Scarlet Oyster vies for Transatlantic title

Published on January 22nd, 2022

(January 22, 2022; Day 15) – Two weeks into the RORC Transatlantic Race, Lady First 3 (FRA) finished under one hour ahead of Tonnerre de Glen (FRA) yesterday, and in the early hours today, the Volvo 60 Challenge Ocean (FRA) skippered by Valdo Dhoyer crossed the finish line just over one hour ahead of Richard Tolkien’s Open 60 Rosalba (GBR).

But it is those that have yet to finish which retain the attention as the overall winner has still not been decided. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) is 250 miles from the finish and is currently ranked first overall after IRC time correction, Scarlet Oyster is expected to finish the race tomorrow.

“All OK out here, only 250nm to go! We can nearly smell the rum,” commented Scarlet Oyster’s Ross Applebey. “The Comanche to beat now …. We are not gaining, but importantly, not losing on our target. Finally, the wind came in three days ago, but with the cloud and instability that comes with it.

“We had a particularly squally night and finally found the upper wind limit of our old AP kite. With a loud bang we blew the head off it in a 30kn+ squall. Grenada is now 250 miles to the finish line and have until 17:25 UTC tomorrow to get there.

“If the wind holds, we have a good chance, but the forecast suggests lighter winds could slow us. I am hoping that the wonderful people at RORC can supply us with some well-earned drinks!

“Now just hoping for 15kn plus wind the whole way in. Amazing how after 15 days it can still be so close, tantalizingly so! The crew have been trimming and tweaking relentlessly, more akin to a 3-hour inshore race than a 15 day ocean race. Hopefully our biggest spinnakers can propel us at a little over the 8.6kn we require.”

Jean-Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3 (FRA) is the first team to finish the race from the Yacht Club de France. Lady First 3 completed the race in an elapsed time of 13 days 2 hours 23 mins 32 secs.

“I am very excited to finish the RORC Transatlantic Race,” commented Dreau. “Lady First 3 performed well and the crew was excellent. Although the weather was a bit rough and difficult at the beginning, the weather improved in the last few days of the race to give excellent sailing.

“This is my tenth Atlantic crossing and it is always an adventure with wonderful sailing. Racing for so long with a great crew is delightful. The RORC Transatlantic Race is very special for me because of COVID. For the last two years we have wanted to do this race, so I am very happy to have completed it.”

Lady First 3 will race in the RORC Caribbean 600 and then return to the Mediterranean.

Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen (FRA) finished the race in an elapsed time of 13 days 3 hours 18 mins 34 secs. After time correction Tonnerre de Glen is third in IRC Zero.

“French sailors love offshore racing and the RORC Transatlantic Race is a good opportunity to continue to race after the season is over in the Mediterranean,” said Tian. “Tonnerre de Glen will now race in the RORC Caribbean 600 and other regattas in the Caribbean.

“It is wonderful to race across rather than just deliver the boat, because that is boring. When you race, you are always concentrating on the trim and the helm. In a real race, it is challenging and much more interesting.

“There will be five boats from Marseille racing in the RORC Caribbean 600, which will be superb! The Tonnerre team have dreamt of racing across the Atlantic and I would encourage more French teams to do the RORC Transatlantic Race.”

Eleven teams are still racing in the Atlantic Ocean towards Grenada. The next two teams expected to finish the RORC Transatlantic Race are Jacques Pelletier’s Milon 41 L’Ange de Milon (FRA) with 145 miles to go, and Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorus II (GBR), 163 miles from Grenada.

From the start, 11 of 23 monohulls and six of seven multihulls have finished, with two of the monohulls having retired.

Race detailsEntry listTracker

The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race started January 8 for 256 sailors from 27 different countries. The record fleet of 30 boats set off from Lanzarote for the 3000nm course to Grenada.

Multihull elapsed record is 5 days, 22 hrs, 46 mins, 03 secs set in 2015 by Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo 3, skippered by Brian Thompson.

Monohull elapsed record is 7 days, 22 hrs, 01 mins, 04 secs set in 2022 by the 100ft VPLP Design/Verdier Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth.

Source: Louay Habib

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