Sailors from 14 different nations ready for the RORC Transatlantic Race

Competitors for the second edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race have arrived in Marina Lanzarote. The new Calero Marina is a hive of activity as sailors from 14 different nations ready themselves and their yachts for the 3,000 nautical mile race to Port Louis Marina, Grenada which will start at noon, local time, Saturday 28th November.

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the International Maxi Association, the race has attracted yachts from 40 to 100 feet. The fastest yachts could complete the race in just six days, but the majority of the fleet will be at sea for two weeks or more.

Tony Lawson's MOD 70, Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield was one of the last arrivals in Marina Lanzarote, accomplishing a safe but brutal delivery from Hamble UK, covering 2,000 miles in just over four days. However, Concise 10 was safely moored in Marina Lanzarote just in time for the Westerhall Rums Party.

Organised by Nick & Annabel Kingsman, 150 sailors and guests enjoyed a real taste of Grenada as well as an opportunity to meet other competitors in the RORC Fleet. Westerhall Estate has been making rums in Grenada since the mid 1700s and have more recently won several top Spirit awards. Recognising that sailors traditionally love rum and that the race ends in Grenada, Westerhall Rums, Nick Kingsman is pleased to be an avid supporter of the RORC Transatlantic Race for the second year.

“This is an official Westerhall Rums Pink Cap Party,” says Nick. “A chance for the crews to experience a little bit of Grenada before they leave and to sample the 5-year old Plantation Rum which is the official rum of the RORC Transatlantic Race. There will be plenty of opportunity for the teams to enjoy more rum once they reach the Caribbean, with an early arrivals party and at the final awards ceremony.”

José Juan Calero, Managing Director for Calero Marinas was delighted to welcome the RORC fleet to the new purpose-built, Marina Lanzarote. The Calero family are keen racers and have hosted many championships and races at their marinas over the years. The opening of the new marina in October was perfect timing for the second edition of the race as it is more suited to the larger boats in the fleet with larger moorings, the biggest Travelift in Spain and all the services required by crews prior to making their Atlantic crossing.

“Calero Marinas is very happy to host the fleet this year at Marina Lanzarote and to support the RORC Transatlantic Race for the second edition. We are really enthusiastic about the race and our long term relationship with the RORC,” explains José “From our point of view; this is the race for competitive sailors wanting to cross the Atlantic. We have many cruising rallies and other races, but if you really want to challenge yourself and to be in race mode across the Atlantic, then this is the race.”

“The diversity of classes and different type of boats this time is incredible. It's going to be a really challenging crossing for the crews, but we are expecting very good winds for the start on Saturday with NE 15-20 knot tradewinds and will be looking forward to tracking and following the boats during the crossing. The great thing about the race is that many people will be able to watch from the shore so there should be lots of spectators in Arrecife and also along the coast near Puerto Calero where there is a mark of the course before the fleet head off.”

Quotes from the Boats preparing for the race:

(FRA) Maurice Benzaquen, Pogo 1250, Aloha
– “We are all friends from Brittany and the one thing we have in common is sailing with Eric Tabarly. David (Alexandre) was the skipper of Pen Duick 2, Gwen (Kerisit) was skipper of Pen Duick 5 and Philippe (Foucher) was skipper of Pen Duick 6. We are competing because we love it, simple as that and of course we want to do well, but on board we will also have intense competition for the cooking; after all we are from France!”

(FRA) John-Paul Riviere, Finot Conq 100, Nomad IV – ” We have an excellent crew and over the past year we have been improving the performance of Nomad IV, as you have to do with any new racing boat, especially a prototype. Crossing the Atlantic in full race mode is the first objective and I expect to be the first monohull to finish the race and will take great pleasure if we can take Line Honours.”

(GBR) Mike Gascoyne, Class 40, Silvi Belle 2 – “This will be my fourth Atlantic crossing in two years, so I guess you could say I really enjoy it. Having worked at the top end of Formula One for 30 years and I know all about the frustrations of trying to get the best performance from technology and how frustrating that can be. However, out there in the Atlantic I just love it, especially the freedom. This Transatlantic will be different for me. In previous races I have had the pleasure of learning from masters such as Brian Thompson and Josh Hall, but this time, I am the most experienced member of the team.”

(AUS) Paul Larsen, Watch Captain, British MOD 70 Concise 10 – “That was without doubt the worst delivery I have ever done. We saw 55 knots of wind off Ushant and the sea state was horrendous. The motion on board was appalling and the boat's structure in those conditions gets really punished. Everybody was seasick, except for Jonny Malbon who has an amazing constitution. On the first night it was pitch black, we were doing 20 knots down a big wave, just on bare poles. Just past La Coruña we picked up a hitch hiker, Barry the Pigeon landed on the deck and stayed with us all the way to Lanzarote and apart from Barry making a bit of a mess of the chart table, the boat stood up to the pounding incredibly well, which bodes well for the race ahead.”

M.O.S.S Australia
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