A Delivery Aboard Rio 100

Published on March 18th, 2021

How do you get offshore experience when you can’t get a crew invite for a race? Seeking out boats that need a delivery crew provides a chance to gain skill without the pressure of competition. Who knows… you might even get a once-in-a-lifetime offshore delivery aboard a supermaxi racing yacht.

Here’s a report by Ronnie Simpson for Cruising World:


It was 0300, and I was on the helm of one of the fastest monohull racing yachts on Earth; the Bakewell-White-designed supermaxi racing yacht Rio 100. With a reef in the main, a small jib set and a large reaching gennaker unfurled, we were romping along at sustained speeds in the high teens with bursts well into the 20s. I was decked out in the latest, greatest foul-weather gear from Musto and “talking story” with a Volvo Ocean Race veteran serving as my watch captain. Pinching myself to be in this place in time, we were fully sending it across the Pacific on what was quite easily the fastest boat I’ve ever sailed on a long bluewater passage.

A multimillion-dollar, all-carbon-fiber racing yacht that has set numerous course records on the West Coast and from there to Hawaii, Rio wasn’t exactly the waterborne equivalent to a Formula One car, but she was damn close. She might not have been the lightest, nimblest, highest-tech machine on the water, but when allowed to stretch her legs for more than your typical grand prix race, she was tough to beat. A race-car analogy? How about a 1,000-horsepower, top-tier 24 Hours of Le Mans racer. That sounds right.

Taking advantage of Rio’s generous 100 feet of water-line, we were knocking out the miles en masse on our approach to California. After racing to Hawaii in the Transpac the previous summer, then stuck there for repairs, eight other souls and I were now sailing Rio home to Cali in the dead of winter so she’d be ready for upcoming regattas. – Full report

Editor’s note: Rio 100 will have 17 crew when it crosses the start line for the 800nm Cabo Race on March 20.

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