Ocean Race North gets underway in Charleston
Published on May 22nd, 2015
Charleston, SC (May 22, 2015) – Five international teams started the 2015 Ocean Race North at 14:00 ET today. The NNE gradient started to fade just before the start, resulting in challenging transitional conditions. All but one team started with their masthead spinnakers.
The German duo of Alexander Krause and Jorg Reichers on Class40 Stella Nova won the start, launching themselves into an early lead. Halfway to the first mark, there was a 90-degree wind shift brought by the incoming sea breeze. Stella Nova was the first boat into the new breeze and extended their lead, while the shift spelled trouble for the boats behind.
Stella Nova was the first boat to clear the harbor, with Class40 Oakcliff Ocean Racing and ORR entry US Patriot Sailing close behind. The fleet is currently heading ESE towards the Gulf Stream.
The 5 teams will continue the 473 nm course to Annapolis, MD. Models are showing a challenging upwind leg to Hatteras. Uncertain conditions will greet the teams after that, due to a high pressure system moving across the course. Estimated arrival times of sometime Monday night, May 25th.
Background: Ocean Race North is a new offshore race from the creators of the Atlantic Cup. The race is open to Class 40s and includes an ORR division. The race was created to fill the void in the schedule for a race traveling north at the beginning of the summer season. ORN will run in the odd years, with the first edition of the 473 nm ORN to be raced from Charleston to Annapolis.