Ronstan

Not your Typical Transatlantic Race

Published on November 30th, 2016

(November 30, 2016; Day 5) – Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3 is approaching the halfway point in the RORC Transatlantic Race, well ahead of their Italian rivals, MOD70 Maserati, skippered by Giovanni Soldini. Mike Slade’s Maxi Leopard 3 has turned south, hoping to cross a pressure ridge to keep up their quest for the RORC Transatlantic Race Record. Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verder’s Dutch Maxi Aragon continues to lead the IRC fleet racing for the overall win.

In the MOD70 duel, Phaedo3, skippered by Brian Thompson has consolidated their advantage over Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati. Over the last 24 hours, Phaedo3 climbed north, maintaining a boat speed consistently well over 20 knots on port gybe before executing a move onto starboard in between Maserati and the finish.

Initially, Maserati closed the gap as Phaedo3 negotiated the pressure ridge in front of them, but once they punched through, the team extended their advantage, pulling away at twice the boat speed of Maserati. This morning Phaedo3 has a 220 mile lead and has sailed a massive 280 additional miles to achieve it.

Mike Slade’s Leopard 3 is now 200 miles ahead of the chasing pack racing in IRC, vying for the IMA Trophy for Monohull Line Honours. However there will be no respite on board the British Maxi. Slade set out to make an assault on the race record set by Nomad IV last year and his team will be coaxing every ounce of speed out of their charge.

Leopard 3’s race against the clock is captured by the graphics on the YB Tracker player. Leopard 3 is 160 miles nearer the finish than the ‘Ghost of Nomad’ but 13 hours behind on estimated elapsed time. The next big decision for Leopard 3 will be how to cross the pressure ridge in front of them, and following the MOD70s playbook is not necessarily the right solution.

The RORC Transatlantic Trophy will be awarded to the best yacht racing under IRC. After time correction. Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verder’s Dutch Marten 72, Aragon continues to impress and is estimated to be still leading after time correction. Leopard 3’s quest for the race record has also put the team up the IRC ranking into second place. However, the biggest improvement in the overall ranking has come from Infiniti 46 Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell, which is making a move north.

In the Class40 Division, Halvard Mabire & Miranda Merron’s Campagne de France has opened up a substantial lead on Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil. However, both teams have entered an area of little wind north of the Cape Verde Islands. Weather models are predicting that this area may have little wind for at least 24 hours. However, Campagne de France is 160 miles further west than Eärendil and should experience fresh winds before their rivals, but should the breeze come from the east, Eärendil may well close the gap.

Here is an insight into life on board Infiniti 46 Maverick on day four from bowman Piers Hugh Smith:

“You can take Maverick out of the Med but you can’t take the Med out of Maverick.

“Nothing is ever typical on Maverick, including, it seems, the weather. A traditional transat, this is not. The weather remains light and fickle and we are making gentle progress across the ocean, keeping in touch with our larger competitors, but not quite at the furious 20 knots we were promised! Having said that, the noise on deck indicates that our recent change to the jib top is reaping rewards and we may be seeing speeds greater than 10 knots, though it could just be my imagination.

“The outlook is set to improve, I’m informed by Eric, which I am certainly looking forward to as these first four days have been challenging. I’ve been suffering from a reasonably bad and exceptionally painful eye infection which is making the daily routine of sleep, trimming, driving and eating all that little bit harder. It does seem to be improving though as today I am able to open my right eye. Anyway, looking at the positives, the weather is set to improve daily and we are always making good ground on the fleet, and towards Grenada.”

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Background:
• The third RORC Transatlantic Race starts in Lanzarote on Saturday November 26, 2016 and the 2,995 nautical mile race runs through the Canary Islands before crossing the Atlantic to arrive in Grenada
• The race is run in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA)
• The winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy for best elapsed time under IRC in 2015 was Jean-Paul Riviere’s 100ft Finot-Conq. Nomad IV also won IRC overall and the IMA Trophy for monohull line honours. Nomad IV also set a new monohull record for the RORC Transatlantic Race: 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds

Source: Louay Habib. RORC

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