Marina Lanzarote prepares for transatlantic race fleet

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr start jmThe spectacular volcanic island of Lanzarote makes an impressive backdrop for the RORC Transatlantic Race and Marina Lanzarote will once again host the start of the Atlantic-bound fleet © RORC/James Mitchell

Start Leg 1 - RORC Transatlantic Race
Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada

Setting off on an epic Atlantic race on Saturday 25 November from Marina Lanzarote, the 4th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race is the lengthiest race in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's offshore calendar. This year the westbound race, hosted by Calero Marinas forms the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR) held in celebration of Hamburg-based Norddeutscher Regatta Verein's (NRV) 150th anniversary in 2018 and the 50th year for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS).

Destination Grenada
The joint jubilee celebration, in partnership with YCCS, originally had a scheduled finish in their British Virgin Islands base, but this has now proved impossible due to the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the region.

"It is extremely sad news that the recent natural disasters have decimated the Virgin Islands making it unviable to take the race to YCCS on Virgin Gorda, BVIs," explains RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen. "The RORC Committee in consultation with the YCCS and NRV have therefore decided to finish the race in Grenada and we look forward to returning to Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina who have warmly welcomed competitors and our race team for the past three events."

For those competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 - celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018 - the first leg of the AAR acts as a challenging annual feeder race, as well as a great way to race across the Atlantic in company to take part in the Caribbean winter circuit. The Caribbean Sailing Association accentuates the importance of sailors continuing with plans to bring boats to race in the Caribbean regattas this season as it is the best way to help rebuild tourism and the lives of those affected.

2017 Notice of Race

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2017 RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race

The Notice of Race for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race is now available to download here. This year's race is organised in association with the Yacht Club Costa Smerelda and celebrates their 50th anniversary. The race starts 25th November 2017 in Lanzarote and finishes at the YCCS yacht club in Virgin Gorda. The race also makes up one half of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, with the second race organised by the RORC and NRV starting in Bermuda on 7th July 2018 and finishing in Hamburg.

pdf2017 RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race2.71 MB27/01/2017

 

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Two Handed Campagne de France win Class40 Division

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2016 rtr Campagne de France Dec 11th ArthurDanielHalvard Mabire and Miranda Merron's Campagne de France has taken line honours for the first Class40 Division and is the first Two Handed team to complete the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Day 16 - 11 December 1600 GMT - Report

Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron's Class40, Campagne de France finished the RORC Transatlantic Race, outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, on 11 December 2016 at 14 Hours 37 Minutes and 53 Seconds. Campagne de France has taken Line Honours for the first Class40 Division and is the first Two Handed team to complete the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race.

Halvard and Miranda were met dockside by Glynn Thomas and the staff of Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, who presented the team with a basket of Grenadian goods on behalf of Grenada Tourism. RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen and RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott greeted the team and congratulated them on a fine achievement in a tough race.

Stay Calm and Path Finish in Grenada

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2016 rtr stay calm at finish photo arthurdanielBritish Swan 82, Stay Calm, skippered by Kyte Lloyd, finished the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

11 December 0000 GMT Day 16 Report - RORC Transatlantic Race

British Swan 82, Stay Calm, skippered by Kyte Lloyd, finished the RORC Transatlantic Race at 19 Hours 02 Minutes and 17 Seconds on 10 December 2016. Stay Calm was the third Maxi to finish the race. The majority British crew included two Volvo Ocean Race winners; Jules Salter and Neal MacDonald. "The fleet was very competitive and the weather was just as difficult to master" commented Kyte Lloyd. "All is well on board and the spirit in the crew never diminished. A big thank you to the RORC for excellent organisation and thanks to Marina Lanzarote and Port Louis, who showed us such amazing hospitality. Unfortunately due to our late arrival, we could not spend time in Grenada. However, we will certainly be back very soon."

Maverick Blasts into Grenada.

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Skipper, Olly Cotterell and Team Maverick, Inifiniti 46 having crossed the finish line in Grenada celebrate dockside at Port Louis Marina in the early hours of Saturday © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Skipper, Olly Cotterell and Team Maverick, Inifiniti 46 having crossed the finish line in Grenada celebrate dockside at Port Louis Marina in the early hours of Saturday Morning © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Infiniti 46, Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada at 06h 52m 09s on 10th December 2016. The British yacht, with radical side foils is provisionally the winner of IRC Canting Keel and currently placed second overall under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Spurred on by superb trade wind conditions, Maverick's pace quickened towards the end of the race hitting boat speeds in excess of 25 knots, eclipsing Mike Slade's 100ft Maxi, Leopard's corrected time by just 35 minutes. However, Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Marten 72, Aragon is still leading the race for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Maverick has an international crew from Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium and Canada. Skipper Oliver Cotterell born in Bermuda, Sean McCarter from Ireland and navigator Eric Holden from Canada, were all rival skippers in the 12th edition of the Clipper Round the World Race. Eric Holden's team was the winner of the 2013-14 Clipper Race.

Aragon watches the clock

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Team Aragon completed the RORC Transatlantic Race. A Jubilant crew as they cross the line in Grenada this morning and head to Port Louis Marina for a warm welcome.  © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Team Aragon completed the RORC Transatlantic Race. A Jubilant crew as they cross the line in Grenada this morning and head to Port Louis Marina for a warm welcome.  © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verder's Marten 72 Aragon crossed the finish line of the RORC Transatlantic Race, outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina at 11h 17m 03s on 9th December 2016. After IRC time correction, the Dutch Maxi is leading the race for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. However, several yachts still racing have the potential to better Aragon's corrected time.

The crew of Aragon are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor in the RORC Transatlantic Race, Anna Van Nieuwland was at the helm of Aragon as the team crossed the line.

“Taking Aragon through the finish line was one of the coolest things I have done in my life,” smiled Anna Van Nieuwland. “Over the last two weeks I have learnt a lot of sailing techniques, especially trimming and how to catch a wave when driving, and I have learnt a lot about the crew, which is all men! This has been an amazing opportunity and anyone who has the chance should go for it.”