Harken Derm

Transition time for RORC Transatlantic

Published on November 25th, 2018

(November 25, 2018; Day 2) – The RORC Transatlantic Race fleet have experienced better than forecast conditions for the first 24 hours of the 2,865nm race, however, the ridge of high pressure is expected to come into play today. Whilst the wind speed will undoubtedly fall, keeping the boat speed at maximum could be a winning strategy. Once the teams reach the new breeze, solid trade winds are forecast for days to come.

Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi 70 and Peter Cunningham’s MOD 70 PowerPlay have been swapping the multihull lead right from the start. On the first day, the duo headed northwest, tacking southwest in unison, 73 miles above the rhumb line. A night-time game of cat and mouse ensued, with both teams electing to leave the island of La Palma to port, presumably to avoid the wind shadow from its 2,000m peak.

Today at 1000 UTC, both trimarans were heading southwest, upwind at over 13 knots of boat speed. The race was on to escape the expanding area of high pressure and reach the fresh breeze.

International Maxi Association member Pier Luigi Loro Piana, racing Italian Supermaxi My Song, led the monohull fleet by 28 miles from Franco Niggeler’s Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3. Both yachts chose to sail close to the north shore of Tenerife this morning.

“We made a good start and as planned, we went to the north last night looking for good pressure and found good stable wind, but with a maximum of 18 knots we did have to make three head sail changes,” commented Kuka3 navigator, Andrea Caracci.

“This morning we have seen the breeze go to the south and decrease in wind speed to 10 knots. We expect the wind speed to fade during today and we hope to get some enhancement in the channel between Tenerife and La Palma. All is good on board.”

In the Class40 Division, Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil and Henrik Bergesen’s Hydra were battling for the lead. After racing northwest during the first day, Eärendil was the first to tack in the early hours of this morning and has taken the class lead. Trevor Middleton’s British Sunfast 3600 Black Sheep is the most northerly of the fleet and looks to be in good pressure and is well placed in the IRC fleet.

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Background: Ten teams started the 5th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race from Marina Lanzarote at 1200 UTC on November 24, 2018. The 2,865 nautical mile-long race from the Canary Islands to Grenada is the final challenge in the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 2018 calendar, and is viewed as a transition to the RORC Caribbean 600 in February 2019.

CURRENT RACE RECORDS:

Monohull Record:
10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds
NOMAD IV, FINOT-CONQ 100
In 2015, Jean-Paul Riviere’s French Finot-Conq 100, Nomad IV set a record for the RORC Transatlantic Race and was also awarded the International Maxi Association Transatlantic Trophy for Monohull line honours

Multihull Record:
5 days 22 hours 46 minutes 03 seconds
PHAEDO3, MOD70
In 2016, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70, Phaedo3 set the multihull record for the race

Class40 record:
12 days 12 hours 36 minutes 32 seconds
TALES II, CLASS40
Gonzalo Botin’s Spanish Class40, Tales II was the first Class40 to complete the race in 2015, setting a Class40 record

Source: Louay Habib

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