Record fleet for RORC Transatlantic Race
Published on November 25th, 2017
(November 25, 2017) – After months of planning and preparation, the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race got underway today for the record fleet of 23 yachts from nine different countries for the iconic 3,000 nautical mile race from Marina Lanzarote to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada.
The forecast of fast reaching conditions failed to materialise and despite little breeze, with Ludde Ingvall’s 98ft canting keel Maxi CQS making the best of the zephyrs to stretch out an early lead, gybing perfectly on the first of many wind shifts to come. Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump, made an impressive start at the Committee Boat end of the line, hoisting their huge gossamer white spinnaker, and Roman Guerra’s Volvo 70 Monster Project showed great pace early on.
The gentle conditions at the start did not last for long. Mike Broughton, navigator on Jens Kellinghusen’s Varuna called the media team as the German Ker 56 was passing La Bocaina, the narrow gap between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. “There’s buckets of water cascading down the deck with over 20 knots of boat speed power reaching. It is a pretty bumpy ride. We are leaving Lanzarote in our wake and getting ready for the first night at sea.”
RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen watched the start off Marina Lanzarote and commented: “There is strong competition right through this fleet, with very good sailors and some really exciting boats. With 23 entries it is great to see the race grow for the 4th edition, I think the word is out that it’s a good race, a proper race.”
The smallest boat in the race, Richard Palmer’s British JPK 10.10 Jangada, racing two handed with Rupert Holmes contacted the RORC Media team shortly after the start:
“Our first challenge was right here on the start line,” commented Palmer. “Instead of the 12kt SE breeze we were expecting, it turned out to be a game of pooh sticks with a very light northerly breeze – we have lost count of the number of gybes already! However, we are proud to be leading IRC Two around the first mark and even more delighted to round it ahead of a Swan 60!”
Five hours into the RORC Transatlantic Race, Ludde Ingvall’s Australian Maxi CSQ was leading on the water by only 9 miles from Varuna, with Marten 72 Aragon, skippered by Jochen Bovenkamp lying 11 miles off the lead.
The fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started November 25 at Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands with a record 23 teams racing 3,000 miles to Grenada, West Indies.
Source: Louay Habib, RORC