RORC Transatlantic Race gets underway
Published on January 9th, 2021
The 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race started in glorious conditions outside Marina Puerto Calero on January 9. With the RORC Racing Management Team operating remotely, the race start was officiated by the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife which got the fleet underway in 16-22 knots with gusts of 25 from the NNW.
The 2,735-mile race extends across the Atlantic Ocean from Lanzarote to Antigua, with the finish moved from its standard location of Grenada due to travel restrictions. It remains the intention of the RORC to finish the 2022 edition in Grenada, as it has done since the first race in 2014.
With ten boats entered, two teams had to pull out at last minute, one for reasons not revealed but the other due to the crew being unable to fly to Spain from the United Kingdom due to the pandemic.
An hour into the race, all of the competing boats had rounded Punta de Papagayo on the southern tip of Lanzarote. The IRC56 Black Pearl, sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, was leading on the water, followed by Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella had a conservative start but was soon scorching along at close to 20 knots of boat speed.
In the Class40 duel, Antoine Carpentier’s Redman got away well at the Committee Boat end and was a mile ahead of Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3, passing Punta de Papagayo. However, Palanad 3 has taken a more northerly route and is posting a higher boat speed than their immediate competition. What is more, over the next 100 miles or so, Redman will need to point higher than Palanad 3 to pass north of Tenerife.
Two hours into the race, all of the fleet were experiencing exhilarating reaching conditions with double digit boat speed, blasting towards the sun as it sets to the west.
Two teams racing in IRC Two-Handed are side-by-side north of Fuerteventura. Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi and Tim Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai seem equally matched for speed. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali has taken the most northerly line of the fleet and is going well.
The course for the RORC Transatlantic Race sets the fleet north of the Canary Islands for the first 150 miles. Conditions are expected to be lively with the wind forecast from the NNW at 20-25 knots with a sea sate in excess of 2 metres.
Source: Louay Habib