370 miles of separation - Day Three

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Third day at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race to Grenada - photo from on board Friedrich Boehnert's Xp-50 LunatixAs dawn broke on the third day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the northerly route across the Atlantic looks to be the favourite for many of the 23 teams taking part in the race. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge towards the low pressure system which has attracted the fleet to this route. The low has moved further north east than predicted allowing the fleet to take a more direct heading across the Atlantic. To the south, the convergence zone, acting as a barrier to the tradewinds, is the focus of attention for Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS which has chosen the southerly route.

After beating into big seas for most of the second day, CQS tacked south at around midnight last night. To reach the tradewinds, CQS need to cross a convergence zone, an area of scarce wind approximately 100 miles across. The Australian Maxi has pointed their bow towards the coast of Senegal, West Africa and will be hoping to have picked the narrowest gap. By sharp contrast, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is 370 nautical miles (682 km) north of CQS, blasting along on a tight reach into the low pressure system and experiencing close to gale force conditions.

CQS Go South - Day Two RORC Transatlantic Race

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Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race  © RORC Race/James MitchellAfter the first night at sea in the RORC Transatlantic Race, the vast majority of the international fleet were north of the Canary Islands, negotiating the wind shadow of Gran Canaria and Tenerife created by the unusual southerly wind.

Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet on the water and having now raced over 200 miles and left Tenerife to port, as required by the Sailing Instructions, the next mark of the course is 3,000 miles away. CQS now looks to be taking a different tactical option by leaving La Palma to starboard and going south in a divergence route to the rest of the fleet.

Two yachts have broken away from the chasing pack and look to be heading for the low pressure system north of the rhumb line. The centre of the low is 500 miles away, but they are already feeling the effect as the wind direction and speed becomes unstable, with torrential rain very likely. Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna leads the charge, nine miles ahead of Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt -Muratet 54 Teasing Machine. Of the Maxi yachts, Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project is by far the most northerly yacht, whilst Jochen Bovenkamp's Marten 72 Aragon is going well, pulling ahead of Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump.

Gentle Start...Not For Long

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2017 rtr cqs start jmLudde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS leads the fleet at the start of the 4th RORC Transatlantic Race; the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta © RORC/James Mitchell

Prior to the start of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race you could feel the apprehension amongst the 200 competitors taking part. After months of planning and preparation, it was time for the record fleet of 23 yachts from nine different countries to cast off lines and take on the challenge of the Atlantic Ocean. At noon, the starting gun heralded the beginning of the iconic 3,000 nautical mile race from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

The forecast of fast reaching conditions failed to materialise and despite little breeze, it was a very competitive start. Ludde Ingvall's 98ft canting keel Maxi CQS made the best of the zephyrs to stretch out an early lead, gybing perfectly on the first of many wind shifts to come. Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump made an impressive start at the Committee Boat end of the line, hoisting their huge gossamer white spinnaker, and Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project showed great pace early on.

Puerto Calero Gala Dinner

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2017 rtr jjcalero gala jmAndrew McIrvine, IMA Secretary General presents JJ Calero with gifts at the gala dinner © RORC / James Mitchell

Competitors from 23 teams taking part in the RORC Transatlantic Race enjoyed a celebratory gala dinner at Restaurant Amura in Puerto Calero prior to the start. Making the most of one of their last nights ashore, the wine and conversation flowed and crews were treated to a delicious five-course dinner, courtesy of Calero Marinas.

RORC Commodore Steven Anderson, who is competing in the race in his 50ft Bermudian cutter Gemervescence, thanked JJ Calero and all supporters of the race in Lanzarote: “All the boats are prepared and everybody is looking forward to the race. Thank you to the Calero family and the whole team at Calero Marinas. Also to the Canary Islands Government, Lanzarote Tourist Board, Arrecife Council and the Real Club Nautico de Arrecife for all that they have done to support the race, now in its 4th year. We have been made so very welcome, as always, and the RORC wishes all competitors a very good race. We look forward to seeing you at the end of the race in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.”

Representing the Hamburg yacht club - Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV) and the special westbound Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, Rear Commodore Walter Gross-Fengels made his thanks: “The NRV is celebrating our 150th anniversary next year and for that reason we planned this unique regatta. We would like to thank the RORC for their support and also take the opportunity of inviting all teams to register for the eastbound race from Bermuda to Hamburg, starting on July 8th, 2018. I wish you all a safe and successful race to the Caribbean.”

 

View the race gallery online at http://gallery.rorc.org/v/2017/rorc-transatlantic-race/

 

Feisty Start Predicted

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2017 rtr bibot jmGerald Bibot analysing the weather scenario for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. He is competing for the second time in his catamaran Zed 6 © RORC/James Mitchell

Gerald Bibot will be competing in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race with his Belgian 42ft Catamaran Zed 6. Gerald is the founder of Great Circle which produces weather routing programme Squid. In 2015 Gerald was the winner of the MOCRA Class, completing the race in just over 11 days and the only team to take a northerly route.

“This is going to be a tricky race compared to two years ago and the options are not balanced between north and south,” commented Bibot. “In 50 scenarios only two routes are going south of the Great Circle Route and 42 are going north, so the probability of a northern route is almost absolute for just about any boat in the race, except possibly a boat that has good performance upwind in light air.”

Safety First

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2017 rtr weekes inspection german

Safety First

The RORC Transatlantic Race Sailing Instructions ensure that all yachts comply with World Sailing's Offshore Special Regulations Category One for safety at sea. In addition, all yachts must comply with RORC Prescriptions and carry a Satellite phone. Anthea and Stephen Weekes have inspected the yachts prior to departure for all four editions of the race.

“The standard is very high and they have all thought through their safety procedures very carefully,” explained Anthea Weekes. “There are professional crews and amateur crews in this race, but they all appreciate going through the checklist. The important thing is that they have all thought about scenarios and they all have a plan.”

2017 rtr weekes inspection

Diverse Fleet, One Goal

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2017 rtr trio outsider cqs aragon mixedOutsider, Tilmar Hansen's Elliott 52 © Sven Jürgensen Fotografie; Ludde Ingvall's Supermaxi CQS © Rick Tomlinson; Marten 72, Aragon - back to defend her 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race title © James Mitchell

Departing from Marina Lanzarote at noon on the 25th November, a record 23 yachts will compete in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race - the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta. Teams will represent nine different nations: Australia; Belgium; Canada; Chile; France; Germany; Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.

The overall winner under IRC will be awarded the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada; 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean. A complex weather scenario is predicted for the start making it almost impossible to predict the winner in a highly competitive fleet.

Record RORC fleet ready in Marina Lanzarote

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2017 rtr marina lanzaroteRORC Transatlantic Race & Atlantic Anniversary Regatta yachts docked at Calero Marinas - Marina Lanzarote

The start of 4th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race – the first leg of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta - is just a few days away and crews from the record fleet are making their last preparations prior to the 3,000 mile race. Twenty-two teams with sailors from all over the world have gathered in Arrecife’s Marina Lanzarote, excited at the prospect of taking the challenge of racing across the Atlantic. For several of the young competitors in the race, this will be their first transatlantic crossing, but for others, like legendary Spanish six-times round the world circumnavigator and Volvo Ocean Race sailor, Guillermo Altadill, the RORC Transatlantic Race will bring the number of his Atlantic crossings to 19!

Marina Lanzarote has been looking forward to the RORC Transatlantic Race ever since the last event a year ago. We are all in and ready for it,” smiled José Juan Calero, Calero Marinas Managing Director. “For us it is exciting and amazing to see how the event is growing each year, with more boats and competitors from many different countries. This year we are hosting both the RORC Transatlantic Race and the RC44 regatta and both are enjoying the atmosphere at Marina Lanzarote, sharing the environment and the hospitality. All of our team will be doing their best to ensure that all the competitors have everything they need for the race.”

Marina Lanzarote is already bustling with activity prior to the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday, with competitors making use of the excellent facilities at the state-of-the-art marina. Varuna, Jens Kellinghusen’s German Ker 56, Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine, and Roman Guerra’s Volvo 70 Monster Project were making excellent use of the 820-tonne crane and dry dock.

Teasing Machine arrived from Malta last week on a cargo ship after a demanding Rolex Middle Sea Race,” commented Teasing Machine's Volvo Ocean Race winning tactician, Laurent Pages. “We didn't have any major failures in the race, but it has been very useful to check under the boat in Marina Lanzarote before that start of the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday. In the next 24-36 hours our container will be shipped from here to Grenada in the Caribbean, so we are concentrating on preparing that today. We will be going out testing the boat later today and for the final couple of days we will be focusing on the tactics and strategy for the race.”

Grenada crests the ocean wave, signing four-year contract with Royal Ocean Racing Club and Camper & Nicholsons

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Pure Grenada Text

Pure Grenada to host the finish of RORC Transatlantic Race until 2020

2017 Grenada RORC Signing Phil Gammon GTA

L to R: Francine Stewart, Marketing Manager, Grenada Tourism Authority; Eddie Warden Owen, Chief Executive, Royal Ocean Racing Club; Patricia Maher, CEO, Grenada Tourism Authority and Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, Michael Boyd © Phil Gammon/GTA

rorc transatlantic race logoPure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean has signed an agreement with The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Limited to host the finish of the prestigious transatlantic yacht race for the next four years. Competitors will depart from Calero Marinas Marina Lanzarote to tackle 2,995 nautical miles before arriving at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, with this year’s start date confirmed for Saturday 25 November.

Mammoth to Minute

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2017 msr cqs kaLine Honours favourite for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race, part of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta, is Ludde Ingvall's 98ft Maxi, CQS © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start from Marina Lanzarote on 25th November 2017, bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. The IMA Transatlantic Trophy will be awarded to the first monohull to complete the race and three powerful Maxi yachts can be considered favourites for the prestigious trophy: CQS, Sorceress and Monster Project are all very capable of beating the race record set in 2015 by Jean Paul Riviere's Nomad IV of 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds.

By contrast, Jangada is the smallest yacht in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. At just 33ft (10.10 metres) and sailing Two Handed, it is estimated that Jangada will take 19 days to complete the 2,995 nautical mile race.

Ludde Ingvall's 98ft Maxi CQS from Australia is a front-runner to take Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Ingvall has thousands of racing miles under his belt, notching up 15 transatlantic crossings; his most famous Transatlantic Race was in 1997. As skipper of Nicorette, Ingvall broke the 92-year old record set in 1905 by Charlie Barr's Atlantic.

"When you are a young kid dreaming of racing, the Transatlantic Race is a very special one. I have enjoyed them all; it is a great adventure and very historic. You become part of something that has been going on for hundreds of years. To share that experience with your crew and other boats is really unique, and I feel very privileged to be doing this race," explains Ingvall. "For this race we have a rather young crew. Many will be crossing the Atlantic for the first time and they are excited to race in an organised fashion."

Atlantic Double

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2017 RFR Varuna Kurt Arrigo

Set for an Atlantic circuit: Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna will be representing Norddeutscher Regatta Verein in the RORC Transatlantic Race © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

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

A record entry is expected for the fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, starting at Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands, on 25th November, 2017. Close to 25 teams are expected, racing a huge variety of ocean going yachts. Nine different nations will be taking the challenge, competing 3,000 miles to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada, West Indies.

Marking a special year, the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race makes up one half of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta (AAR). The second race, organised by the RORC and Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV), starts from Bermuda on 7th July 2018 and finishes in Hamburg, the home port of the NRV, celebrating its 150th anniversary.