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Mammoth to Minute in the RORC Transatlantic Race

by Louay Habib on 7 Nov 25 November 2017
udde Ingvall's 98ft Maxi, CQS is Line Honours favourite for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race, part of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta © Rolex / Kurt Arrigo

The fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start from Marina Lanzarote on 25th November 2017, bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.

The IMA Transatlantic Trophy will be awarded to the first monohull to complete the race and three powerful Maxi yachts can be considered favourites for the prestigious trophy: CQS, Sorceress and Monster Project are all very capable of beating the race record set in 2015 by Jean Paul Riviere's Nomad IV of 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds.

By contrast, Jangada is the smallest yacht in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. At just 33ft (10.10 metres) and sailing Two Handed, it is estimated that Jangada will take 19 days to complete the 2,995 nautical mile race.

Ludde Ingvall's 98ft Maxi CQS from Australia is a front-runner to take Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Ingvall has thousands of racing miles under his belt, notching up 15 transatlantic crossings; his most famous Transatlantic Race was in 1997. As skipper of Nicorette, Ingvall broke the 92-year old record set in 1905 by Charlie Barr's Atlantic.

"When you are a young kid dreaming of racing, the Transatlantic Race is a very special one. I have enjoyed them all; it is a great adventure and very historic. You become part of something that has been going on for hundreds of years. To share that experience with your crew and other boats is really unique, and I feel very privileged to be doing this race," explains Ingvall. "For this race we have a rather young crew. Many will be crossing the Atlantic for the first time and they are excited to race in an organised fashion."

Sorceress is a brand new Southern Wind 96; the Canadian owner has a huge amount of offshore racing experience and the RORC Transatlantic Race will be a real test for the fast Maxi Cruiser's capabilities. Sorceress Skipper Daniel Stump knows the yacht extremely well, having been involved in the final stages of the build. Daniel was the skipper of Lupa of London which took Line Honours and the overall win in the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race in 2014. Sorceress raced for the first time at the 2017 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup:

"Our first regatta gave us some ideas to improve her performance. She is a very quick boat and we are very impressed with her," commented Stump. "The prospect of the RORC Transatlantic Race is very exciting as there are not many opportunities to race across the Atlantic and every time is different. We do not have a massive inventory of racing sails, but we will be pushing without getting aggressive. In a race like this, putting yourself in the right position will always be key."

Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project will also be vying for Line Honours and the race record. Roman is originally from Australia and bought Monster Project to further his passion for offshore racing, take part in top offshore races around the world, and to share his experience with others. After the RORC Transatlantic Race, Monster Project will take part in the RORC Caribbean 600, the Antigua Bermuda Race and the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta from Bermuda to Hamburg.

"I wanted to do a proper race and I really like what the RORC stands for," commented Guerra. "The Monster Project crew are currently delivering the boat from Plymouth to Lanzarote and putting in 270 mile days without even trying. So, the race record is possible given the right conditions. We have a crew of 14 for the race, with space for three more and we intend to have a fantastic experience."

Isle of Wight resident Richard Palmer will be racing his JPK 10.10 Jangada, Two Handed with Rupert Holmes. The British pair have sailed thousands of miles Two Handed, including a full Rolex Fastnet Race programme this year. This will be Palmer's second short-handed Atlantic, having come second in IRC for the 2012 TwoStar North Transatlantic Race. Jangada has a full inventory of racing sails, solar panels and a fuel cell which provide alternative power for vital systems such as their autopilot. At just 33ft (10.10 metres) in length, Jangada is by far the smallest yacht in the race:

"Our focus is very much on the RORC 2018 season and we have 7,000 miles of racing planned, including the RORC Transatlantic, RORC Caribbean 600, Round Ireland and the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland," says Palmer. "Reliability and consistency are important. Jangada is very well maintained and we are out to reduce any potential failure points. We are both experienced so we tend to have a less structured approach to a watch system; taking lots of short sleeps helps keep the boat going. The key is to rest when you can, but putting a lot of time on deck when you need to. This is a hard challenge and achieving it gives greater reward and satisfaction."

For more information follow the RORC Transatlantic Race and Atlantic Anniversary Regatta: visit rorctransatlantic.rorc.org and anniversary-regatta.com

The latest list of entries can be found at rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/entries/entries-expressions-of-interest.html

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