RORC Transatlantic Race: Scarlet Oyster crew dares to dream

Grenada: Two weeks into the RORC Transatlantic Race, three more French teams have crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina – Lady First 3 (FRA) finished under one hour ahead of Tonnerre de Glen (FRA).

In the early hours of the 22nd of January, the Volvo 60 Challenge Ocean, skippered by Valdo Dhoyer, completed the trio, crossing the finish line just over one hour ahead of Richard Tolkien’s Open 60 Rosalba (GBR).

These close finishes, after many days and nights of racing, is indicative of the competition right through the fleet. What is more, the overall winner has still not been decided.

Several teams that are still racing in the Atlantic are capable of winning the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster (GBR), is 250 miles from the finish. Currently ranked first overall, she is expected to finish the race on Sunday local time.

“All OK out here, only 250nm to go! We can nearly smell the rum,” Applebey said. “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 30 knot squall.

“Grenada is now 250 miles to the finish line and we have until 17:25 UTC tomorrow (Sunday 23 January) 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!”

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

Dockside in Port Louis shortly after the finish, Dreau said: “Lady First 3 performed well and the crew was excellent. Although the weather was a bit rough and difficult at the beginning, it improved in the last few days of the race to give excellent sailing. The warm welcome for arrival was very nice.

“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 race is very special for me because of Covid. For the last two years we have wanted to do it, so I am very happy to have completed it.”

Tonnerre de Glen placed third in IRC Zero – Arthur Daniel, RORC pic

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

Tian, also from Marseille, said: “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. We will race in the RORC Caribbean 600 next. There will be five boats from Marseille doing it, which will be superb!”

Richard Tolkien’s Open 60 Rosalba (GBR) finished in an elapsed time of 13 days 21 hrs 5 ins 37 secs. Rosalba was racing with just three crew: Richard Tolkien, Frank Sturm and Neil Brewer:

Rosalba’s crew of three were pleased with their result – Arthur Daniel, RORC pic

“We sailed as far north as the 31st parallel, while Neil was constantly maintaining our equipment. We did damage some essential sails which affected our performance. Frank kept our spirits up with excellent meals; especially black bread with avocado for breakfast,” Tolkien said.

“The close racing with the fully crewed Challenge Ocean kept us sharp. However, with a crew of three, it takes us about 10 minutes to gybe Rosalba. Well done to the RORC for organising a great race. It’s wonderful to return to Grenada and I am looking forward to exploring the island.”

Eleven boats are still racing. The next two expected to finish 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.

All information:

Louay Habib/RORC

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