Underway for RORC Transatlantic Race

Published on January 7th, 2024

The 10th edition of RORC Transatlantic Race got underway in flat water, 10 knots of breeze, and 68°F air temperature for the start of the 3,000 mile oceanic race on January 7 from Lanzarote, Canary Islands.

However, the 21-boat fleet has two vicious low pressure systems to the north with feisty conditions should any of the international fleet choose the ‘high road’ across the Atlantic to Grenada.

Both the Multihull and Monohull starts got away clear with Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) crossing the start line just ahead of Alexia Barrier’s MOD70 Limosa (FRA). Half an hour into the race, Argo and Limosa were overlapped in the zone around the turning mark at Puerto Calero.

Argo held off Limosa to retain the lead, but not for long; the breeze faded and Limosa briefly took pole position. As the wind accelerated, Erik Maris’ MOD70 Zoulou found an extra gear to pass Limosa at 17 knots of boat speed and challenge Argo for the lead.

In the Monohull start, Christopher Sheehan’s PAC52 Warrior Won (USA) started to windward and judged the line to perfection, closely followed by Mikhail Malamud’s ClubSwan 50 Pimu (USA). Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Chris Sherlock chose to stay inshore after the start, with their massive masthead spinnaker in full view of the spectators along the seafront of Arrecife, Lanzarote’s capital.

The inshore route worked like a dream; Leopard rounded the turning mark outside Puerto Calero just 400 metres behind the leading multihulls that had started 10 minutes earlier. Warrior Won was the second monohull to round, dousing their spinnaker short-course style. Warrior Won headed close inshore down the east coast of Fuerteventura and picked up a really good breeze line to fly south at over 12 knots of boat speed.

Following the amendment to the course 48 hours before the start, all of the RORC fleet, bar one boat has elected to head south after the Puerto Calero mark. The only boat to head west into the Canary Island archipelago is Richard Fromentin’s JPK 1180 Cocody (FRA).

“It’s fantastic to see a downwind start; the fleet seem to be heeding the advice about the weather and are heading south,” commented RORC Racing Manager Steve Cole.

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The 10th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start January 7 from the Spanish island of Lanzarote of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, with 22 teams competing on the 3,000 nm course to Grenada. France has the most entrants with eight boats with other teams representing Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Monaco, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

The Multihull elapsed record is 5 days 5 hours 46 mins 26 secs set in 2023 by Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70.

The 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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