongst the 200 competitors taking part. After months of planning and preparation, it was time for the record fleet of 23 yachts from nine different countries to cast off lines and take on the challenge of the Atlantic Ocean. At noon, the starting gun heralded the beginning of the iconic 3,000 nautical mile race from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

The forecast of fast reaching conditions failed to materialise and despite little breeze, it was a very competitive start. Ludde Ingvall's 98ft canting keel Maxi CQS made the best of the zephyrs to stretch out an early lead, gybing perfectly on the first of many wind shifts to come. Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump made an impressive start at the Committee Boat end of the line, hoisting their huge gossamer white spinnaker, and Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project showed great pace early on.

Puerto Calero Gala Dinner

on . Posted in 2017 Race Updates

2017 rtr jjcalero gala jmAndrew McIrvine, IMA Secretary General presents JJ Calero with gifts at the gala dinner © RORC / James Mitchell

Competitors from 23 teams taking part in the RORC Transatlantic Race enjoyed a celebratory gala dinner at Restaurant Amura in Puerto Calero prior to the start. Making the most of one of their last nights ashore, the wine and conversation flowed and crews were treated to a delicious five-course dinner, courtesy of Calero Marinas.

RORC Commodore Steven Anderson, who is competing in the race in his 50ft Bermudian cutter Gemervescence, thanked JJ Calero and all supporters of the race in Lanzarote: “All the boats are prepared and everybody is looking forward to the race. Thank you to the Calero family and the whole team at Calero Marinas. Also to the Canary Islands Government, Lanzarote Tourist Board, Arrecife Council and the Real Club Nautico de Arrecife for all that they have done to support the race, now in its 4th year. We have been made so very welcome, as always, and the RORC wishes all competitors a very good race. We look forward to seeing you at the end of the race in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.”

Representing the Hamburg yacht club - Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) and the special westbound Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, Rear Commodore Walter Gross-Fengels made his thanks: “The NRV is celebrating our 150th anniversary next year and for that reason we planned this unique regatta. We would like to thank the RORC for their support and also take the opportunity of inviting all teams to register for the eastbound race from Bermuda to Hamburg, starting on July 8th, 2018. I wish you all a safe and successful race to the Caribbean.”

 

View the race gallery online at http://gallery.rorc.org/v/2017/rorc-transatlantic-race/

 

Feisty Start Predicted

on . Posted in 2017 Race Updates

2017 rtr bibot jmGerald Bibot analysing the weather scenario for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. He is competing for the second time in his catamaran Zed 6 © RORC/James Mitchell

Gerald Bibot will be competing in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race with his Belgian 42ft Catamaran Zed 6. Gerald is the founder of Great Circle which produces weather routing programme Squid. In 2015 Gerald was the winner of the MOCRA Class, completing the race in just over 11 days and the only team to take a northerly route.

“This is going to be a tricky race compared to two years ago and the options are not balanced between north and south,” commented Bibot. “In 50 scenarios only two routes are going south of the Great Circle Route and 42 are going north, so the probability of a northern route is almost absolute for just about any boat in the race, except possibly a boat that has good performance upwind in light air.”