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Race Updates | News | Page 3

Never laugh at crocodiles

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A thrilling finish is shaping up for multihull line honours between PowerPlay, Argo and Maserati © James Mitchell/RORC

A thrilling finish is shaping up for multihull line honours between PowerPlay, Argo and Maserati © James Mitchell/RORC

DAY SIX - 13 JAN (0900 UTC)

On the sixth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race a thrilling finish is shaping up for multihull line honours between PowerPlay, Argo and Maserati. The 100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth is estimated to be over two days ahead of the monohull race record and win for the IMA Trophy for monohull line honours. All the crew are well on Black Pearl but there was sad news from the team mid-Atlantic. Plus, updates from Jangada and even poetry from Tonnerre de Glen.

In the light airs of day 5, the crew on Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) is getting ready for the return of the trade winds for the final push to the finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada. Paul Larsen sets the scene (12 January 2200 UTC), as the threat of losing the lead intensifies from astern.

A Game of Chess

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Riding on a better pressure from the northwest, Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN) helmed by Joern Larsen is reeling in the 100ft Maxi Comanche on day five of the RORC Transatlantic Race © Soren Wiegand/Aksel Magdhal/L4 Trifork

Riding on a better pressure from the northwest, Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN), helmed by Joern Larsen, is reeling in the 100ft Maxi Comanche on day five of the RORC Transatlantic Race © Soren Wiegand/Aksel Magdhal/L4 Trifork

DAY FIVE - 12 JAN (1200 UTC)

The RORC Transatlantic Race enters the fifth day with the potential for a real twist of fate at the front of the RORC fleet. Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) still leads the multihulls, but as the first boat into an area of light winds, the ‘hunters’ are catching up with their prey. Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) and Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) are homing in on PowerPlay. The 100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth is over 100 miles ahead with one hand on the IMA Trophy. However, Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN), helmed by Joern Larsen, is reeling in Comanche. L4 Trifork is riding on better pressure from the northwest. News from the fleet includes the latest from Gunboat 68 Tosca (USA), co-skippered by Ken Howery & Alex Thomson.

Comanche’s navigator Will Oxley reported at 2100 UTC on 11 January:

“1680nm to go. It has been a very messy Atlantic weather pattern and that looks set to continue into the finish. So far so good. We are happy with our more southerly approach in comparison to L4 Trifork. For the moment they are sailing very fast in close proximity to the low. It looks quite difficult though to extricate oneself from the north; one of the reasons we rejected this option. We watch with interest to see how it plays out. The low does seem to be playing havoc with the fleet. We are sailing in 10-15 knot northerlies with the low still disrupting the trade winds. We think we can join the dots into the finish OK but we will have to be careful to avoid some very light air on the 13th. ETA still 16th January.”

Rolling in the Deep

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1,900 nm from Grenada -at 0900 UTC on day four of the RORC Transatlantic Race Comanche was doing 24 knots of boat speed! Drone shot credit: Shannon Falcone @racingSF

1,900 nm from Grenada -at 0900 UTC on day four of the RORC Transatlantic Race Comanche was doing 24 knots of boat speed! Drone shot credit: Shannon Falcone @racingSF

DAY FOUR - 11 JAN (0900 UTC)

Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) is over halfway and just two hours outside multihull race record pace. The 100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth, is 1900 miles from Grenada and well inside monohull race record pace. The majority of the RORC fleet are north of the rhumb line. To the south an area of light winds stretches about 1000 miles across the direct route. Four days into the RORC Transatlantic Race and the sight of land is now just a distant memory for the 29 teams racing to Grenada. The crews have settled into life at sea, rolling in the deep, their boat speed the metric for success.

Comanche’s navigator Will Oxley (0900 UTC 10 JAN) reported:

“All going well on Comanche. Our goals are a safe boat and crew, line honours and a new race record. We felt we could achieve these goals without heading far north and crossing the front in big seas and strong winds. So, we have been threading the needle between a col (transition zone) and an easterly wave (atmospheric trough), trying to find enough pressure to make our way west. We had a slow 12 hours, but we hope we are through the worst of it now. We expect to cross the front around 0300 UTC on the day four. At this time, we will have a good idea whether our plan has been successful.” (At 0900 UTC on day four Comanche was doing 24 knots of boat speed!)

Tactics split the fleet

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Maxi Comanche (RUS) skippered by Mitch Booth is achieving over 20 knots of boat speed hour after hour on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race where tactics split the fleet © Lanzarote Photo Sport

Maxi Comanche (RUS) skippered by Mitch Booth is achieving over 20 knots of boat speed hour after hour on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race where tactics split the fleet © Lanzarote Photo Sport

By sunset on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race the majority of the record fleet had raced into the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean leaving the Canary Islands in their wake. This would normally result in blasting southwest in the trade winds, but this year’s race has a very complex weather scenario for the days ahead. Right now, a low-pressure system to the north is affecting the front runners who chose this high road. To the south, the low road, the breeze is better than expected. The low riders look to have made the right call – for now.

MOCRA

To the north, the leading multihulls have slowed down to under 20 knots as they enter the transition zone created between the low to the northwest and the trade winds to the northeast. Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) has been the dominant force so far and has taken up a westerly position compared to Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA), and Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA). Tactically, PowerPlay has positioned between the competition and the finish. The race is on to cross the transition zone and gybe onto the fresh breeze to the northwest.

Peter Cunningham commented by satellite phone just before sunset: “A great start for PowerPlay with the boat log on 646 miles for the first day, but a little slower today.”

Complex second day

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Maxi 100 Comanche powers past a kite surfer at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race @Lanzarote Photo Sport

Multi70 Maserati (ITA) powers past a kite surfer at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race @Lanzarote Photo Sport

DAY 2 - 09 JAN (1800 UTC)

MOCRA

Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) has retained the lead on the water in the multihulls, but the pace has slowed as the leaders feel the effects of a transition zone between the low-pressure system to the north and the trade winds to the south. Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) and Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) are continuing north, along with PowerPlay. It will be interesting to see which is the first to gybe to the west. The relentless pace has eased for now but the powerful 70-foot trimarans are still achieving 17 knots or more.

IRC SUPER ZERO

The 100ft canting keel Maxi Comanche (RUS) has continued a westerly trajectory, continually hitting speeds of over 20 knots. Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL) and The Austrian Ocean Race Project’s VO65 Sisi have both gybed west following Comanche. However, Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN) has continued to head north.

Horses for Courses

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Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro is currently leading the fleet overall 24 hours into the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race  © RORC/James Mitchell

Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro is currently leading the fleet overall 24 hours into the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/James Mitchell

DAY 2 - 09 JAN (1200 UTC)

The first big play in strategy for the RORC Transatlantic Race is due to come in the next 24 hours with a low-pressure system, emanating from Nova Scotia, forecast to disrupt the northeasterly trade winds and impact the race course. The teams are currently positioning for what will happen in the future.

For the leading boats, the key decision is when to gybe west; Go too early and the wind will decrease, go later and there is the possibility of 40-knot headwinds and big waves. For the mid-fleet and boats at the back, the strategy is different; Some have opted to go north, sailing more miles, but hoping for wind. Other teams have lined up to race south, sailing fewer miles but in predicted light airs. Generally, weather forecasts for the Atlantic are very precise, but there is a huge variety of boats in the RORC Transatlantic Race and the correct tactics can vary enormously.

RORC Transatlantic Race starts from Lanzarote

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Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) hit speeds of 33 knots at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race when 30 boats took to the start off Marina Lanzarote for the 3,000nm race to Grenada © RORC/James Mitchell

Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) hit speeds of 33 knots at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race when 30 boats took to the start off Marina Lanzarote for the 3,000nm race to Grenada © RORC/James Mitchell

The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race started on time in glorious conditions outside Marina Lanzarote. A flotilla of spectator boats witnessed the spectacle and thousands more watched by live stream, with Vendée Globe star Pip Hare providing commentary. After months of preparation and planning, the 3,000nm race to Grenada has begun for 256 sailors from 27 different countries. The record fleet of 30 boats set off at blistering pace downwind, leaving Lanzarote behind. The RORC fleet will race through the Canary Islands before sailing into the open waters of the Atlantic. A complex weather system promises a fascinating race to Camper & Nicholsons' Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

“15-20 knots of wind with a wave height of one and a half metres made for a spectacular downwind start,” commented RORC Deputy Racing Manager Tim Thubron. “Both the MOCRA and combined IRC class starts were very competitive; it just shows how spirited this fleet is. The RORC Race Team will be monitoring their progress throughout the race 24/7 and, as with all of our Club’s events, we wish all our competitors a safe and enjoyable race.”

José Juan Calero, Managing Director of Calero Marinas commented:

“It is fantastic to see the race start in perfect conditions. I speak for all of the team at Calero Marinas and all of the supporters of this race, to say we are so proud of how this race has developed. It is an amazing experience for all of the sailors. This is the eighth year we have hosted the start and I thank the RORC for putting their trust in Lanzarote to deliver. A big thank you to the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France for supporting the race.”

Press Conference - Quotes from the Boats

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The panel for the RORC Transatlantic Race Press Conference. L-R: Héctor Fernández of the Lanzarote Tourist Board, Olivier Pecoux - Vice President, Yacht Club de France, Andrew McIrvine - Secretary General International Maxi Association, Jeremy Wilton - CEO, RORC and José Juan Calero - MD Calero Marinas © RORC/James Mitchell

The panel for the RORC Transatlantic Race Press Conference. L-R: Héctor Fernández of the Lanzarote Tourist Board, Olivier Pecoux - Vice President, Yacht Club de France, Andrew McIrvine - Secretary General International Maxi Association, Jeremy Wilton - CEO, RORC and José Juan Calero - MD Calero Marinas © RORC/James Mitchell

A press conference was held at Marina Lanzarote on the eve of the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race. In attendance for the organisers were: José Juan Calero - Managing Director Calero Marinas, Héctor Fernández - Lanzarote Tourist Board, Jeremy Wilton - CEO Royal Ocean Racing Club, Andrew McIrvine - Secretary General International Maxi Association and Olivier Pecoux - Vice President, Yacht Club de France.

Quotes from the sailors attending:

Brian Thompson

Tactician for Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo

“It's going to be a fantastic competition between four boats for Multihull Line Honours. The winner will be the team that manages these powerful boats, especially in the rough conditions, and the one that takes the best route. This year the trade winds are not as normal as they should be, so for the record we will have to wait and see. It is always exciting to race across the Atlantic; it hasn't got any smaller or any easier!”

How to follow the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race

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Follow the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race

From the mighty Comanche to the minuscule Jangada, 30 teams from all over the world have started the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday 8th January.

Start: 1100 UTC/local time, Saturday 8th January 2022

WATCH THE START - LIVE STREAM Facebook

The race start was streamed LIVE by Puerto Calero Marinas in Spanish with commentary and in English by Vendée Globe star Pip Hare.

Follow the Facebook live stream herewww.facebook.com/CaleroMarinas

Start of live stream: 1030-1130 UTC

STAY WITH US AS the race unfolds

Race fans can keep up-to-date with the 3,000-mile race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada via the race website and social media channels.

Teams welcomed to Lanzarote

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2022 rtr welcome party jeremy wilton jm

RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton welcomes the competitors to the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/James Mitchell

The RORC Transatlantic Race Welcome Reception with drinks and tapas was held last night at Terazza Kalma in Marina Lanzarote. All of the teams competing in the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race were greeted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s CEO, Jeremy Wilton, who gave a warm welcome to the competitors, and a big ‘thank you’ to all the event sponsors.

“Welcome to the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race,” announced Jeremy Wilton. “This is a big race for the Royal Ocean Racing Club; we have a record entry with past winners and sailors from 27 nations, and these events do not happen without our partners here in Lanzarote and in Grenada across the Atlantic Ocean. Here in Lanzarote, I would like to thank JJ Calero from Calero Marinas, Héctor Fernández from the Tourist Board of Lanzarote, Vice-President of the RCNA Felipe Brito, The Secretary General of the IMA Andrew McIrvine, and Vice-President of the Yacht Club de France, Olivier Pecoux. Both the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France have played a significant role in helping to secure a record entry for this year’s race. Both organisations are great supporters of IRC, which we believe is the ultimate rating system for racing around the world.”