Ready for a warm welcome in Grenada

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

RORC RTR Trophies

The Silverware awaiting the top teams at Port Louis Marina, Grenada. Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70, Phaedo3 was the first boat to arrive and set the multihull race record of 5 days 22 hours 46 minutes 03 seconds

“Competitors in the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet can expect a ‘hero’s welcome’ on arrival in Grenada”, says Glynn Thomas, General Manager of Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina whose team is looking forward to welcoming the fleet for the third consecutive year:

“The RORC Transatlantic is a very special race that appeals to die-hard sailors not afraid of a challenge. It’s great to have them in the marina and listen to their many stories over a glass of rum or two after their epic journey. I’m looking forward to welcoming new competitors, as well as familiar faces returning.’”

Calero Marinas - Hosting the RORC Transatlantic Start

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Calero Marinas - Lanzarote once again hosted the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race for 2016. Their hospitality, along with neighbouring Real Club Náutico Arrecife, was greatly welcomed by the competitors and crew.

The future of sailing was also inspired by the competitors, with the junior members of Real Club Náutico Arrecife receiving a guided tour of some of the boats.

Joy and Pain

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 RTR phaedo leaving lanzarote JamesMitchellPhaedo3 at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/James Mitchell

Day Six 0900 GMT 1st December Report

Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3 has less than 1,000 miles to go to Camper & Nicholson's Port Louis Marina, Grenada. In the IRC fleet, Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard 3 is ahead on the water and estimated to be leading the race after IRC time correction for the RORC Transatlantic Trophy. Behind the frontrunners, much of the fleet have encountered light winds and the future looks pretty grim with headwinds forecast.

MOD70 Phaedo3 has hardly put a foot wrong since leaving Marina Lanzarote last Saturday (26 November). With perfect timing, Phaedo3 has blasted south connecting with another weather system to provide yet more high speed adrenalin downwind sailing. Listen to Brian Thompson’s daily take on the race HERE. https://soundcloud.com/user-403153421

Phaedo3 in the Driving Seat

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr Leopard3 from the air Kiolja FraseAhead of the IRC pack,but still time to try out the drone: Captured at sunrise mid-Atlantic on Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard 3 © Leopard3/by on board videographer Kolja Frase

RORC Transatlantic Race Day 5- 30 November 0900 (GMT) Report

On Day 5 of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 is approaching the halfway point in the race, well ahead of their Italian rivals, MOD70 Maserati, skippered by Giovanni Soldini. Mike Slade's Maxi ,Leopard 3 has turned south, hoping to cross a pressure ridge to keep up their quest for the RORC Transatlantic Race Record. Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verder's Dutch Maxi Aragon continues to lead the IRC fleet racing for the overall win.

In the MOD70 duel, Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson has consolidated their advantage over Giovanni Soldini's Maserati. Over the last 24 hours, Phaedo3 climbed north, maintaining a boat speed consistently well over 20 knots on port gybe before executing a move onto starboard in between Maserati and the finish. Initially, Maserati closed the gap as Phaedo3 negotiated the pressure ridge in front of them, but once they punched through, the team extended their advantage, pulling away at twice the boat speed of Maserati. This morning Phaedo3 has a 220 mile lead and has sailed a massive 280 additional miles to achieve it.

Settling into the Rhythm of the Ocean

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr nemesis at start jamesMitchellTwo boats are racing Two Handed in the RORC Transatlantic Race, Campagne de France and James Heald and Ben Harris on British Swan 45, Nemesis - photo RORC/James Mitchell

RORC Transatlantic Race – 1000(GMT) Report Day 4

Mike Slade’s Maxi, Leopard 3 continues to match the pace of Giovanni Soldini’s MOD70, Maserati while they continue heading upwind working their way into the faster conditions in the pressure system ahead. Aragon, Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verde's Dutch Marten 72 maintains the lead under IRC and is revelling in the early conditions in the race; staying in front of the significantly bigger Baltic 112, Path and Swan 82, Stay Calm, while Infiniti 46, Maverick at half the size continues to make great progress towards the front of the fleet.

In IRC One the Two Handed Swan 45, Nemesis, of James Heald and Ben Harris are in a fabulous position; the conditions early in the race suiting the pair perfectly and they are still snapping at the heels of Nova Scotia-based Challenger, the fully crewed Volvo 60 of Spartan Ocean Racing. James and Ben will be settling into the watch system which sees them rotating 2 hours on and 2 hours off through the night, but James explained before the start of the race that most of the day both he and Ben tend to be up tweaking the boat keeping it going as fast as possible as well as keeping up with the maintenance and checks: “We sailed the boat from the Solent to Lanzarote non-stop in preparation for the race; a great way to get to know the boat and each other. The watch system worked and we complemented each other very well,” explained James. “I like to steer on my watch, where Ben will use the autohelm more and be free to trim, but it is all hands on deck for any manoeuvres or sail changes.”

Day 3 and 670 Miles of Separation

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr RORC Boat Aragon JamesMitchell

 Team Aragon before the start: Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verde's Dutch Marten 72, Aragon © RORC/James Mitchell

28 November 2016 – 0900GMT Report

By daybreak on the third day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70 Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson was continuing to charge south, approaching the Cape Verde islands. 670 miles to the north, Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70 Maserati was continuing their ascent north. The remainder of the fleet look to be hedging their bets for the moment, staying close to the rhumb line, save Mike Slade's 100ft (30m) Maxi Leopard 3, which is stalking Maserati's lonely trail. Both teams are looking to slingshot the edge of a massive low pressure system in the North Atlantic.

MOD70 Disagreement - Day Two

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr phaedo3 JM

 Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3 at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, Lanzarote © RORC/James Mitchell.

As dawn broke on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the majority of the fleet were still to round Tenerife, the last mark of the course before the international racing fleet head out into the open waters of the Atlantic. Land effects were still the main influence on tactics and strategy, with some big gains and losses in the fleet overnight.

Ideal Conditions for the Start of the RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rtr start james mitchellPerfect Conditions at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race - photo RORC/James Mitchell

The 3rd edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started without a hitch in ideal conditions outside Marina Lanzarote. With a gentle breeze and slight sea state, it was a comfortable start to the 2,865 nautical mile ocean race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, West Indies. The three fastest yachts have chosen to head north of the rhumb line. Once they have rounded Tenerife, the decision to continue north or dive south will become clear.

RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen watched the fleet depart: "It's fantastic to see the fleet taking off on the way to Grenada from Lanzarote. The wind is blowing from the north at about 10 knots and they’re reaching across the starting line. We have got a huge variety of boats; fabulous boats of 100ft and more, like Leopard and Path, to Class40s and of course the amazing multihulls, Maserati and Phaedo that will be having a match race all the way across the Atlantic. I am delighted to say we have an increase in entry every year and we know that this race will grow over a period of time. The quality of the boats and the variety shows that the RORC Transatlantic Race is going to be popular with a lot of racing teams."

Follow the Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 rorc flag photo james mitchell

The sun sets over Marina Lanzarote the night before the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race - photo RORC/James Mitchell

Today (Saturday 26 November), 14 yachts from 40-112ft (12-34m) will take the start of the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote, Canary Islands headed for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina on the spice island of Grenada, Caribbean; some 2,865 nautical miles across the Atlantic.

Competitors from 20 different nations will line up for the start at midday (1200 GMT) off Marina Lanzarote where the fleet have been generously hosted by Calero Marinas for the past week. The IRC classes and Class40s are scheduled to start at 1200 GMT, followed 10 minutes later by the two MOD70s; Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo and Giovanni Soldini's Italian Maserati, making an impressive sight for the spectators on and off the water as the fleet heads to the turning mark off Puerto Calero Marina and between the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura to the south. The fleet must then pass Tenerife before venturing into the Atlantic to finish outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

Crew enjoy RORC Transatlantic Race gala dinner in Puerto Calero

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

The crews were introduced at the Gala Dinner, Amura Restaurant, Puerto Calero - photo RORC/James MitchellThe crews were introduced at the Gala Dinner, Amura Restaurant, Puerto Calero - photo RORC/James Mitchell

Photos from Gala Dinner in RORC Photo Gallery HERE: http://gallery.rorc.org/v/2016/RORC+Transatlantic+Race+2016/

With two nights to go until the start of the race, crews enjoyed a wonderful dinner yesterday evening at the RORC Transatlantic Race Gala Dinner. Held at one of Lanzarote's finest restaurants, around 140 crews from every yacht in the race enjoyed a three-course supper with fine wines at Amura Restaurant in Puerto Calero, courtesy of our hosts in Lanzarote, Calero Marinas and the Calero Family.
RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott, introduced Michael Boyd, Commodore of Royal Ocean Racing Club who had news about the future of the race:
"This evening we are the fortunate guests of José Juan Calero and his family who have provided wonderful hospitality to all the skippers, crews and the Royal Ocean Racing Club since the initiation of the RORC Transatlantic Race. Without them the race would simply not take place. On this side of the Atlantic we have the support of the Canary Islands and Lanzarote Government and Tourist Boards, and on the other side, the support of the Government of Grenada and Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, as well as Westerhall Rums. The RORC is very grateful to all of these partners.

Atlantic Conundrum – North or South

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Mike Slades 100ft canting keel Maxi Leopard 3 RORC/Paul WyethMike Slade’s 100ft canting keel Maxi, Leopard 3 © RORC/Paul Wyeth

The 3rd edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start outside Marina Lanzarote at midday Saturday 26 November. The competitors attention is now very much on final preparations and the afterguards of the wide variety of yachts competing are starting to look at the weather predictions for the first few days of the race. Weather models are predicting a complex picture, with the usually stable trade winds being affected by low pressure systems and troughs developing along the 2,865 mile race course.

Mike Slade's canting keel Maxi Leopard 3 is hot favourite for Monohull Line Honours and the IMA Transatlantic Trophy. Leopard 3 will also have one eye on the clock, hoping to better the monohull record set by Jean-Paul Riviere's French Conq 100, Nomad IV of 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds.

Outstanding Yachtswomen in the RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Libby Greenhalgh navigator aboard Mike Slade's Leopard

Navigator on Mike Slade's Farr 100, Leopard in the RORC Transatlantic Race © Corinna Halloran Team SCA Volvo Ocean Race

Competing in the RORC Transatlantic Race are highly accomplished female sailors from Great Britain, France and Canada who have participated in recent major offshore races, including Libby Greenhalgh who has been confirmed as the navigator on line honours favourite, Mike Slade’s 100ft Maxi, Leopard.

The British sailor was navigator for Team SCA for every leg of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race and will be returning to Lanzarote, which was the training base for the all-female team before the race. She also worked as a meteorologist for the British Olympic Team at the 2016 Rio Games. For the RORC Transatlantic Race, Libby has been selected as navigator for Mike Slade's Farr 100, Leopard which will be vying for monohull line honours and the race record of 10 days 07 hours 06 mins 59 secs, set in 2015 by Jean-Paul Riviere’s French Finot Conq 100, Nomad IV.

Getting Ready for the Atlantic

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Calero Marinas - Marina Lanzarote, perfect for race preparationsThe 3rd edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start outside Arrecife’s Marina Lanzarote this Saturday 26th November. The international fleet have a few precious days left to prepare for the 2,865 mile transatlantic race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. Each entry is busy going through their inventory and check-lists, leaving no stone unturned in their quest for speed and above all safety, assisted by the RORC Race Team.

A Personal Voyage

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Spartan Ocean Racing's Volvo 60, Challenger - photo Spartan Ocean RacingChris Stanmore-Major will skipper the Volvo 60, Challenger in the RORC Transatlantic Race starting on Saturday 26th November from Lanzarote. He has sailed over 250,000 nm (the distance to the moon) in yachts ranging from 45ft to 150ft, including two round the world races; once as the skipper of an amateur crew on board Qingdao, the Chinese entry in the 2009/10 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and solo in the 2010/11 Velux 5 Oceans Race.

Video: Calero Marinas

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Calero Marinas: year-round sailing destinations in the temperate Canary Islands. Hosting world-class yacht racing and cruising events and only minutes from the international airport, Puerto Calero and Marina Lanzarote are convincing options for a warm winter base. Reliable and secure with friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere, Calero Marinas best embody Europe’s southern shores.

Lanzarote prepares for the RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2016 Path

Bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, 2,865 nmiles across the Atlantic, the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race has once again attracted a varied fleet, from MOD70s to Maxis, four Class40s and everything in between from 40-112ft (12.19-34.14m). Veteran professional sailors will race on the same course as first time Corinthians; all making tricky tactical decisions to ensure the fastest crossing and keep the momentum going on this long, intense race. The race is a competitive adventure and on the bucket list of many sailors. For most, the passion to race never diminishes.

Trailblazers of the RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

Giovanni Soldini's foiling MOD70, Maserati will be literally flying off the start line in the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race © Guilain Grenier/www.martin-raget.comRacing across the Atlantic evokes the primal desires of any offshore sailor and the Grenada-bound RORC Transatlantic Race, departing from Marina Lanzarote on Saturday 26th November, has attracted a highly diverse range of boats and crews to compete in the third edition.

Leopard out to break the monohull record
Whilst the Atlantic is only half the size of the Pacific, Mid-Atlantic is as far away from land as possible, save Point Nemo in the depths of the Southern Ocean and Mike Slade's 100ft canting keel maxi, Leopard3 is no stranger to the Atlantic. Leopard has accomplished five separate Transatlantic records over the last nine years and has crossed the Atlantic 12 times, with this race being Boat Captain, Chris Sherlock's 30th crossing. Leopard3 is very capable of breaking the current monohull record for the RORC Transatlantic Race, set by Jean-Paul Riviere's Finot 100, NomadIV in the last race in 10 days 07 hours 06 mins 59 secs.

Laying down the gauntlet for the third RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2015 rtr concise phaedo jm

Concise 10 and Phaedowill be back in 2016 to duel it out once again in the RORC Transatlantic Race, but this year they could have more competition © RORC/ James Mitchell

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with the International Maxi Association and supported by Marina Lanzarote, Camper & Nicholsons Marina, Port Louis Grenada and
Grenada Tourism Authority. Saturday 26th November 2016, Lanzarote to Grenada.

The third edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's RORC Transatlantic Race will start on Saturday 26 November 2016 and the line-up will include MOD70s and Maxi yachts vying for the prestigious IMA Transatlantic Trophy awarded to the line honours monohull winner. The usual diverse range of highly competitive, experienced offshore RORC racers will also be on the start line. Their focus will be competing for the RORC Transatlantic Race antique silver trophy and the new RORC Caribbean Series Trophy for the best combined result in the RORC Transatlantic Race and 2017 RORC Caribbean 600.

Grenada announces support for 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race

on . Posted in 2016 Race Updates

2015-rtr-nr-and-mb-at-closing-ceremony-photo-arthur-danielNikoyan Roberts, Grenada Tourism Authority and Michael Boyd, Commodore Royal Ocean Racing Club. (RORC/Arthur Daniels)

The third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start on 26th November 2016 from Marina Lanzarote to Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

The RORC Transatlantic Race was brought to a conclusion on Friday 18th December with a closing ceremony held at Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. Competitors, guests and friends of the race enjoyed a Westerhall Rum Punch and Caribbean barbecue prepared by the staff of the Victory Restaurant at Port Louis.

RORC Chief Executive Officer, Eddie Warden Owen introduced RORC Commodore Michael Boyd who announced that the Grenada Tourism Authority had pledged their continued support for the RORC Transatlantic Race and that the third edition would start on 26th November 2016 from Marina Lanzarote and finish in Grenada, hosted by Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina.

Challenger GBR301 Home stretch

on . Posted in 2016 Blogs

Home Stretch. After 3300Nm 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. Have we reached that edge ourselves? Absolutely not- but the sense of safety this boat inherently generates in the crew when we consider for a second the gulf between what we have been asking it to do and what it is capable of leaves me again happy that Spartan uses just the right boats to share this ocean racing experience with its clients. Looking forward to 2017 we have an excellent plan to negate also the little grey cloud that settles on our ego's when we consider that we are a few days behind our class competition. I'm happy to announce that next year we will bring three more boats on line and due to the collaborative creation of the 'Ocean Class'in 2016, next year many more boats of exactly this type will be returning to the race course after years in the wilderness to rebuild interest and opportunities to sail serious offshore races whatever your skill level. For the RORC Transatlantic Race 2017 we hope to return with up to 8 boats all Volvo 60's and IMOCA 60's all with charter crews on board and all sailing within an agreed set of class guidelines that finally allow these boats to once again compete on a level playing field. Exciting? You bet your ass it is. Watch this space. www.spartanoceanracing.com

For now, the crew are having their last breakfast on board, bags have been packed over night, the boat is impeccably clean and all eyes are on the horizon and the rapidly growing vision of Grenada. Many people over the centuries have completed this crossing before us- a number have arrived before us in the past few days and yet this does not in any way take away from the awesome challenge we have completed personally- Hell's Teeth we have crossed the Atlantic!, we have learned how to be the crew of an ocean going yacht pushing as hard as we could within the bounds of the new skills we have developed and we are proud, we are elated and boy are we looking forward to the ice cold beers the RORC race office even now are loading up into a cart to bring down to the dock for us.
My very great thanks to my wife Kathie back home in Nova Scotia who has provided not only logistical support for the last 3000Nm but also the 5500Nm that preceded this as Challenger made her way to the RORC start line from Canada to the Uk, to France and finally to Lanzarote. My thanks also to Keith Davidson, Daniel Degenais Gaw and Diane Reid my pro crew who have made the last 8500Nm not only possible but fun and safe. They will be going to their own new Spartan steeds in the coming year and I wish them great luck. Finally my thanks to RORC who have once again put on a fantastic race and given us a bucket list experience everyone here will remember for a lifetime.
All good on Challenger. CSM

Day 15 update from Nemesis

on . Posted in 2016 Blogs

Expedition Nemesis.. Are we getting there!? After 2 weeks of challenging and contrary winds, last night was spent hanging on! Sometimes upside down, until we got the A3 down! Wind oscillating between ene and ese 25 - 30 knots with confused seas reminiscent of wind over tide at St Cats! but much warmer, now preferring the nights as it's so bloody hot during the day.. Hand steering 24/7 as pilot hates these seas! Eaking out the provisions, eat your heart out weight watchers! Guessing we will be the last men standing! Sorry for the wait, we might have made the prize giving if you hadn't moved it from the 15th!! Anyhow Sir Eddie, you've created an iconic race, a Transatlantic expedition!

S.Y Nemesis, day 15, what a lovely sunny day, by late in the day the mainsail gives us shade from the burning heat, that same sail that speeds us on our way! Interesting that in over 2500Nm we have made 2 contacts, yep not much out here, both were well spoken cruisers from home waters, in no real hurry to get west, both interested in our race and lack of crew and impressed by our turn of speed, however more interested in getting a full nights sleep, how different from our sleep deprived race across this vast. There are so many flying fish in this ocean, many are kamikazi fish who impale themselves on the sails, deck fittings and as I found late last night on watch, me, it scared the shit out of me as I thought someone was tapping me on the shoulder! See you on the 14th!!

 

Expedition Nemesis.. Are we getting there!? After 2 weeks of challenging and contrary winds, last night was spent hanging on! Sometimes upside down, until we got the A3 down! Wind oscillating between ene and ese 25 - 30 knots with confused seas reminiscent of wind over tide at St Cats! but much warmer, now preferring the nights as it's so bloody hot during the day.. Hand steering 24/7 as pilot hates these seas! Eaking out the provisions, eat your heart out weight watchers! Guessing we will be the last men standing! Sorry for the wait, we might have made the prize giving if you hadn't moved it from the 15th!! Anyhow Sir Eddie, you've created an iconic race, a Transatlantic expedition!
S.Y Nemesis, day 15, what a lovely sunny day, by late in the day the mainsail gives us shade from the burning heat, that same sail that speeds us on our way! Interesting that in over 2500Nm we have made 2 contacts, yep not much out here, both were well spoken cruisers from home waters, in no real hurry to get west, both interested in our race and lack of crew and impressed by our turn of speed, however more interested in getting a full nights sleep, how different from our sleep deprived race across this vast. There are so many flying fish in this ocean, many are kamaasi fish who impale themselves on the sails, deck fittings and as I found late last night on watch, me, it scared the shit out of me as I thought someone was tapping me on the shoulder! See you on the 14th!!