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Ready, Set for RORC Transatlantic Race

Published on January 3rd, 2022

The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race starts January 8 with a record 30-boat fleet for the 3,000nm course from Lanzarote to Grenada.

Seven multihulls are entered, with a four-way battle for Multihull Line Honours expected with Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA), Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati (ITA), Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay (CAY), and Antoine Rabaste’s Ultim’Emotion 2 (FRA). The elapsed record is 5 days, 22 hrs, 46 mins, 03 secs (2015 – Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo 3, skippered by Brian Thompson).

These four teams will also vie for the overall MOCRA corrected time title along with two French ORC50s – Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron racing Two-Handed on GDD and Quentin le Nabour’s fully crewed Club 5 Oceans – plus brand-new British Gunboat 68 Tosca, which includes Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald on the team sheet.

The firm favorite for monohull line honors is the 100ft Maxi Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth. With solid trade winds and no major equipment failures, Comanche has the potential to smash the monohull race record of 10 days, 05 hrs, 47 mins, 11 secs (2018 – Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s 130ft Supermaxi My Song).

Twenty-three teams, including Comanche, will seek the ultimate prize for the best corrected time under IRC and to lift the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. Three Volvo 70s will be racing: L4 Trifork with Dutchman Bouwe Bekking at the helm, HYPR with German skipper Jens Lindner, and I Love Poland skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski. The Austrian Ocean Race Project’s VO65 Sisi, skippered by Gerwin Jansen, makes up a quartet of teams that have the potential to match race across the Atlantic.

One of many races within the race will be fought between Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro, David Collins’ British Botin 52 Tala, and the German Carkeek 56 Black Pearl skippered by Stefan Jentzsch. Three 60-footers should also enjoy a close battle – British Open 60 Rosalba, skippered by Richard Tolkien; French Volvo 60 Challenge Ocean, skippered by Valdo Dhoyer; and Jean Pierre Dreau’s French Mylius 60 Lady First 3.

The latest entries for the race include Shahid Hamid’s British Swan 58 OMII, a brand-new Juan Kouyoumdjian design, and the Hinckley Sou’wester 52 Diana with Dutch skipper Carlo Vroon.

Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen is the highest rated entry in IRC One and is one of four highly optimized 40-footers in the class. A full-on contest is expected between Mark Emerson’s British A13 Phosphorus II, Jacques Pelletier’s French Milon 41 L’Ange De Milon, and Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra which was overall runner-up in the 2019 race.

In IRC Two, Ross Applebey’s highly successful British Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster is making a RORC Transatlantic Race debut. Another debutante, Christopher Daniel’s British J/121 Juno, will be close competition. Juno is very much a family boat, with a young crew. Daughter Poppy will helm, son Jack is on the bow, and five of the Juno crew are in their twenties.

“For me it is an enormous privilege to have a similar sporting passion with my son and daughter; it is a huge opportunity,” commented Christopher Daniel. “Racing across the Atlantic focuses you on the risks, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it.

“Before the start, top of the wish-list is a crew that is free of COVID. The original plan was to race with seven, but the team has been increased to eight, so if a crew member cannot race, we will still have a full complement.”

Three classic designs will be racing under IRC for the Classic Trophy. Henry Cochin’s 1968 Philip Rhodes 71ft ketch Eugenia V, skippered by Baptiste Garnier; Martin Westcott’s Chilean 1978 S&S Swan 57 Equinoccio; and Remy Gerin’s 65ft Spirit of Tradition designed sloop Faïaoahé.

Faïaoahé will be racing Two-Handed with Bernard Jeanne-Beylot against the smallest entry in the RORC Transatlantic Race, Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada. Also racing Two-Handed with Jeremy Waitt, Jangada can punch well above her weight having won the race overall in 2019.

Current entry list:

The outright and multihull record for the RORC Transatlantic Race was set in 2015 by Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo 3. Skippered by Britain’s Brian Thompson, Phaedo 3 completed the race in 5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs. The monohull elapsed record was set in 2018 by Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s Supermaxi My Song (10d 05h 47m 11s).

Source: RORC

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