Teasing Machine Sets the Pace

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Day 15 1000 UTC 09 December.

An elated team on Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine; currently leading IRC overall on corrected time. Dockside at C&N Port Louis Marina Grenada © RORC/Arthur DanielEric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine finished the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Friday 8 December in an elapsed time of 13 days 19 hrs 29 mins 08 secs. The French team lead the race overall after IRC time correction. Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump and Tilmar Hansen's German Elliot 52 Outsider have also finished the RORC Transatlantic Race. 17 yachts are still at sea, vying for the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Teasing Machine arrived at sunset on the 14th day of the race and has one hand on the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. The team cheered for joy as they crossed the finish line.

“We are very happy to be here in Grenada,” smiled Eric de Turckheim. “This is my first transatlantic race and it has been fantastic. Every time I finish any race, be it a running marathon or a yacht race, you feel emotional, but also relaxed. Your mind, body and soul is released from that concentration. For me a memorable moment was passing through the transition zone after the start. We had been upwind for a long time and we had a short passage of very light winds before we got into the tradewinds. One night it was so beautiful, flying the Code Zero, doing just four knots. There was no noise, nothing and the moon almost full. It was just magnificent!”

Aragon Finish in Style

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RACE UPDATE: Day 14 0800 UTC 8 December 2017

2017 rtr aragon banner finish adHappy to be in Grenada after a competitive race - Team Aragon dockside at C&N Port Louis Marina © RORC/Arthur Daniel

The second boat to finish the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race was Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon, crossing the finish line in Grenada at 07 hrs 49 mins 37 secs UTC on Friday 8 December. Completing the race in an elapsed time of 12 days 19 hrs 49 mins 37 secs, the powerful Maxi showed a tremendous turn of speed in the last 24 hours to power ahead of their close rivals. Aragon now takes the overall lead after IRC time correction for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine and Port Louis Marina General Manager, Glynn Thomas welcomed Aragon and her team on arrival at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Once safely docked, the crew enjoyed an ice-cold beer for the first time in nearly two weeks.

Battles in the RORC Transatlantic Race

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RACE UPDATE:  7 December 2017

21 yachts are still racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race. At 0800 UTC on the 13th day, Jochen Bovenkamps's Marten 72 Aragon was 273 miles from the finish and estimated to arrive at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina around midnight local time on Thursday 7th December. The ETA for Teasing Machine, Sorceress and Outsider is Friday 8th December.

2016 rtr aragon finish ad2016 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy winner, the Dutch Marten 72 Aragon is scheduled to be the next yacht to finish the 3,000 nmile race from Lanzarote to Grenada © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Line Honours winner, Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS will be awarded the International Maxi Association (IMA) Transatlantic Trophy later today. CQS has also set the IRC corrected time to beat for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. In IRC Zero, Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is expected to finish well inside the required time to lead the race overall.

CQS takes Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race

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RACE UPDATE: 6 December 20172017 rtr CQS finish banner arthur daniel

Monohull line honours secured in the RORC Transatlantic Race (Leg 1 Atlantic Anniversary Regatta)
by Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS and his multinational crew. Dockside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada
© RORC/Arthur Daniel

Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS finished the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Wednesday 6th December taking Monohull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 11 days 00 hrs 03 mins 08 secs. CSQ committed to a southerly route for the 3,000 nautical mile race and despite sustaining sail damage in a vicious 40 knot squall, the canting keel 98ft Maxi led from start to finish. Ingvall is no stranger to taking line honours in prestigious offshore races, twice taking the honour in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This was Ludde Ingvall's 16th transatlantic.

CQS less than 300 miles from Grenada

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Day 11 Race Update: 1200 UTC 05 December 2017

Teasing MachineRORC 2017 JamesMitchell AP4I1334

Provisionally leading overall under IRC, Eric de Turckheim's French Teasing Machine is under threat from last year's winning Maxi, Marten 72 Aragon and Southern Wind 96 Sorceress © RORC/James Mitchell

Ludde Ingvall's Maxi CQS is expected to finish the 4th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race tomorrow, and the overall leader under IRC - Eric de Turckheim's French Teasing Machine - is under threat from two Maxis. Everyone is keeping a close eye on the race tracker as the fleet near Grenada; especially as a high pressure system is expected to create another conundrum for the majority of the fleet.

40 knot knock-down for CQS

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Day 10 Race Update: 1100 UTC 04 December 2017  

2017 rtr cqs closestern jmBack on track after 40 knot knock-down - Ludde Ingvall's Australia Maxi CQS © RORC/James Mitchell

Ludde Ingvall’s CQS suffered a setback in the RORC Transatlantic Race:

“We got caught in a bad squall of probably 40 knots which resulted in a number of issues,” Ingvall reported from on board on day 10 of the race. “There has been damage to sails and onboard electronic systems, but we are still progressing towards the finish.” Kenneth Thelen, co-skipper for Australian Maxi CQS confirmed that all of the crew of the 96ft canting keel Maxi were safe and well. Describing the damage he said: “Part of our electronics failed, making it hard to sail in the dark. We blew our biggest spinnaker, but it is repairable. As we went into a gybe the engine stalled and we lay flat on our side for a while which resulted in a diesel spill inside the boat, so the smell is terrible in the heat! We broke the top three battens in the mainsail, but we are still sailing towards the finish at reasonable speed, in pouring rain. We will assess the situation at first light.”

Fast Running in the Trades

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1000 UTC 03 December 2017

Aragon is closing the gap on corrected time leaderTeasing Machine  © RORC/James Mitchell On the ninth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, twenty teams are now south of the rhumb line with the vast majority enjoying fast running conditions in the northeast trade winds. Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS is under 1000 nautical miles from Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, 380 miles ahead of the fleet to take Monohull Line Honours and the IMA Transatlantic Trophy. Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is still the provisional leader overall under IRC. However four other teams are also in the hunt for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy; CQS, Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon, Teichmann & Thomas Jungblut's German Elliott 52 Outsider, and Canadian Southernwind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

CQS has been hitting over 20 knots of boat speed, surfing down Atlantic rollers, but it has not all been plane sailing as their blog shows. “The A2 spinnaker had been up for four days during the RORC Transatlantic Race when a two foot tear appeared during a gybe. A4 hoisted, A2 doused, repaired, repacked and hoisted. Total time 90 minutes. All 15 crew working flat out. Now that’s what I call teamwork!”

CQS Half Way to Grenada

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Day 7 Race Update: 0900 UTC 01 December 2017

2017 rtr cqs bowman start jmLudde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS is approaching the half way mark of the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/James Mitchell

After nearly a week at sea, Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS is approaching the half way mark of the RORC Transatlantic Race, blast reaching in perfect trade wind conditions. CQS has opened up a lead of 130 miles on her nearest rival. Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is estimated to be leading the race overall after IRC time correction. To set a new race record, CQS needs to finish the race before Tuesday 5th December 1900 hours 06 mins 59 secs UTC.

Teasing Machine is currently negotiating the ridge of high pressure, which forms a barrier to the trade winds, and is making good progress to achieve this goal. Aragon and Sorceress have been the two leading maxis in the RORC Transatlantic Race, and split tacks at about sunset on Day 6. Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon chose to continue west, whilst Canadian Southernwind 96 Sorceress skippered by Daniel Stump, chose to move south.

800 miles of separation

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Day 6 Race Update: 0900 UTC 30 November 2017

2017 rtr broaderview jmOn day 6, a close battle is being played out between three youth offshore training boats: HVS's Haspa Hamburg & Broader View Hamburg and SKWV's Bank von Bremen © RORC/James Mitchell

Different strategies in tackling the complex weather scenario for the RORC Transatlantic Race have caused a huge spread in the fleet, with boats 800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, north to south. Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi leads the fleet, gybing further south last night and covering 247 miles in the last 24 hours. CQS is under 2,000 miles from the finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. CQS is 150 miles ahead of Canadian 96ft Southern Wind Sorceress in the battle to win the International Maxi Association (IMA) Transatlantic Trophy for monohull line honours.

Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is estimated to be leading after IRC time correction, and has made a move south to punch through the high pressure ridge, along with Sorceress. For now, Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon is continuing west, beating along the bottom of the low pressure system north of their position. The majority of the fleet are approximately 250 miles behind the leading pack. Two yachts have continued to beat into the low pressure system to the north of the rhumb line; Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project and Johann von Eicken and Pit Brockhausen's German Swan 56 Latona.

Near the rhumb line, a close battle is raging between three German yachts of near-equal size; all of which are youth training vessels. Haspa Hamburg, owned by Hamburgischen Verein Seefahrt (HVS) and skippered by 21-year old Max Gärtner, leads on the water by just two miles from SKWV's Bank von Bremen skippered by 29-year old Alexander Beilken. Meanwhile, HVS's second boat in the race, Broader View Hamburg is estimated to lead the trio after IRC time correction. Fifty percent of the crew on the club's Andrews 56 are between 18 and 22 years and include skipper, Björn Woge's 19-year old son.

South pays in RORC Transatlantic Race

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Day 5 Race Update: 0800 UTC 29 November 2017

2017 rtr sorceress start jmGrenada-bound, Canadian Southern Wind 96, Sorceress at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote - the westward leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta © RORC/James Mitchell

The record fleet in the RORC Transatlantic Race (1st leg of the westbound Atlantic Anniversary Regatta) have been at sea for five days now, and all of the 22 yachts still racing have turned their bows south towards Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina on the spice island of Grenada.

The majority of the fleet have yet to cross a long ridge of high pressure extending from the Canary Islands across the Atlantic to reach the northeast tradewinds. Over the next day or so, one of the biggest tactical decisions will play out in the 3,000 mile offshore race; crossing this area of light winds as quickly as possible will be richly rewarded. Leaders are beginning to emerge in the relative classes and the line honours leader, CQS has a virtual opponent to contend with.

In the early hours of day 5, Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt Muratet 54 Teasing Machine and Bo Teichmann & Thomas Jungblut's German Elliott 52 Outsider were the first to alter course south to cross the ITCZ. In the leading Maxis, Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon was the first to dive south, followed by Canadian Southern Wind Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

Varuna Retires from the RORC Transatlantic Race

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Day 4 Race Update: 1000 GMT 28 November 2017

2017 rtr varuna sternclose jmJens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56, Varuna had a promising race ahead of them before being forced to retire from the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta - the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada © RORC/James Mitchell

In the early hours of Monday 27th November, Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna was leading the charge north of the rhumb line in the RORC Transatlantic Race - the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta - and estimated to be leading the race after IRC time correction. On the YB Tracker, Varuna was observed to turn back towards the Canary Islands and contacted the RORC Race team to report that they had a structural problem.

"Crewman, Michi Mueller reported a problem on the starboard bow at 0520 GMT on Monday 27th November. Varuna was in 20 knots of wind, close hauled in two metre seas," commented Varuna's navigator, Mike Broughton via satellite phone. "We immediately bore away to ease the slamming on the hull and turned the boat downwind. There was water ingress on the starboard bow and we readied our liferafts and grab bags and contacted the RORC Race Team to report the problem. Meanwhile our two boat builders on board fixed a carbon floorboard over the problem area and held it in place with two perpendicular struts, which is holding very well. We are very disappointed to retire from the race and we are heading back to Lanzarote - all crew are well on board."