Dutch RORC member Carlo Vroon’s Hinckley Sou'wester 52 Diana finished the RORC Transatlantic Race on 27 January at 04:04:14 UTC © Arthur Daniel/RORC
Long-standing Dutch RORC member Carlo Vroon’s Hinckley Sou'wester 52 Diana finished the RORC Transatlantic Race on 27 January at 04:04:14 UTC. Having purchased the beautiful cruising boat just before the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, he was determined to get to the start in time to skipper his own boat, for the first time, all the way across the Atlantic. The years of racing the highly competitive and successful series of Tonnerre yachts, with his father, the great Dutch sailor, Piet Vroon, certainly paid off, as he explains on arrival in Grenada:
“The race was absolutely fantastic. It was a big learning curve for the younger ones in our crew but we still tried to keep the boat going. It’s not a race boat so we are learning to work with her and were seeing how she was set up. It’s fantastic to do it in such a way. I did one transatlantic race with Ross Applebey on Scarlet Oyster about seven years ago, but this is my first as skipper. The boat is very comfortable. It’s a wonderful solid yacht and for this purpose it was fantastic. It’s not really for racing and obviously we didn’t have time to prepare it. We blew up the one and only kite on the first night and of course we only needed it the last three or four days, but we had a very light one that worked well though. It was very good fun.
We will now take a month to get up to Florida and do some cruising. We will go to Carriacou at the weekend and will enjoy Grenada. We loved the RORC race. I would do it again given the opportunity. Of course, you have to create your opportunities first. I am not sure how long we are going to keep this boat. It was an ‘on the spur of the moment thing’ and it’s ideal for cruising. It’s beautiful and very comfortable, but for the longer term, I’m not sure that’s what we want. We will see. It’s fun and as it was my first time as skipper, I am pleased with myself having had years of upbringing in seamanship, I think it’s paid off! I had an excellent crew though and I wouldn’t have done it without them.”
Diana’s Dutch crew: Carlo Vroon, Manon Baartmans, Anouk Collee, Sascha Collee, Bart Vroon, Paul Wassink, Trijntje Zuiderbaan
Hinckley Sou'Wester 52 Diana at the start in Lanzarote © James Mitchell/RORC