Sunday 9th January, Lanzarote: A flotilla of spectator boats and a huge crowd in Marina Lanzarote witnessed the start of the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race.
The 9th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race starts from Marina Lanzarote on Sunday 8th January, supported by Calero Marinas, the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France.
Crews are in final preparation for the 3,000-mile race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, with navigators and tacticians studying the latest weather data. While they almost unanimously agree that the 2023 race has the potential to be the quickest on record, the important factors and strategy differ throughout the diverse fleet.
The largest boat in this year’s RORC Transatlantic Race is the Swan 115 Supermaxi Jasi. Navigator Tom Robinson has prepared for the race with a very detailed look at historic weather data for the route.
“This year’s race is looking like a very stereotypical trade winds route, with the wind very well established,” commented Robinson. “The first 36 hours could be a bit tricky; especially Tenerife which rises to 3,700 metres. We want to get south without getting caught in the wind shadow before we can start getting west. High pressure may see us going north to hook into better wind from the east northeast, before we start heading back down to the rhumb line. I'm quite pessimistic when people asking me how long it will take for Jasi to finish in Grenada; maybe between nine and ten and a half days. However, it really depends on how the second-half of the race unfolds.”
Three high performance trimarans will be in a high-speed battle for Multihull Line Honours. While all three were originally MOD70 one-designs, they have all been optimised. Maserati Multi70 has a full foiling package, Snowflake has an additional two-metres of rig, and Zoulou is equipped with C-Foils at mid-ships for additional lift. Ned Collier Wakefield is one of the most experienced MOD70 drivers in the race and will be part of the formidable crew on Zoulou which is ramping up for a thrilling 3,000 mile shoot-out.
“It is looking like a pretty fast race, with no northerly route open which is great,” commented Collier Wakefield. “The trade winds look set, so it should be point and shoot VMG all the way at record pace. This year’s forecast is better than the record in 2015, and all three trimarans are configured to sail quicker than the record holder. (Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, 5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs). This year we could see a finish in 5 days 20 hours beating the record, but with good competition for Zoulou from Maserati and Snowflake, we have got a boat race!”
Laurent Pages is the tactician for Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD 54 Teasing Machine, racing in IRC Zero. Three days before the start, Teasing Machine was out practising kite-peels for several hours. The RORC Transatlantic Race course weaves through the Canary Islands at the start. This adds the complexity of negotiating land effects before the boats head into the wide expanse of the Atlantic. Teasing Machine is one of four ballistic 50-footers racing in IRC Zero.
“At first it is looking like real champagne sailing, at least until we past the Canary Islands; full downwind VMG racing in 15-25 knots of wind,” commented Laurent Pages. “However, it's going to require a lot of commitment from the crew, especially driving and boat handling. Even though the wind direction is looking quite stable, this is going to be a very physical race where we need to have precision in our positioning, also we will have to deal with squalls. The main, aim as always, will be to sail as fast as possible, and getting to an area of good wind, which is forecast to the south, will be a crucial point in the early part of the race.”
Peter Bacon is racing Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear in IRC Two-Handed with his son Duncan. As one of the smallest boats in the race, Sea Bear’s weather outlook, as well as strategy differs from the faster boats. However, Sea Bear can win the race overall under IRC, just as Richard Palmer’s Jangada did in 2019, racing with Jeremy Waitt.
Looking at the current weather models we could have a light north-easterly wind for the start and that may persist for a day or two as we go through the islands,” commented Peter Bacon. “As we get towards Tenerife we will have a decision to make; do we go south to try to get the trade winds, or do we follow at least one model’s advice and stay north to pick up stronger winds. This second model shows that later in the week if we go north, there may be good winds between a high pressure and low pressure system. Right now, I don't know the answer.”
Follow the fleet: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/tracking/2023-fleet-tracking.html
Race website: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/
HOW TO FOLLOW THE RACE:
Track the fleet, follow the race updates via the website and RORC social media
Start 1400 UTC/local time - Two Starts
Sunday 8th January 2023
Marina Lanzarote, Arrecife, Canary Islands
Near perfect, record conditions are forecast for the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, supported by Calero Marinas, the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France.
The New Year heralds a big season for the Royal Ocean Racing Club, including the 14th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race. The longest race in the 2023 RORC Season’s Points Championship starts from Marina Lanzarote on January 8th.
The RORC Transatlantic Race is once again supported by Calero Marinas, the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France. The destination is Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada, 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, who provide 48hrs of free berthing when competitors arrive.
Marina Lanzarote is ready to receive the international fleet taking part in the RORC Transatlantic Race, starting from Lanzarote, Canary Islands on
With just over one month to go until the start of the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race, Marina Lanzarote is ready to receive the international fleet which will set off on Sunday 8th of January for the 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean spice island of Grenada.
More than 20 race boats from seven different nations are expected, including six Maxis and three of the world’s fastest ocean-going multihulls. For the second year, the RORC Transatlantic Race is supported by the Yacht Club de France, and close to half of the 2023 fleet will be flying the French tricolour in Marina Lanzarote. Supported by Calero Marinas since the first race in 2014, the event is one that all the team in Lanzarote look forward to with passion and commitment.
“We achieved our ambition when we started this event with the RORC eight years ago,” commented José Juan Calero, CEO Calero Marinas. “It takes time to establish a transatlantic race from scratch, but now we have the result. The participation that we have is amazing; there’s a great variety of boats taking part in a race with one of the most exciting courses anywhere in the world.
“After two years of disruption during the pandemic, we now have the opportunity to get the people of Lanzarote totally involved with this race, and we are organising many activities for them to join in to celebrate this great event. The sailors will be given a very warm welcome in Lanzarote and we already have several boats making their preparations here. Before the race we have some great social events in some of Lanzarote’s finest locations. All the Calero Marinas team is so excited and looking forward to providing the best experience we can,” continued José Juan Calero.
Supported by Calero Marinas since the first race in 2014, CEO Calero Marinas - José Juan Calero welcome all the competitors and says: "We achieved our ambition when we started this event with the RORC eight years ago" © James Mitchell/RORC
Future ocean racers? Brian Thompson shows young sailors from the Real Club Nautico de Arrecife around the boat © James Mitchell/RORC
A trio of world record-breaking multihulls will once again lock horns in the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race. The 2022 showdown was nothing short of epic with Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati winning a photo-finish in Grenada. Maserati is back and taking part in their fourth race, having taken Multihull Line Honours on two previous occasions. This year’s top competition for Maserati comes from two MOD70s that have raced before, but are now under new ownership. From France, Zoulou will be sailed by Erik Maris, and from the United States, the MOD70 Snowflake will be sailed by Frank Slootman. All three boats are equipped with lifting foils and are capable of speeds in excess of 35 knots.
The International Maxi Association (IMA) has supported the RORC Transatlantic Race since its conception in 2014. Six powerful Maxis have already entered for 2023 to battle for the IMA Transatlantic Race Trophy, as well as the overall win under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. The largest boat in this year’s race is the Swan 115 Jasi, skippered by Toby Clark. Contender for Monohull Line Honours includes the Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina, sailed by IMA Member Jean-Pierre Barjon, winner of the IMA's 2021-22 Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge. Historic Ocean Racing Maxis include Pen Duick VI, skippered by Marie Tabarly, and the Z86 Way of Life, skippered by IMA Member Gasper Vincec.
Botin 65 Spirit of Lorina, sailed by International Maxi Association member Jean-Pierre Barjon © Rolex/Studio Borlenghi
Three record-breaking multihulls will once again lock horns in the RORC Transatlantic Race: (Left) Erik Maris' MOD70 Zoulou (FRA), (Centre) Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) and Frank Slootman's Snowflake (USA) © Thomas Joffrin (Not shown - start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race)
The RORC Transatlantic Race is part of the RORC Caribbean Series where IRC rated boats with the best combined score, in both the 2023 Transatlantic Race and 2023 RORC Caribbean 600, claims the series trophy.
Racing across the Atlantic is on the bucket-list of any serious offshore sailor and every sailor that completes the 3,000-mile race is also eligible to join the Royal Ocean Racing Club. For on-line entry and more details about the RORC Transatlantic Race: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/
Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster will return to the RORC Transatlantic Race after a very close battle for the overall win against the final victor, the 100ft Comanche, in the 2022 edition of the race © Arthur Daniel/RORC
Entries are ramping up for the ninth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, promising thrilling battles right through the fleet. Twenty one teams from nine nations have so far expressed their intention to race 3,000-miles across the Atlantic Ocean. Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and supported by Calero Marinas and the International Maxi Association, along with Yacht Club de France, the RORC fleet will set off from Marina Lanzarote on the 8th of January 2023, bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Grenada.
Two Superyachts are favourites to contest the IMA Transatlantic Trophy for Monohull Line Honours. The largest boat currently confirmed for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race is the 115ft Swan Jasi skippered by Toby Clarke. The 107ft Wally Spirit of Malouen X skippered by Stephane Neve will be an equal match for Jasi. Spirit of Malouen’s latest triumph was winning the Maxi 1 Class at this year’s Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, significantly beating Jasi. However, the 3,000-mile RORC Transatlantic Race is a very different contest to inshore racing in the Mediterranean.
Joining the modern Supermaxis on the start line will be two renowned classic Maxis. The famous 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI was built for Eric Tabarly’s 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race and for the RORC Transatlantic Race, Marie Tabarly will skipper the boat, as she did for the 2022 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. L'Esprit D'Equipe, winner of the 1985–86 Whitbread Round the World Race, will be skippered by Atlantic racing legend Lionel Regnier. The fascinating encounter pits two historic yachts against each other rated under IRC, making a fair match after time correction.
Contesting the IMA Transatlantic Trophy for Monohull Line Honours is largest boat currently confirmed for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race - the 115ft Swan Jasi skippered by Toby Clarke © ClubSwan Racing / Studio Borlenghi
Marie Tabarly has entered the legendary 1973 ketch Pen Duick VI - built for Eric Tabarly's 1973 Whitbread Round the World Race entry © Rick Tomlinson
Giovanni Soldini’s Multi 70 Maserati (ITA) is all set to defend their Multihull Line Honours win last year. Maserati was one of five 70-foot trimarans competing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race this October and several are expected to enter the RORC Transatlantic Race. The latest is MOD70 Snowflake (CAY) with American Frank Slootman at the helm. For the Rolex Middle Sea Race, Gavin Brady, Tom Cheney and Ryan Breymaier were on board Snowflake. Formerly Phaedo 3, Snowflake now has a taller rig, longer bowsprit and lifting T-Foils, similar to Maserati. Yann Marilley’s 18-metre VPLP designed catamaran No Limit (FRA) is a confirmed entry. While No Limit is not as quick as Maserati and Snowflake, after MOCRA time correction No Limit has the ability to win the class.
Giovanni Soldini’s Multi 70 Maserati (ITA) is all set to defend their Multihull Line Honours win in the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com
MOD70 Snowflake (CAY) with American Frank Slootman at the helm © Roddy Grimes-Graeme/Snowflake
Four highly diverse performance 50-footers are set for a thrilling battle in the RORC Transatlantic Race. The overall winner and recipient of the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy is decided by IRC time correction and Teasing Machine, Black Pearl, Tulikettu and Rafale could all be considered as favourites.
The overall winner in 2017, Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) was in fine form in October, winning the 2022 Rolex Middle Sea Race overall. Teasing Machine is now many kilogrammes lighter than 2017 and is the most developed of the three out-and-out offshore raceboats set for the race in January 2023.
Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER) is back with Stefan Jentzsch at the helm; this will be Black Pearl’s third start in the RORC Transatlantic Race having suffered gear failure and retirement in the last two editions. Black Pearl has the longest water-line length of the three combatants and has water-ballast to increase righting moment.
The most radical of the three 50-footers is Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN) which has a narrower hull and side foils. With an all-up weight of less than 7000kg, Tulikettu is by far the lightest of the three rivals and has the shortest water-line length. However, the Finnish team have the equipment and desire to punch well above their weight.
Skippered by Henri de Bokay the Elliott 52 Rafale (GER) has a canting keel setting it apart from the three other fast 50-footers. Previously as Outsider, the boat competed in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race finishing third overall.
Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER) is back with Stefan Jentzsch at the helm; this will be Black Pearl’s third start in the RORC Transatlantic Race © James Mitchell/RORC
A bevvy of cruiser-racers will be competing in the RORC Transatlantic Race. The Swan 601 Lorina 1895, skippered by Ireland’s Ken Docherty is the fastest under the IRC Rating System. Making her race debut is Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA), which has recently been modified to include new rudders. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR), skippered by Jules White is back after finishing second overall in 2022. Scarlet Oyster will continue their friendly rivalry with another team of charter guests racing Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR). Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) returns for its fourth RORC Transatlantic Race. Pata Negra’s best result so far was second overall in 2019.
The largest Two-Handed entry to date is the IMOCA 60 Canada Ocean Racing (CAN) raced by Canadian Scott Shawyer & Briton Alan Roberts. Kate Cope will be racing Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist (GBR) Two-Handed with Claire Dresser. Purple Mist is the smallest boat in the race and the first Two-Handed women team to take on the RORC Transatlantic Race. Sebastien Saulnier returns for his second race with Sun Fast 3300 Moshi Moshi (FRA) which was third overall in 2021. Peter & Duncan Bacon will be racing Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear (GBR) in their debut RORC Transatlantic Race. However, Peter Bacon 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.
Class40s have featured in the RORC Transatlantic Race since 2015; the first Class40 entry for the 2022 edition is Sabre II which will be raced Two-Handed by Czech sailors Miroslav Jakubcik & Marek Culen who also competed in the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race
New to the race is Laurent Courbin’s French First 53 Yagiza, skippered by the highly experienced Philippe Falle © Gilles Martin-Raget
German Botin 56 Black Pearl has unfinished business in the RORC Transatlantic Race and has entered the 2023 edition starting on Sunday 8th January © James Mitchell/RORC
The ninth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, supported by Calero Marinas and the International Maxi Association is scheduled to start from Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands on Sunday 8th of January 2023.
Racing across the Atlantic is a phenomenal experience and a huge variety of boats and sailors have already registered for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2,995nm offshore race. Held annually in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France, entry is open to boats racing under IRC, Class40, Classic Yachts, Superyacht and MOCRA rating systems. Early entries and expressions of interest for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race include teams from at least seven different countries, including; Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States.
The largest yacht currently entered in the 2023 edition is the magnificent French Wally 107 Spirit Of Malouen X, sailed by Stephane Neve. The overall winner under IRC will win the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy and past winners include four Maxi Yachts: RP78 Lupa of London, Finot 100 Nomad IV, Marten 72 Aragon and the VPLP/Verdier 100 Comanche. The first monohull to cross the line in Grenada is also awarded the magnificent IMA Transatlantic Trophy.
Giovanni Soldini’s ballistic Italian Multi70 Maserati plans to defend their Line Honours victory last year. This will be Maserati’s fourth race, but the outright race record has so far eluded the team. (2015 - Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3 in 5 Days, 22 hrs,46 mins,03 secs). Maserati is one of five 70ft trimarans competing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race this October. Soldini’s Maserati is keen to have close competition for the RORC Transatlantic Race. The first multihull to take Line Honours will receive the RORC Transatlantic Race Multihull Trophy. The best corrected time under the MOCRA Rule will be the Multihull Class winner.
German Botin 56 Black Pearl, with Stefan Jentzsch at the helm has unfinished business in the race having retired last year. Black Pearl is back and the highly experienced crew includes Marc Lagesse as navigator and Paul Standbridge as watch leader. New to the race is Laurent Courbin’s French First 53 Yagiza, skippered by the highly experienced Philippe Falle. Andrew Schell’s Frers Swan 59 Icebear will also be making its RORC Transatlantic Race debut.
An ocean racing legend will also be racing this year; the 58ft Philippe Briand-designed L'Esprit d'Équipe, winner of the 1985 Whitbread Round the World Race. L'Esprit d'Équipe will be skippered by Lionel Régnier who has completed 13 transatlantic races, including winning the OSTAR. Fifty-footers have lifted the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy on two occasions; Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 (2018) and Eric de Turckheim's NMYD 54 Teasing Machine (2017), also entered for the 2023 edition.
Passionate Corinthian teams for the 2023 edition include teams racing in IRC Two-Handed. Katherine Cope’s British Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist will be racing with Claire Dresser in the race’s first all-woman double-handed team. Father and son team of Peter & Duncan Bacon have entered their Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear and Sebastien Saulnier returns with his French Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi which was the first Two-Handed entry to finish in 2021. For the 2023 edition, Saulnier will be racing with business partner Stefan Jaillet. The smallest boat to win the RORC Transatlantic Race overall under IRC was Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada, racing two-handed with Jeremy Waitt in 2019.
The RORC Transatlantic Race is part of the RORC Caribbean Series where IRC rated boat with the best combined score in both the 2023 Transatlantic Race and 2023 RORC Caribbean 600 claims the series trophy. The Swan 601 Lorina 1895, skippered by Ken Docherty, has entered for both races. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 is a welcome edition to the RORC Transatlantic Race and his Global Yacht Racing team will also be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Yet to enter, but expected to do so, are Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster; second overall in the last edition, plus Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra, which has competed in three previous races, including second overall in 2019.
Racing across the Atlantic is on the bucket-list of any serious offshore sailor and every sailor that completes the 2995-mile race is also eligible to join the Royal Ocean Racing Club. For on-line entry and more details about the RORC Transatlantic Race: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/
Entries are open and the Notice of Race available for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race © Lanzarote Photo Sport
Entries are now open and the Notice of Race available for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race starting on Sunday 8th January, 2023. The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 2,995nm offshore race is held annually in association with the Yacht Club de France and the International Maxi Association.