Leader retires in RORC Transatlantic
Published on November 28th, 2017
(November 28, 2017; Day 4) – The first casualty of the RORC Transatlantic Race occurred yesterday when Jens Kellinghusen’s German Ker 56 Varuna was forced to return to the Canary Islands due to a structural problem. Varuna had been leading the charge north of the rhumb line and was estimated to be leading the race after IRC time correction when the change of course was needed.
“Crewman, Michi Mueller reported a problem on the starboard bow at 0520 GMT,” explained Varuna’s navigator, Mike Broughton. “Varuna was in 20 knots of wind, close hauled in two metre seas. We immediately bore away to ease the slamming on the hull and turned the boat downwind. There was water ingress on the starboard bow and we readied our liferafts and grab bags and contacted the RORC Race Team to report the problem.
“Meanwhile our two boat builders on board fixed a carbon floorboard over the problem area and held it in place with two perpendicular struts, which is holding very well. We are very disappointed to retire from the race and we are heading back to Lanzarote – all crew are well on board.”
Meanwhile, Ludde Ingvall’s Maxi CQS made short work of the transition zone to the south of the rhumb line, slowing down for just four hours before reaching fresh breeze from the north east. Today at 0900 GMT, the Australian 98ft canting maxi was enjoying downwind conditions in a moderate breeze, gybing to keep in the best pressure.
“We are very happy with the decision to go south and we are now in the start of the tradewinds and see no major problems as we settle down and head towards Grenada,” commented Ludde Ingvall. “The crew are all in good spirits and working hard. We were anxious about Varuna and glad to hear that they are in control of the situation and heading back to Lanzarote.”
The fourth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started November 25 at Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands with a record 23 teams racing 3,000 nm to Grenada, West Indies.
Source: Louay Habib, RORC