MOD70s complete RORC Transatlantic Race

Published on December 4th, 2016

(December 4, 2016; Day 9, 0900 UTC) – Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati crossed the RORC Transatlantic Race finish line yesterday afternoon, completing the course and their first ocean race in the MOD70 in 7 days, 8 hours, 44 minutes and 23 seconds, taking second place in the Multihull division.

MOD70 Phaedo3 skipper Brian Thompson, which completed the course in 6 days 13 hours 39 minutes and 55 seconds, was also on hand to take Maserati’s lines as they arrived, and a prize giving ceremony in the Victory Restaurant followed shortly after.

Taking the Multihull line honours, Team Phaedo was awarded the Multihull Trophy as winners of the Multihull Class by Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the IMA and Admiral of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

“It was a fantastic race,” noted Soldini. “We’re delighted to have arrived into Grenada with the boat in excellent shape. We would have liked to compete up close with Phaedo3, but on the first night out, we made different route choices. Passing Las Palmas on the windward side seemed the less risky choice to us, but it turned out we were wrong as it took us into a zone with less wind. When we received their position the following morning, we were 100 miles behind. But overall it was a positive experience: we are very happy with everything we learned about flying using the L-foil in the open ocean. We’ve found a way to use it both when there’s too much wind and wave, and in other more changeable conditions when it is possible to fly.”

Out in the Atlantic, Mike Slade’s Maxi Leopard is stalking a virtual prey; the RORC Transatlantic Race Tracker shows Leopard stalking the ‘Ghost of Nomad IV’. Last year Jean-Paul Riviere’s French Finot Conq 100, Nomad IV set the record for the RORC Transatlantic Race in 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds. The digital app of the course shows clearly that Leopard is now closing in on the record. This morning Leopard had 1,000 miles to go and was virtually 95 miles behind Nomad IV, but running faster, at a blistering pace of close to 17 knots. If Leopard continues at their current speed, the British Maxi will be close to record pace.

“After a rather frustrating 24 hours of very light winds we have recently been blessed with 15-20 knots of steady breeze,” says Leopard’s owner, Mike Slade who is enjoying the race with his regular crew, plus guests. “This has seen Leopard tick off 280 nm over the last 24 hours. At this stage arrival time in Grenada looks like late Tuesday evening/early Wednesday morning. Champagne conditions continue to result in massive grins on board.”

Leopard is also the provisional leader after IRC time correction for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. Arco Van Nieuwland & Andries Verde’s Dutch Marten 72, Aragon is second after IRC time correction and leading IRC Zero. Swan 82, Stay Calm and Infiniti 46, Maverick is in a great battle on the water, with Anatoli Karatchinski’s Baltic 112, also close to the duel. The three yachts could hardly be more different, but all enjoying a great race mid-Atlantic in the third edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Searching for the trades
Kees Postma, one of the watch leaders on Infiniti 46, Maverick who celebrated his birthday sums up their race at the moment: “We’re almost there!…is what we would have been saying on the 8th day; had this been an Atlantic crossing anywhere close to what we had hoped for. Instead, as I write this, we are 1,320 miles from Lanzarote and 1,567 miles from Grenada. Not quite halfway in distance, but hopefully halfway there in elapsed time. Having said that, we are all starting to question this mythical phenomenon called the tradewinds. A massive well done to skipper, Olly (Cotterell) and Eric (Holden) for troubleshooting and finding a fix for the hydraulics as without this, our result would suffer tremendously. Never has the deafening sound of the hydraulics power pack sounded so sweet.”

Miranda Merron reported in form the leading Class40 in the race. Racing Campagne de France Two Handed with Halvard Mabire, life on board is tough as they seem the fabled tradewinds:

“Over a week of racing and not yet half way. Sometimes respectable breeze, sometimes next to nothing, sometimes some clouds that look like nascent trade wind clouds. Just to tempt us. Every time the wind speed changes, so does the interior decor of the boat. Stacking is permitted in the Class40 rules (with the exception of a few items), and moving all the sails, spares, tools, water, food etc plays an integral part in boat performance. On Campagne de France, stacking is done scientifically and neatly under the command of the stacking master. There has been ample opportunity for practice so far. We have a watermaker on board – a great asset both in the amount of water to shift around the boat and for the extra fresh water it produces for non-salt water washing – luxury!”

Meanwhile, Spartan Ocean Racing’s Volvo 60, Challenger has ground to a halt and Skipper, Chris Stanmore-Major has lost his voice after catching the sore throat that has gone round the crew since leaving Lanzarote: “Keen observers will have noted that everyone and his dog in this race has now ground to a halt as the high we were all looking to skirt round took a quick step to the left and consumed the fleet. We have spent many hours today at a mighty 1 knot, whistled and hooted as breakneck speeds of 2 and 3 knots came and went and hit a new philosophical high as we stepped past that all too human reaction to adversity- to believe its the end of the world and nothing will ever go right ever again. Sure there is no wind right now, but relax it will come, it always does and then things will work themselves out as they always do. It’s all very Zen and I think we can take from this discussion that yes, sailing is like life – it’s easy to be philosophical when you are sharing your misery with others. Apart from me losing my voice through a sore throat, all is good on Challenger,” concludes Chris.

Event detailsTrackerEntry listFacebook

• 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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