Race Upates

Childhood 1 wins the IMA Trophy

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Childhood 1 crew: Bouwe Bekking, Antonio Cuervas Mons, Ysbrand Endt, Pablo Garcia Mujica, Julius Hallstrom, Edmond Hilhorst, Steven Melkman, Pelle Norberg, Simbad Quiroga, Aage Reerslev, Pieter Tack, Jelmer van Beek, Jorden van Rooijen, Laura van Veen. Photo © RORC / Arthur Daniel

Childhood 1 crew: Bouwe Bekking, Antonio Cuervas Mons, Ysbrand Endt, Pablo Garcia Mujica, Julius Hallstrom, Edmond Hilhorst, Steven Melkman, Pelle Norberg, Simbad Quiroga, Aage Reerslev, Pieter Tack, Jelmer van Beek, Jorden van Rooijen, Laura van Veen - Photo © RORC / Arthur Daniel

Swedish VO65 Childhood 1, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, has taken Line Honours in the 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race. Childhood 1 crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada in an elapsed time of 11 days 11 hours 34 mins 49 secs. The International Maxi Association Secretary General, Andrew McIrvine, presented Bouwe Bekking and the team with the IMA Trophy for Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Full pelt in the Atlantic - Day 11 Update

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A warm spice island welcome is waiting for the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet and Childhood 1's line honours arrival  © Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada

A warm spice island welcome is waiting for the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet and Childhood 1's line honours arrival © Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada

Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada is all set to welcome the early finishers in the RORC Transatlantic Race. VO65 Childhood 1 is expected to finish on Wednesday 4th December and will win the IMA Trophy for Monohull Line Honours. French Wally 100 Dark Shadow, skippered by Yerin Hobson is 400 miles behind Childhood 1. The fleet is reporting superb conditions surfing at high speeds in tropical heat.

Swedish VO65 Childhood 1 has been fully lit up for the blast to the finish, registering a 24-hour run of over 400nm. Skipper Bouwe Bekking contacted the media team via satellite: “We’ve had a max. breeze for a short period of 25 knots, but in general the wind is hovering between 18-22 knots. We’ve made good progress. The guests are starting to get used to the feeling of living in the deep south, with air and water temperatures of around 30ºC. Childhood 1 is also moving up in the overall standings, but it is still very hard to compare apples with pears. The smallest boat in the fleet is sailing in a completely different weather pattern and can take about double the amount of time to sail the same distance. They have been sailing close to the great circle route, so not many extra miles need to be covered. Remember they are racing double handed, so hats off for these two blokes, but if we beat them in the end, that would be a nice bonus,” said Bekking.

The north south divide - Day 9 update

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Looking good for line honours in Grenada - Bouwe Bekking's VO65 Childhood I © Joaquin Vera/RORC/Calero Marinas

Looking good for line honours in Grenada - Bouwe Bekking's VO65 Childhood I © Joaquin Vera/RORC/Calero Marinas 

Whilst all of the competing yachts are south of the rhumb line in the RORC Transatlantic Race, there is over 900nm of latitudinal separation in the fleet. Jangada is furthest north and Childhood 1 furthest south. Childhood's deep dive south has paid dividends to take the lead for line honours, Jangada leads the race overall after IRC time correction and Pata Negra have come from behind to overtake Kali. After nine days at sea the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet are now well offshore in the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean - the next sighting of land will be the Caribbean.

Picking the layline 2,500 miles out

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Strategic decisions facing the double-handed team on Jangada, the smallest yacht in the race © RORC/Joaquim Vera/Calero Marinas

Strategic decisions facing the double-handed team on Jangada, the smallest yacht in the race © RORC/Joaquim Vera/Calero Marinas

After five days into the RORC Transatlantic Race the international fleet is experiencing shifty conditions with a light to moderate wind oscillating between nor' east and east. All of the teams are south of the rhumb line but different strategies are producing a range of tactics in the 3,000nm race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Richard Palmer, competing Two Handed with Jeremy Waitt on his British JPK 10.10 Jangada, are currently provisional overall leader after IRC time correction. French Wally 100 Dark Shadow is 2,285nm from the finish and leading the fleet for line honours. Swedish VO65 Childhood 1 has sailed the most miles (945nm) and is the furthest south. Pata Negra is back in the race having made a pit-stop in El Hierro.

Racing into the Wild Blue Yonder

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A 240 nautical mile run in the first 24 hours of the RORC Transatlantic Race for Wally 100 Dark Shadow  © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

A 240 nautical mile run in the first 24 hours of the RORC Transatlantic Race for Wally 100 Dark Shadow © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

The 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race is now into the second day with the entire fleet anticipated to leave the Canary Islands and head into the remote Atlantic Ocean on Sunday 24 November. As expected, Swedish VO65 Childhood 1, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, is firmly in front having raced 251nm in the first 24 hours. The fleet are currently experiencing downwind conditions, however the nor’easterly gradient wind is far from stable as frequent rain squalls, combined with land effects, have dramatically changed both the wind speed and direction.

Farewell Lanzarote! RORC Transatlantic Race Underway

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Fleet shot Childhood I

6th RORC Transatlantic Race sets off from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, bound for Grenada in stiff breeze © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

The 6th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race got underway on time with the fleet starting from outside Marina Lanzarote at 1100 UTC on Saturday 23 November, 2019. After months of preparation, the international fleet have started one of the most iconic offshore races with a stiff breeze gusting up to 25 knots.

After the start, the fleet passed a turning mark at Puerto Calero Marina before leaving Fuerteventura and Tenerife to port and then heading out into the Atlantic Ocean. The first 125nm of the course are both strategic and tactical, with land effects providing both snakes and ladders. The fleet are expected to experience gusty conditions for the first 24 hours, with rain squalls varying both the wind speed and direction.

"15-20 knots from north-northwest was a little more than forecast with squally conditions giving even more breeze," commented RORC Race Officer Steve Cole. "The reaching start was without incident and it was great to see the fleet make good headway at the beginning of this long race. Childhood 1 was just 10 seconds shy of the line at the gun, and Pata Negra and Dark Shadow also got away well."

Dark Shadow

French Wally 100 Dark Shadow - an impressive sight at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

The fast reaching start was ideal for Childhood 1, skippered by Bouwe Bekking. The Swedish VO65 was the first yacht to the mark off Puerto Calero Marina and once clear of the wind shadow of the surrounding hills, they hoisted their A3, blasting through La Bocayna, the strait between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Childhood 1 is expected to round Tenerife later tonight. French Wally 100 Dark Shadow, skippered by Yerin Hobson, was just three miles astern. Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 Pata Negra got off to a good start. Skippered by Andy Lis with a young crew, the team were seven miles behind Dark Shadow, the largest yacht in the fleet.

Swiss 47.7 Kali, skippered by Benedikt Clauberg is competing in the RORC Transatlantic Race for the second year in succession. "We have new sails and an experienced crew this year, with six teams members having obtained their Yachtmaster Offshore qualification. Our dual aims are to be safe and fast, and with that in mind we have three modes on board: race, safe and survival - I hope we don't have to go into survival mode but we are prepared for it all the same, including a full man overboard test on the eve of the race," explained Clauberg.

Pata Negra

Andy Lis and his young crew on Giles Redpath's Pata Negra © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

Kali

Second RORC Transat for Swiss 47.7 Kali, skippered by Benedikt Clauberg  © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

Richard Palmer's British JPK 10.10 Jangada is also taking part in their second RORC Transatlantic Race. Richard is once again racing two handed, this time with Jeremy Waitt, who contacted the RORC Race Team shortly after the start:

"A nice breeze gave us a tight reach and we just made the turning mark of Puerto Calero without having to tack. A good squall came in on the turning mark so we got pretty wet. It cleared quick, however, as we came around the southerly tip, we got hit hard by another larger squall reaching 25 knots of wind speed. It was a good spanking - a nice and early reminder who is boss out here! We reefed and ended up on main only for 15 minutes. We are now in blue water sailing mode, 80º off the breeze in 18 knots. It looks like a few more squalls are on the way and we have 120 miles to go to Tenerife, or as we say, twice across the English Channel!"

Jangada

Richard Palmer and Jeremy Waitt racing Two Handed on JPK 10.10 Jangada at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race  © Joaquin Vera/Calero Marinas/RORC

José Juan Calero, CEO of Calero Marinas, accompanied by RORC Commodore Steven Anderson and RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen watched as the fleet set off. RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone, with RORC Race Officer Steve Cole officiated on the Committee Boat.

 

Dock talk

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Ocean Race legend Bouwe Bekking, skippering VO65 Childhood I, discusses the greater cause they are sailing for

On the penultimate day before the start of the 6th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the international fleet have eyes on the weather for the 3000-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean to Grenada in the West Indies.

Teams welcomed to Lanzarote and future ocean sailors visit boats

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L to R: Julio Romero, President Real Club Náutico de Arrecife and José Juan Calero, CEO of Calero Marinas welcome RORC Transatlantic Race teams © RORC

L to R: Julio Romero, President Real Club Náutico de Arrecife and José Juan Calero, CEO of Calero Marinas welcome RORC Transatlantic Race teams © RORC

Crews taking part in the 6th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association, received a warm welcome to Lanzarote at a reception hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife.

Founded in 1872, the prestigious yacht club is located at the heart of Lanzarote's capital city. José Juan Calero, CEO of Calero Marinas, which is the family business hosting the fleet once again at Marina Lanzarote, was pleased to welcome back crew who have taken part in the race before, and those visiting the island and marina for the first time:- “Firstly, thank you all on behalf of the Club and Calero Marinas for welcoming on board the sailing school children from the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife. As our future ocean sailors, it was a fantastic experience for them to visit the boats, have a look on board and talk to you about the race.”