Purely for the Love of the Game

Published on August 2nd, 2016

Ron White, navigator on the ORMA 60 Arete’, comments on the their elapsed time win of the 2016 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac…

Line honors racing is a high stakes “go big or go home” game that not many choose to play. Certainly the best contests take place within tightly grouped handicap sections or one-design sections. But for some of us who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity, we just want to go fast and get to the finish fast.

A look at the preceding ten years of Royono Trophy (elapsed time winner of Chi-Mac Race) history shows some interesting facts: The Max Z86 Windquest has won the Trophy seven times and Genuine Risk (Dubois 90), Beau Geste (Farr 80), and Il Mostro (Volvo 70) have each won it once.

Two of these monohulls only competed once over this ten year period and two of the boats have to run diesels to sail. Virtually all of them sail with at least some paid professionals to race. Needless to say, the other 300+ race entries don’t see competing for the Royono Trophy as a fair fight or within reach.

On the ORMA 60 Arete’, we pride ourselves on being the “Garage Band” of line honors racers. While Owner/Skipper Rick Warner has made a substantial investment in the boat and bringing her up to racing trim, none of the crew is paid to race and we do about 95% of the work required to get her to the starting line ourselves.

Many of the current team were part of the group that took possession of the boat in France and brought her to the Great Lakes to compete. We could write pages about our great adventure. Bottom line for us is that it has been a monster project for the last year and a half with a fantastic team of seven experienced sailors and friends who do it purely for the love of the game.

We would like nothing better than to see MOD70s Phaedo3 and Concise 10 or the 60-foot trimaran Earth Voyager come out to play next year; what a show that would be!

I’d like to acknowledge our fantastic team:
Rick Warner, Owner/Skipper
Mike McGarry
Matt Graham
Donny Massey*
Pat Considine*
Jim Andersen*
Ron White
Tim Van Antwerp, Shore Support/Logistics
* Industry professionals, not paid to sail

In the interest of full disclosure, I am the Chief Measurer for the Race to Mackinac. Prior to the 2015 Race, I recused myself from the voting regarding the change in the Royono Trophy, which had previously been for only monohulls, and cautioned those advancing the idea about the controversy it may involve.

On Arete’, we will race anywhere practical whether it includes the opportunity to win a major trophy or not. It’s pretty easy to see who is first.

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