Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Elements 2018

Start of the RORC Transatlantic Race

by Louay Habib 24 Nov 19:45 GMT 24 November 2018
Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race 2018 © RORC / Joaquín Vera

The fifth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started on schedule at 1200 UTC on Saturday 24 November. The fleet bid farewell to Marina Lanzarote which had once again provided an ideal location to prepare for the 3,000 nautical mile race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Grenada.

"The fleet got away to a clean start," commented RORC Deputy Racing Manager, Tim Thubron. "Kuka3 was first over the line, followed by Class40 Hydra and the two multihulls; PowerPlay and Maserati. My Song held back at the start but was at speed and full upwind mode at the pin, soon leaving the rest of the monohulls in their wind shadow."

The expected light airs start was enhanced by a sea breeze with many of the teams electing to stay inshore to gain lifting pressure rolling down the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote. Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song was the first boat to the turning mark at Puerto Calero Marina, followed by the multihulls.

Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay took first blood in the duel with Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi 70. PowerPlay led at the turning mark by several boat lengths. Both trimarans were still able to fly a hull in the light pressure, and no doubt the duel across the Canary Islands will be the next phase of the battle to Grenada.

Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3 was going well, second on the water in the IRC class behind My Song. Arto Linnervuo's Finnish Xp-44 Xtra Staerk made a cracking start, beating all three Class40s to the turning mark at Puerto Calero.

In the Class40 division, Henrik Bergesen's Norwegian flagged Hydra was first to the mark, just ahead of French skipper Catherine Pourre, racing Eärendil. Stephane Bry's French-Finnish corinthian team racing Sirius was some way behind the leaders, but all set for a 'tick the box' adventure.

Trevor Middleton's British Sunfast 3600 Black Sheep got away well, the smallest yacht in the race has a crew of five and a massive fan club back home, especially from Yorkshire, Trevor's home county. The amateur crew racing First 47.7 Kali is skippered for the first time by Corinne Wirth. Representing the Swiss Ocean Racing Club, the team are indicative of the ethos of the race. Sail safe and fast!

By 1800 UTC on Day One, the duelling multihulls had chosen to sail 30 miles north of the rhumb line. Six hours into the race, Maserati had passed PowerPlay and was one mile ahead of their rivals. My Song was making good speed in the light winds leading the monohull fleet, with Kuka3 six miles astern. Class40s Eärendil and Hydra were side-by-side matched for speed. The entire fleet are heading north above all of the Canary Islands avoiding the wind shadow from the islands. With the ridge of high pressure predicted to provide light winds, the overall strategy for all of the competing yachts will be to stay in the best pressure during the first night.

Finnish Xp-44 Xtra Staerk was still ahead of the Class40s at 1800 UTC and skipper Arto Linnervuo commented from on board: "We had light winds at the start and inshore it was very shifty, so we had to concentrate on keeping the right side of that. We have now seen the wind go to the south and increase a little to about 11 knots. The spirit on board is fantastic and we are so happy to start this race. We are living our dream and we have such interesting boats and sailors to compete with. As the sun goes down, we can feel the chill in the air, but we are dreaming of getting south into warm trade winds and what promises to be fantastic sailing conditions."

Go to rorctransatlantic.rorc.org for GPS tracking and blogs from the boats. Or try the virtual race at click.virtualregatta.com/?li=4852

Related Articles

Kuka3 lift the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy
Though yachts are still racing, none can beat the time set by Kuka3 Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3, skippered by Roberto Chuny Bermúdez de Castro has been announced as the overall winner of the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race. Posted on 11 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race: Hydra happy in Grenada
Hydra was runner-up in the Class40 Division to Catherine Pourre's Eärendil Henrik Bergesen's Norwegian Class40 Hydra, skippered by Tristan Kinloch, finished the RORC Transatlantic Race at 22:02:23 UTC on Sunday, 09 December in an elapsed time of 15 days 10 hours two minutes 23 seconds. Posted on 10 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race: Eärendil celebrate
A warm welcome in Greneda Catherine Pourre's Class40 Eärendil finished the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday 08 December at 04:10:18 taking Class40 Line Honours for the 3,000 mile race from Calero Marinas Marina Lanzarote to Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. Posted on 8 Dec
2018 RORC Transatlantic Race day 12
Kuka3 fight to the finish Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3, skippered by Roberto Chuny Bermúdez de Castro, overcame technical issues and a fire on board to post the best IRC corrected time so far in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Posted on 7 Dec
2018 RORC Transatlantic Race day 11
My Song set the bar, Kuka3 count the minutes The Baltic 130 owned by Pier Luigi Loro Piana, a member of the IMA, has also set a new Monohull Race Record after completing the 3,000 mile race between Lanzarote and Grenada in an elapsed time of 10 days five hours 47 minutes 11 secs Posted on 5 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Record for My Song
Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi finishes at 17:47:11 UTC Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song finished the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race on Tuesday 04 December 2018 at 17:47:11 UTC taking Monohull Line Honours. Posted on 4 Dec
2018 RORC Transatlantic Race - Brothers in arms
Multihull prize giving held in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina played host to the multihull prize giving for the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race. Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi70 was the winner of the Multihull Line Honours Trophy. Posted on 3 Dec
MOD70s finish RORC Transatlantic Race
Multihull Line Honours for Maserati, just ahead of PowerPlay Today, 1st December 2018 at 06:54:34 UTC, Giovanni Soldini's Italian Multi 70 Maserati was the first to cross the line in Grenada, taking multihull line honours to finish the 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race. Posted on 1 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race day 7
PowerPlay and Maserati - down to the wire It's game on in the thrilling race for Multihull Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi70 and Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay are expected to arrive in the early hours of Saturday morning. Posted on 30 Nov
RORC Transatlantic Race day 6
Multi70 Maserati and MOD70 PowerPlay were into the sixth day of their high-speed duel Both teams were just under 1,000 miles from the finish at Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada. The latest position report showed that Maserati was just 13 miles further from the finish than PowerPlay. Posted on 29 Nov