Record in reach on RORC Transatlantic

Published on January 12th, 2023

(January 12, 2023) – At 0800 UTC on the fifth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, three 70ft trimarans are under 1,000 miles from the finish in Grenada. Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 (ITA) is 782nm from the finish, leading the multihull class. MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) with Erik Maris at the helm is second, with 906nm to go and Frank Slootman’s MOD70 Snowflake (USA), skippered by Gavin Brady is third, 913nm from the finish.

Maserati has been setting the pace, including breaking the trimarans outright speed record of 37 knots, but it has not been all plain-sailing for the Italian leader. “Last night we realized that the vibrations of the rudder unscrewed the pintle of the hull. We had to cut the lid off the ballast and Matteo was covered with carbon dust!” said Soldini.

Soldini’s team also has had daggerboard issues on day four as they explain: “Usually two sleds are used to block the daggerboard: one at the exit of the hull, the other one and a half metres above the bottom of the hull. Last night, however, the daggerboard slipped out of its high seat and thus remained precariously fixed in the hull bottom slide, free to swing left and right.

“The violent oscillations thus broke through the keel, a sort of ‘case’ inside which the keel slides. The whole area of the keel is enclosed in two watertight compartments that are designed precisely so as not to flood the boat in such cases. Both compartments are full of water at the moment, but there are no other leaks.

“We managed to get the board back into its high seat and secured it at deck level with makeshift tie-downs. Overall, however, the weight of the water embarked upon constitutes 30% of the total weight of the Maserati Multi70.

“We tried to empty the compartment with buckets and a pump but after an hour of work the volume regained was 10% and we eventually threw in the towel. The problem for now is limited to the performance, the boat is certainly under a lot of strain, but it reacts very well and we hope it continues like this!”

Snowflake also was making repairs yesterday as Stu MacKinven commented from on board Snowflake: “At about 1am (ship time) our gennaker furler did itself a mischief and decided to let the tack go. Bit of a wrestle to get the gennaker under control and on deck. The lads did nice work to undo furling line and get into the J0 furler and we free hoisted the gen again, and off we go. Lost a few miles to the other two multis, but good recovery.”

MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) with Erik Maris at the helm is 126nm behind Maserati, but race fans will remember that last year’s winner Maserati was about the same distance behind PowerPlay (now Zoulou) in 2022. Zoulou is positioned much closer to the rhumb line than her rivals, so it is likely that the deficit will reduce as the teams approach Grenada.

Following the January 8 start, RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole notes how the leader will need to finish before 12:46:03 UTC on January 14 to break the Multihull Race Record. Maserati’s current ETA is 17:30 UTC on January 13, which will knock about 18 hours off the record.

As the front runners in the Monohull fleet approach the halfway mark, contenders for the overall win under IRC are emerging. Eric de Turckheim’s NMYD Teasing Machine (FRA) is 1,784 nm from the finish and leading after corrected time by just over one hour from Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), sailed by Stefan Jentzsch.

Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski is ranked third overall under IRC and leads the fleet for Monohull Line Honours for the IMA Transatlantic Trophy. Henri de Bokay’s Elliott 52 Rafale (GER) is ranked third in IRC Zero and fourth overall.

In IRC One, Andrew and Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) is leading the class after IRC time correction with 2,115 nm to go and sent in this report: “All good aboard Pata Negra. Pleased with our passage through the Canaries. Having some champagne offshore sailing – topped out at 28kts overnight. Currently sailing under A4 at a solid 13-18kts. Just overtaken a whale… Happy with our position on the race course. Just be nice if the lead big boys slowed so we could catch up a little!”

The father and son Two-Handed entry, Peter and Duncan Bacon’s Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear, are ranked second in IRC One, just 9 nm behind Pata Negra. Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA), skippered by Philippe Falle has made a strategic move north of the rhumb line.

The additional miles sailed drops the team to third in IRC One, but if the gybe north pays off, that could well change. Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7 EH01, skippered by Neil Maher has raced 183nm in the last 24-hours and is ranked fourth in class.

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The 9th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race started January 8 from the Spanish island of Lanzarote of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, with 21 entries racing under the IRC and MOCRA Rating Rules competing on the 3,000 nm 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: RORC

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