An amazing achievement for the first Two-Handed all-female team to complete the RORC Transatlantic Race! Congratulations to Kate Cope and Claire Dresser on Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist (GBR) after crossing the finish line in Grenada on 29th January at 02:36:10 UTC, in an elapsed time of 20 days 12hrs 26 mins.Read more ...
Purple Mist celebrate in Grenada!
VIDEO: EH01's Adventure across the Atlantic
The crew on board Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7 had a blast racing crossing the Atlantic in just over 17 days (elapsed), arriving in Grenada on Wednesday 25 January. “We made sure this trip we had a halfway party, where we made silly hats, had cupcakes and a good dinner that night. We had a little competition between the watches to see who could get the fastest VMG, and an awful lot of laughing! I’m happier nowhere else than on the ocean. It was great!” said skipper Neil Maher.
More arrivals in Grenada
On Monday 23rd January, dockside celebrations continued at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada as the Czechia and Slovakia team on Miroslav Jakubcik and Marek Culen’s Akilaria 40 Sabre II finished the RORC Transatlantic Race at 03:18:57 UTC. The smallest boat competing in IRC Zero covered the 3,000nm race in an elapsed time of 14 days 13 hrs 08 mins 57 secs. Co-skippers Miroslav and Marek have raced against each other since childhood, but joined forces for their first transatlantic crossing, joined by crew members Tomas Zima and Ivan Cernosek.
Five hours later, Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA), skippered by Philippe Falle were also welcomed to the dock with an ice-cold beer and warm Grenadian welcome, in the early hours of the morning in Grenada. Congratulations to the team on Yagiza which finished the race in just over 14 days 18 hours. On Tuesday 24th, Lionel Regnier’s 58ft Philippe Briand-designed L'Esprit D'Equipe finished the RORC Transatlantic Race with an elapsed time of 16 days 2 hrs 9 mins and 47 secs. With this crossing, Lionel Régnier has now completed 14 transatlantic races, including winning the OSTAR. His classic yacht L'Esprit D'Equipe also has a pedigree as she was the winner of the 1985 Whitbread Round the World Race. We look forward to seeing her in next month’s RORC Caribbean 600 when the crew will be joined by the winning skipper from the Whitbread, Lionel Péan.
L'Esprit D'Equipe arriving in Grenada © Arthur Daniel/RORC
The Two-Handed team comprised of father and son, Peter and Duncan Bacon, on their Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear finished the race on 25th January at 00:31:04 UTC, completing their RORC Transatlantic Race debut in an elapsed time of 16 days 10 hrs 21 mins 04 secs. Peter Bacon had previously competed in the 2019 Transatlantic Race (west to east) with Xp44 Lucy Georgina, winning IRC Racing 2 and notably beating Pata Negra and Teasing Machine after IRC time correction. They are the second Two-Handed team to finish in Grenada, with Purple Mist still to cover 500nm.
Meanwhile, still at sea, but due to arrive today, EH01 send in their final blog:-
“We’ve got less than 24 hours to run on this amazing adventure, so time for the final blog,” writes Prue Nash from Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7 EH01, which at time of writing had 44nm to go until the finish in Grenada.
Global Yacht Racing’s British First 47.7 EH01 has been racing with the Royal Ocean Racing Club for many years, but this was their first RORC Transatlantic Race. EH01’s Irish skipper, Neil Maher has an international crew from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and the United States.
“Last night was fun; we dropped the kite before a big dark squall cloud and hoisted it again after the squall. Dropped it again for the next squall and then spent the morning under a poled-out headsail in the increased breeze and sea state. Now we are back under our Ullman S4 and the world is looking good again. The poled-out headsail arrangement did manage to give us the highest speed of the trip though - Jasper got 12.79 knots. Sorry Beana, you aren’t the speed queen anymore!
“The finish is so close now, we can smell the showers - we really, really need one! Also, a cold beer, burgers, the pool and internet! We’ve received emails from our friends across the fleet who have finished already and have enjoyed hearing about some exciting spinnaker blow outs. Cannot wait to see everyone in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina for beers!,” concludes Prue, before sending a list of notables from the crossing:-
- Sleeping bags lost - 1. It’s somewhere on this boat, but no one had found Jeremy’s sleeping bag
- Tanks of water used – 3
- Tanks of fuel used for charging our batteries - 1. The solar panels have worked really well in keeping us topped up all day
- Gas Bottles - 1.25
- Spinnaker hoists in the last 24 hours – 3
- Anti-wrap nets that have got wrapped – 1
- Shaves on the trip - 4. 1 for Jasper, 3 for Jeremy. Rest of the guys are happily growing beards
- Best Joke of the trip - Frank for the ‘Chicken goes to the library’ joke
See you in Grenada today!
Neil, Prue, Jasper, Jenn, Sam, Frank, Jeremy, Paul, Beana and Christina
Pen Duick and Pata Negra celebrate in Grenada
Marie Tabarly’s 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI (FRA) finished the RORC Transatlantic Race on Sunday 22nd January in an elapsed time of 13 days 19 hours 33 mins 53 secs. Proudly displaying the flag of the Yacht Club de France, the Pen Duick crew of 12 are the youngest in the race and also have 50% women sailors on board. Pen Duick VI will next be competing in the new RORC organised Nelson’s Cup Series in Antigua in February.
“The Pen Duick crew has been selected for the 2023 Ocean Globe Race and this is our first race together. There is no better way to cross the Atlantic than to race,” commented Marie Tabarly. “For me, as long as I am at sea, I am happy, but this was not perfect conditions for Pen Duick. This boat likes to go upwind in heavy weather rather than downwind in light conditions, which we had for this race. However, it was very interesting for us to have the sensation and to work on the sail plan that we would like for the Ocean Globe Race.
“Pen Duick has a young crew, and there are not many boats like her. There is no school to race a boat like her. To gybe we need 11 people; we need to work together, stick together and have the vision of what is going on. Pen Duick is a heavy, powerful boat and you have to sail her in a very classical way which requires focus as well as spirit from the team. Having a team that can work together is much more important than if they are technically experienced.”
Pata Negra win IRC One
Father and son owners, Andrew and Sam Hall were racing Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) for the second time in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Pata Negra finished the race on Sunday 22nd January in an elapsed time of 13 days 23 hours 45 mins 13 secs. Pata Negra was greeted dockside by the RORC Finish team, and with cold beers from Port Louis Marina. In 2022, Pata Negra was fourth in class and took over 15 days. This year, Pata Negra has won IRC One and completed the race in just under 14 days. Andrew Hall is the oldest competitor in this year’s race and Sam one of the youngest skippers.
“We saw a fishing boat about 50 miles off Barbados and they came and waved to us. It’s always exciting when you see another human being after 3,000 miles of just seeing the crew on Pata Negra,” commented Andrew Hall. “I think that Sam and I are very lucky that we both like to do the same thing. I don’t know how many years I have got left, but we would like to be back next year. We are learning more and more about the boat; we are getting her going quicker and coming up with new ideas. Next for Pata Negra will be the RORC Caribbean 600 and then the boat will be on charter for other Caribbean regattas. Pata Negra will then return to the UK, take part in a few RORC races and then the Rolex Fastnet Race this summer, and we are looking forward to that.”
“We had a lot more wind than last year. Once we left the Canary Islands we put the kite up and we have had some awesome sailing,” commented Sam Hall. “Fast sailing with white water and just shy of 29 knots of boat speed at times. This was all you could dream of for 14 days: just astounding. A great race and a great team, but the fields of sargassum weed were a bit of a hinderance at times. We had to take the kite down on numerous intervals then back the boat to clear the rudders. Sailing with my dad is great, but like any father and son we have our moments. However, we love each other and have raced across the Atlantic together twice, which is a special achievement. To share that with a special crew has been fantastic. Winning our class is a great achievement and definitely progress from last year; maybe we can build on that and be even better next year.”
Six teams are still racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race. For full coverage, including race updates and stories from the teams, follow the Royal Ocean Racing Club on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For regular updates including satellite tracking go to: www.rorctransatlantic.rorc.org
Eight boats still racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race
Friday 20th January, Day 13 Update 1200 UTC
Following the announcement of Teasing Machine’s overall win in the RORC Transatlantic Race, three more teams have finished the 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean. As with every boat that arrives in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, there is a warm greeting on the dock 24-7, followed by cold beers to toast each team’s achievement.
Henri de Bokay’s Elliott 52 Rafale (GER), skippered by Philipp Kadelbach, finished the race on the 18th of January. Rafale became the sixth monohull in the race to finish in under 11 days. Rafale’s corrected time under IRC gives the team third place in IRC Zero, behind Teasing Machine and Black Pearl. This was Henri de Bokay’s second RORC Transatlantic Race having been part of Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 crew, taking Monohull Line Honours in 2016. Rafale was formerly Tilmar Hansen’s Outsider.
“This has been a different experience to Leopard, but just as enjoyable,” commented de Bokay. “I told my old friend Tilmar, I wanted to own a boat capable of this race and eventually bought the boat from him. I am a long-term member of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and I suppose the Rafale crew is old school; we are family and friends enjoying racing. Now we are in the Caribbean the adventures will continue and we are really looking forward to the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua next month.”
Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon (AUT) took Line Honours in the 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race. This year, Johannes was on board, but the skipper was the youngest in the race; Cathal Mahon from Galway Ireland. Green Dragon completed the race on the 19th of January in just over 11 days. Green Dragon was over-subscribed for charter guests resulting in the maximum number of crew allowed under IRC racing the boat. Twenty one crew, many of them making their first RORC Transatlantic Race, were on board. The multinational crew came from 12 different countries. Two cases of beer were required for the thirsty arrivals!
Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN) finished the RORC Transatlantic Race on the 20th of January in an elapsed time of 11 days 10 hours 33 mins 46 secs. This was Tulikettu’s first race and the boat sports not only a canting keel, but also DSS side foils. Having suffered some breakages, including sail damage and to the goose-neck fitting, Tulikettu was not able to race full-on for the second half of the race. However, Arto and the all-Finish team were delighted to complete the race. Their ambitions to race in 2022 were thwarted when they were forced to abandon the boat in training, but miraculously recovered and repaired it to compete this year.
Teams that have finished the RORC Transatlantic Race have been enjoying the hospitality of Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and the award-winning Caribbean island of Grenada. Eight teams are still racing and looking forward to joining them. Marie Tabarly’s 73ft Ketch Pen Duick VI (FRA) and Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) are having a great duel 450 miles from the finish and are expected on the 22nd of January. Pata Negra is ranked first in IRC One, with Peter & Duncan Bacon’s Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear (GBR) in second and Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA) in third.
Culen & Jakubcik’s Akilaria 40 Sabre II is 565 miles from the finish, and Lionel Regnier’s Briand 58 L’Esprit d’Equipe is 741 miles from a warm welcome in Grenada. Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR), skippered by Neil Maher, is just under 1,000 miles from Grenada. EH01’s Prue Nash commented by satellite on the 19th of January:
“We're making good progress in the light winds and during happy hour on Tuesday (17th January), we had a party to celebrate being half way across. Jenn and Frank made some delicious lemon drizzle fairy cakes and we decorated silly hats for a crew photo. We've been able to sail directly to Grenada for a few days now, which everyone is excited about. It's great to watch the distance to waypoint tick down.”
The Royal Ocean Racing Club supports all manner of teams to enter the RORC Season’s Points Championship, of which the RORC Transatlantic Race is part of. This year’s race has the first all-women team racing in IRC Two-Handed. Follow the joy and pain of Kate Cope and Claire Dresser racing Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist (GBR) by checking out their daily blog: http://blog.mailasail.com/purplemist
For full coverage of the RORC Transatlantic Race, including race updates and stories from the teams, follow the Royal Ocean Racing Club on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For regular updates including satellite tracking go to: www.rorctransatlantic.rorc.org