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.”

Calling the Breeze

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RORC Transatlantic Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race for the 8th edition from Lanzarote to Grenada © YB Tracking

RORC Transatlantic Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race for the 8th edition from Lanzarote to Grenada © YB Tracking

The record RORC fleet is in Puerto Calero and Marina Lanzarote and crews are making final preparations for the 3,000-mile race. Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada. Four days before the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, three top navigators express their predictions.

The favourite for the IMA Trophy is the 100ft Maxi Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth. Comanche is very capable of breaking the Monohull Race Record, set by Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song in 2018 of 10 days 05 hrs 47 mins 11 secs. Comanche’s Australian navigator Will Oxley has racked up 300,000 ocean miles, including three editions of The Ocean Race.

Battle Lines drawn for RORC Transatlantic Race

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Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro is one of 30 boats competing in the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada. The diverse fleet includes Two-Handed teams, past winners, America's Cup and round the world sailors, as well as corinthian teams and regular RORC racers - battling it out throughout the fleet as they race 3,000 nm across the Atlantic Ocean in one of the Royal Ocean Racing's longest races © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro is one of 30 boats competing in the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada. The diverse fleet includes Two-Handed teams, past winners, America's Cup and round the world sailors, as well as corinthian teams and regular RORC racers - battling it out throughout the fleet as they race 3,000 nm across the Atlantic Ocean in one of the Royal Ocean Racing's longest races © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France are making final preparations for the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race starting on Saturday 8th January 2022. The longest race in the RORC Season’s Points Championship has attracted a record 30-boat entry in the epic 3,000nm race across the Atlantic Ocean and battles are predicted throughout the fleet. Starting from Lanzarote, the teams will be based at two Calero Marinas - Puerto Calero and Marina Lanzarote, and are racing to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Fleet get ready for RORC Transatlantic Race

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Top professional and corinthian sailors from around the world will gather in Lanzarote for the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race on 8th January 2022. Double Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott will be one of them - racing on Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay  © Lloyd Images

Top professional and corinthian sailors from around the world will gather in Lanzarote for the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race on 8th January 2022. Double Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott will be one of them - racing on Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay © Lloyd Images

With less than a month to the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, well over half of the record international fleet have arrived in Calero Marinas Puerto Calero in Lanzarote for the start of the 3,000 nautical mile race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Over 200 sailors from at least 22 different nations will be competing. The eclectic mix includes professional sailors from the Olympics, America’s Cup, Vendée Globe, and The Ocean Race, however, the vast majority are passionate corinthians.

Double Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott will be part of Peter Cunningham’s crew racing his MOD70 PowerPlay. This will be Scott’s first ever transatlantic, but he has a wealth of multihull experience as tactician for INEOS TEAM UK’s America's Cup campaign.

“The only offshore I have done previously was the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race on the same boat when it was Concise, so this is a bit new for me,” admitted Scott. “I am used to the speed that we will achieve, but clearly this will be very different; we are racing across the Atlantic and there are going to be some big waves. Hopefully we will get good trade winds and it will be 3,000-miles downwind, which will be nice!”

The major difference for Scott will be racing offshore for a number of days and nights, something that he has not experienced in the Finn or the AC75. “I am fully into the unknowns here; it is a first step up into this world. I am looking forward to it, but I am nowhere near being an expert. I will be following the lead of the guys around me. I really don’t know what to expect in the middle of the Atlantic and this is almost a different sport. I hope I can perform to a high standard for the team. This is out of my comfort zone and that is why I want to do it. It will be an experience with a great set of guys and I am sure I will learn a lot,” concluded Scott.