Escape from the Canaries

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Enjoying a duel through the Canary Islands: Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay and Giovanni Soldini's Multi 70 Maserati . RORC Transatlantic Race © Mikel Prieto

Enjoying a duel through the Canary Islands: Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay and Giovanni Soldini's Multi 70 Maserati
RORC Transatlantic Race © Mikel Prieto

Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi 70 and Peter Cunningham's MOD 70 PowerPlay have been swapping the multihull lead right from the start. On the first day, the duo headed northwest, tacking southwest in unison, 73 miles above the rhumb line. A night-time game of cat and mouse ensued, with both teams electing to leave the island of La Palma to port, presumably to avoid the wind shadow from its 2,000m peak. At 1000 UTC on Day 2, both trimarans were heading southwest, upwind at over 13 knots of boat speed. The race was on to escape the expanding area of high pressure and reach the fresh breeze.

Farewell Marina Lanzarote!

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The 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race started on schedule outside Marina Lanzarote © Rodrigo Rato/Kuka3The 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race started on schedule outside Marina Lanzarote © Rodrigo Rato/Kuka3

The fifth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started on schedule at 1200 UTC on Saturday 24 November. The fleet bid farewell to Marina Lanzarote which had once again provided an ideal location to prepare for the 3,000 nautical mile race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Grenada.

“The fleet got away to a clean start,” commented RORC Deputy Racing Manager, Tim Thubron. “Kuka 3 was first over the line, followed by Class40 Hydra and the two multihulls; PowerPlay and Maserati. My Song held back at the start but was at speed and full upwind mode at the pin, soon leaving the rest of the monohulls in their wind shadow.”

The expected light airs start was enhanced by a sea breeze with many of the teams electing to stay inshore to gain lifting pressure rolling down the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote. Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song was the first boat to the turning mark at Puerto Calero Marina, followed by the multihulls.

Farewell to crews at impressive fortress

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RORC Transatlantic Race competitors enjoyed dinner in style at the Castillo de San José, hosted by Calero Marinas © RORCRORC Transatlantic Race competitors enjoyed dinner in style at the Castillo de San José, hosted by Calero Marinas © RORC

Crews enjoyed a farewell gala dinner as they gathered at the 18th century Arrecife fortress, Castillo de San José - now an impressive restaurant and contemporary art museum close to Marina Lanzarote. RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen, competing in the race aboard the MOD70 PowerPlay, thanked the Calero family and team at Marina Lanzarote, as well as the Lanzarote and Canary Islands Tourism and Government for their continued support and great hospitality before the start:

“I am really looking forward to my experience with the team on Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay and to seeing you all in Grenada,” said Warden Owen. “Like here in Lanzarote, you will receive a warm welcome when you arrive in Grenada and you’ll have a great end to your race. I wish you a successful journey, a great result and enjoy the race. Good luck to you all.” 

Diverse RORC fleet ready for the Atlantic

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With less than two days until the start, the diverse RORC fleet make final preparations for the RORC Transatlantic Race  © RORCWith less than two days until the start, the diverse RORC fleet make final preparations for the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC

The 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race in association with the International Maxi Association, will start from Marina Lanzarote at 1200 UTC on Saturday 24 November 2018.

Two record-breaking trimarans will go head-to-head in a 3,000 nautical mile match race; Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi70 (ITA) and Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay (GBR), skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield. The high-speed match race has the added incentive of a crack at the multihull race record set by Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 in the 2015 edition (5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs). Maserati won the first duel between the two in last month's Rolex Middle Sea Race. The PowerPlay team has been strengthened by the inclusion of Australian Paul Larsen, holder of the ultimate speed record of 65.45 knots in Sailrocket 2.

Maserati reported rudder damage on the delivery to Lanzarote. "We probably bumped into some sort of big net or fishing gear. The fuse system unhooked, but the rudder's blade got tangled and it was strongly pulled downwards, breaking its blocks and slipping out of the fitting," explained skipper Giovanni Soldini. The Italian team is working hard to solve the problem before the start of the race on Saturday. "The T-shaped lost rudder will be replaced with a classic MOD rudder so we will not be able to foil on port tack. It's clearly not the ideal condition, but we're fit and determined: we will do our best as usual and we will fight tooth and nail," continued Soldini who also competed in the 2016 race.

Future ocean racers…

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RORC Transatrlantic Race 106

A group of over 20 young sailors from the Real Club Nautico sailing programme visited Marina Lanzarote yesterday to take a look at some of the boats competing in this year’s RORC Transatlantic Race. Along with their instructors, they were welcomed on board the First 47.7 Kali, Cookson 50 Kuka3, Giovanni Soldini’s Multi 70 Maserati, and the largest boat in the race, the 40 metre Baltic 130 My Song.

A Warm Welcome in Lanzarote

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Welcoming teams to the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race opening reception: José Juan Calero, Calero Marinas, Julio Romero, President of the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife, Tim Thubron, RORC Deputy Racing Manager © Pilar Hernandez/Calero MarinasWelcoming teams to the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race opening reception: José Juan Calero, Calero Marinas, Julio Romero, President of the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife, Tim Thubron, RORC Deputy Racing Manager © Pilar Hernandez/Calero Marinas

The 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race in association with the International Maxi Association, will start from Marina Lanzarote on Saturday 24 November 2018. A full programme of social activities started on Monday November 20, with a Welcome 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. The delightful Pingüinos synchronized swimming team put on a spectacular display to open the evening's entertainment for competitors and honoured guests.

Tim Thubron, RORC Deputy Racing Manager welcomed all teams and officially opened the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race at the first of several social events for crews taking part in the 3,000 nautical mile race. He also thanked the Calero family for their continued support, as well as the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife, hosts of the Welcome Reception. 

International Fleet set for RORC Transatlantic Race

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Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 will include a highly experienced offshore race team from Spain and Italy  © Rodrigo Rato/Kuka3Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 will include a highly experienced offshore race team from Spain and Italy © Rodrigo Rato/Kuka3

Crew from all over the world will be competing in the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race which sets off from Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife on Saturday November 24th. The 3,000 nautical mile-long race to Grenada is the final challenge in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2018 calendar, and is an ideal way to bond a team together for the RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2019.

Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 is one of the favourites for the overall win decided by yachts racing under the IRC Rating Rule for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

Maserati and PowerPlay set for RORC Transatlantic Race

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Maserati - www.mikelprieto.com

Two MOD70s have entered the RORC Transatlantic Race for a thrilling high-speed multihull match race from Lanzarote to Grenada. Giovanni Soldini's much modified Maserati (now called a Multi 70) and Peter Cunningham's PowerPlay (formerly Concise 10) have both confirmed that they will be on the starting line for the 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, starting from Marina Lanzarote on November 24, 2018.

This 3,000 mile match will take the boats to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada and both teams are very capable of breaking the multihull race record, set by Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 in 2015 (5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs).

Calero Marinas sign up for three years

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On-going commitment by Calero Marinas for RORC Transatlantic Race 

Entries now open for this year's race

2017 rtr lunatix dockside jmHosted by Calero Marinas, RORC Transatlantic Race yachts docked in Marina Lanzarote in the heart of Arrecife, Lanzarote © James Mitchell/RORC

Entries are now open for the RORC Transatlantic Race starting on Saturday 24th November 2018 via Sailgate

The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) is delighted to announce Calero Marinas commitment to extend their support by continuing to host the RORC Transatlantic Race for the next three years. This move is also endorsed and supported by the Canary Islands and Lanzarote Governments and the Arrecife Town Council.

It’s a wrap – 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race

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Overall winner under IRC, Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine was awarded the  2017 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy © Arthur DanielAt noon on the 25th November 2017, after a week of boat preparation and much appreciated social activities at Marina Lanzarote in Arrecife, a record 23 yachts started the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race bound for Grenada. Teams from nine different nations took part including: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and the United States of America. Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS took line honours and was awarded the International Maxi Association (IMA) Transatlantic Trophy. Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine was the overall winner under IRC, winning the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

An unusually light southerly airstream greeted the competitors for the start, but the super-light conditions didn't last for long. A low pressure system to the north and a ridge of high pressure to the south blocked the way to the tradewinds and routed the fleet to the north of the rhumb line. After beating into rough seas for most of the second day, CQS was the first to make the dive south. After passing to the north of Tenerife trying to find a narrow gap through the high pressure ridge, CQS made short work of the transition zone to reach the tradewinds.

Crew member on NOR149 Hydra

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Team Hydra reporting in with just over 750 miles to run to the south of Grenada. Since leaving the cape verdes its been starboard gybe all of the way and an absolute pleasure to see the miles counting down as we rush towards the west. We all have very well developed left arms from helming on one side only and the mainsail will doubtless need a couple of patches from rubbing against the rig on the port side.

Every night the moon has appeared later and weaker until last night when it didn’t bother to turn up at all. We’ve naturally adjusted to this lunar cycle with more frequent changes to the helm as the concentration required to drive in the grainy light can make the eyes and brain tired after not too long.

Its amazing how the sea state seems to change every day with only the slightest variation in wind, sometimes Hydra is obedient, bow up and bouncing between crests, at other times it feels like a wilful toddler, struggling to break free of our control and just go its own way. At these times we must take back control with reefs, eased sheets, moved weight.

Food supplies are at a premium and there is a lot of trading going on. We have more than enough to last as no one has quite the appetite for three meals a day in this heat; but meals chosen from a land based lap top some three months ago aren’t necessarily the meals one craves in the middle of the ocean. Clean eater Tristan is constantly eyeing what everyone else has and even resorted to eating one of Paul’s ‘dirty’ pot noodles just for some variety. Mr Peggs himself, an aficionado of the Atlantic ordered spaghetti Bolognese for every dinner for every day and is serenely content. There is no substitute for experience.

This morning we gybed. Time for a work out of the right arms. Already we are dreaming of first meals and the welcome in Greneda.

Crew member on Sirius FRA73 - Dec 5

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The Time machine
It was 2005 when I heard about an interesting job opportunity and went to an interview into the biggest architecture office in Finland after being ten years out of the office and living as a sailor/skibum. My previous years where filled with offshore sailing, mountaineering, extreme skiing, offshore swimming, caving, iceclimbing and all sorts of crazy stuff. Interview was unfortunately succesfull and behind the desk I was.
In 2010 I woke up behind the same desk. In that day of awakening I realized that someone had stolen five years of my life. I had no memories, no experiences nothing special to remember of those years. That was the day when I invented the Time machine. It is a way of life that builds a storage of ever lasting strong memories and experiences and stops the time so that you can live those moments over and over again.
Next day I had a new plan. This time it was not going to be skiing/sailing bum. There had to be another way. The way was to build my experties and a professional career... into a level where I would have right income and freedom balance. It took four years to build and in 2014 I bought my Class40 FUJI and the Time machine have been on since.
With FUJI there have been two Fastnet Races, two SORC Round The Rock solo version on a same course, Les Sables Horta and full Class40 series in 2017, few Round Ireland Races and Round Britain and Ireland and so on. Storage of the Time machine is full of wonderfull experiences from all of them.
And now we are part of a SIRIUS crew to have a peacefull practice run for our future crossings with FUJI.
Every hour, every minute every second you spend on ocean racing will turn to an eternity in the storage of the Time machine. Even the bad memories will normally render to good ones in the engine of the Time machine.

Ari from SIRIUS Time machine

 

Crew member on FRA145 Eärendil - Dec 5

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Dear all, everyone's fine on board.
We have been making south in our route last night and we are now at the latitude of Grenada. We will probably gybe soon. The wind angle was not favorable last night. We are benefitting on the contrary this morning of a favorable angle on the same tack. So we keep to it for as long as possible.

We had problem with the connection again yesterday afternoon but it was functioning perfectly afterwards. So just a little annoyance. We seem to see less weeds. We had to make a reverse every 4 hours to get rid of these in the keel, but it looks that they are sparse here. It is getting better and better over time.

Gery keeps saying that he is going to make a stew of the flying fishes that come unfortunately on board at night. BUt Pietro and I are totally against it. So we have avoided this up to now. We saw a couple of tropical birds yesterday, but no other boat. Not much to say thus.

We are at 700 miles from Grenada and we should have good winds up to there.

A demain.
Pietro, Gery and Catherine

Crew member on FRA73 Sirius - Night 8 & Day 9 Update

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Night 8 Class40 SIRIUS

At this point the watch rhythm of three on and three off is SIRIUSly starting to take effect of your dreams. You can't believe the surrealism of the dreams that feel SIRIUSly real. Some of them are horror stories that actually make you afraid to go to sleep.

Well.... it is time to go on deck. SIRIUS is taking nice little surfs in 10 to 15 knots of wind. Spectacular universe opens up on top of us while we are chasing the stars with the leading edge of the A2 spinnaker. It is a night to enjoy and smiles of our faces will wipe out the bad dreams and we are sleeping like babies. 

Day 9 Class40 SIRIUS

In the beginning of the race there was one white whale and a white walrus from Finland joining the crew. We must be approaching the Caribbean since our skipper commented today was that those creatures have turned in to two shrimps.

It is boiling hot for the Arctic creatures and escaping the sun is the challenge of the day.

We are doing SIRIUSly nice surfing in up to 18 knots of wind. In the middle of the surfs SIRIUS is climbing the mountains of the North Atlantic swell. The swell has been challenged by the building hills of the Trade wind waves. Combined effort of the ridges and valleys is a SIRIUSly interesting labyrinth to helm. Hopefully we will find our way and see you all in a Grenada bar with a cooling iceberg in the rum glass.

Ari and SIRIUS crew.