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After an intense Atlantic battle, Giovanni Soldini's Multi70 (ITA) Maserati has crossed the finish line first in the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, finishing at: 05:51:41 UTC in Grenada on Saturday 15 January to take Multihull Line Honours.

Next to cross the finish line off Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada was Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay at: 06 46 42 UTC.

Skipper Giovanni Soldini and crew (Vittorio Bissaro, Oliver Herrera Perez, Thomas Joffrin, Francesco Pedol and Matteo Soldini,) with Media man, Alberto Origone on Multi70 Maserati before the startSkipper Giovanni Soldini and crew (Vittorio Bissaro, Oliver Herrera Perez, Thomas Joffrin, Francesco Pedol and Matteo Soldini,) with Media man, Alberto Origone on Multi70 Maserati before the start

Published in RORC

Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) is over halfway and just two hours outside multihull race record pace. The 100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth, and with Cork's Justin Slattery onboard, is 1,900 miles from Grenada and well inside monohull race record pace. The majority of the RORC fleet are north of the rhumb line. To the south, an area of light winds stretches about 1,000 miles across the direct route. Four days into the RORC Transatlantic Race and the sight of land is now just a distant memory for the 29 teams racing to Grenada. The crews have settled into life at sea, rolling in the deep, their boat speed the metric for success.

Comanche’s navigator Will Oxley (0900 UTC 10 JAN) reported: “All going well on Comanche. Our goals are a safe boat and crew, line honours and a new race record. We felt we could achieve these goals without heading far north and crossing the front in big seas and strong winds. So, we have been threading the needle between a col (transition zone) and an easterly wave (atmospheric trough), trying to find enough pressure to make our way west. We had a slow 12 hours, but we hope we are through the worst of it now. We expect to cross the front around 0300 UTC on the day four. At this time, we will have a good idea whether our plan has been successful.” (At 0900 UTC on day four Comanche was doing 24 knots of boat speed!)

PowerPlay continues to lead the race on the water, over 50 miles ahead of Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) and Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) © James Mitchell/RORCPowerPlay continues to lead the race on the water, over 50 miles ahead of Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) and Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) © James Mitchell/RORC

MOCRA

PowerPlay continues to lead the race on the water, over 50 miles ahead of Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) and Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA). Paul Larsen, on board PowerPlay, shared his thoughts after the team crossed the northerly front and pointed their bows towards Grenada: “Squinting into the lashing rain whilst wrestling in a reef. We’re in the thick of crossing the front now. It’s hard to find the right gear between squalls. Our hunters (Argo and Maserati) are 65 miles back and will also have to tread this path. We are happy with where we are...but equally aware of how quickly these boats can demolish a lead.”

Two ORC50s are competing in the RORC Transatlantic Race: Five Oceans (FRA) skippered by Quentin le Nabour and GDD (FRA) skippered by Halvard Mabire, racing two-handed with Miranda Merron. Both teams have crossed an area of light winds and are bracing themselves for strong northwesterlys to come. Five Oceans leads by 55 miles, having taken a more northerly route than GDD. Miranda Merron contacted the RORC Media team (1000 UTC JAN 11): “Well done RORC for organising a race in phase with the lunar cycle! Each night we are treated to an hour more of ever-brighter moonlight. However, the weather department must be on holiday. According to the brochure, this race is supposed to be a downwind sleighride in the tradewinds, but there is a nasty little low, marked ‘gale’ on NOAA's synoptic map, which is spoiling the party and heading this way.”

GDD (FRA) skippered by Halvard Mabire, racing two-handed with Miranda Merron - "Well done RORC for organising a race in phase with the lunar cycle" Sent to the media team by © Miranda MerronGDD (FRA) skippered by Halvard Mabire, racing two-handed with Miranda Merron - "Well done RORC for organising a race in phase with the lunar cycle" Sent to the media team by © Miranda Merron

IRC SUPER ZERO

Comanche (CAY) is currently leading IRC Super Zero with Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN), helmed by Joern Larsen, in second place. L4 Trifork’s navigator Aksel Magdahl contacted the RORC media team (0900 UTC JAN 11).

“Finally, we are through this front and the boat speed is back in the 20s again, with a gusty 30 knots sometimes,” commented Aksel. “We are finally heading more for Grenada, which is quite a relief. Looking ahead, it looks like the low pressure scenario will repeat itself, with us having to negotiate a wedge of light airs before we can get into the next cold front and low pressure system. All is good on board, everyone quite soaked and difficult to stay in the bunks at times. The food has been great, currently enjoying some jamon iberico in the nav station while the guys are getting smashed on deck!”

100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY) is currently leading IRC Super Zero - © Shannon Falcone @racingSF100ft Maxi Comanche (CAY) is currently leading IRC Super Zero - © Shannon Falcone @racingSF

IRC ZERO

The intense battle continues between three 50-footers in IRC Zero with David Collins’ Botin 52 Tala (GBR) estimated to be leading after IRC time correction. Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), helmed by Stefan Jentsch, is leading on the water but ranked second in class after time correction. Max Klink’s Botin 52 Caro (CH) is ranked third after time correction. The three leaders are currently passing through a transition zone of lighter winds. Black Pearl has chosen a WSW course to get to the better pressure, while Tala and Caro are heading NW. The result of the difference in opinion will be revealed at the 1200 UTC sched.

About 90 miles behind the class leaders, Jean Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3 (FRA) from the Yacht Club de France, is battling with Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen (FRA). François-Xavier Li contacted the RORC Media team and commented: “Tonnerre encountered a little less wind during the night, which allowed Lady First, our friends from Marseilles, to make an 11 mile gain to catch us up. The Marseillais sail together!”

An intense battle continues between Max Klink’s Botin 52 Caro (CH), David Collins’ Botin 52 Tala (GBR) and Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), helmed by Stefan Jentsch © James Mitchell/RORCAn intense battle continues between Max Klink’s Botin 52 Caro (CH), David Collins’ Botin 52 Tala (GBR) and Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), helmed by Stefan Jentsch © James Mitchell/RORC

IRC ONE

Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada (GBR), racing two-handed with Jeremy Waitt, is estimated to lead the class after IRC time correction. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) is ranked second by less than an hour. Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) is leading on the water and ranked third after IRC correction, by just 16 minutes from Jacques Pelletier’s Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon (FRA), which is representing the Yacht Club de France. It will be an interesting 24 hours for the leaders in the class as they negotiate an area of light wind right across the racecourse. Pata Negra leads a pack of boats to the south, including Christopher Daniel’s J/122 Juno (GBR), Martin Westcott’s Swan 57 Equinoccio (CHI), and Carlo Vroon’s Hinckley 52 Diana (NED). If the southerly boats can find a way through the light winds, they will make huge gains on the boats to the north.

Remy Gerin’s 65ft Spirit of Tradition sloop Faïaoahé (FRA) representing the Yacht Club de France is back in the race. The two-handed team of Remy and Bernard Jeanne-Beylot suspended racing on day three to fix a problem with their auto-pilot, all within the race rules, and now Faïaoahé is back in action on the course.

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Cork's Justin Slattery is expected to cross the RORC Transatlantic Race finish time next Monday morning in Grenada and if the current pace from day two can be maintained then the the 100ft Maxi will win IRC Super Zero overall and break records to boot.

Comanche (CAY) skippered by Mitch Booth gybed southwest shortly after dawn on day two and has stayed on the same gybe all day. On a broad reach, Comanche has been unstoppable, achieving over 20 knots of boat speed hour after hour. If Comanche continues at this pace, the race record will be smashed by over three days. Volvo 70 L4 Trifork (DEN) is the most northerly boat of the RORC fleet and aptly the majority of the crew come from Scandinavia.

Max Klink's Botin 52 Caro (CH) is still leading IRC Zero, but only just. Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), helmed by Stefan Jentsch, and David Collins' Botin 52 Tala (GBR) have all gybed west and are continuing their close battle. In reality, all three boats are vying for the class and overall lead, after IRC time correction.

In IRC One, leaving Tenerife to port initially worked out well for Richard Palmer's JPK 10.10 Jangada (GBR), Jacques Pelletier's Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon (FRA) and Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR). However, Andrew Hall's Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR), which went south of Tenerife, is now through the lee of the island and starting to increase in speed due to the good pressure.

Conor Corson of the National Yacht Club and Southampton based Callum Healy whose family hail from County Kildare are both sailing on Phosphorous II and lying sixth in the IRC One division.

Race Tracker

Published in RORC

RORC Transatlantic Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race for the 8th edition from Lanzarote to Grenada.

The record RORC fleet is in Puerto Calero and Marina Lanzarote and crews are making final preparations for the 3,000-mile race. Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada. Four days before the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, three top navigators express their predictions.

RORC Transatlantic Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race for the 8th edition from Lanzarote to Grenada © YB TrackingRORC Transatlantic Race navigators are studying the latest weather models and the data is predicting a fast, potentially record-breaking race for the 8th edition from Lanzarote to Grenada Photo YB Tracking

Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France. The eighth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race will start from Lanzarote on Saturday 8th of January 2022.

The favourite for the IMA Trophy is the 100ft Maxi Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth. Comanche is very capable of breaking the Monohull Race Record, set by Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song in 2018 of 10 days 05 hrs 47 mins 11 secs. Comanche’s Australian navigator Will Oxley has racked up 300,000 ocean miles, including three editions of The Ocean Race.

Will Oxley - Comanche: “It is still too far out, but at the moment there's a suggestion that the southern route is not so good in terms of the trade winds. A couple of low-pressure systems are disrupting the Atlantic, so possibly a more northern route will be quicker. Around start time we should get away in good pressure, but there's a big low building up off Nova Scotia and it’s moving very fast. So, when we get closer to the race start, factors like sea state will influence our decisions. Potentially Comanche will rotate up into the front, which will be windy and unpleasant. Comanche is a big strong boat and after negotiating the front we can reach away and tackle the next high pressure. Alternatively, if Comanche went to the southern route, there is potential for very light winds. Comanche is a big flat-bottomed boat; it is difficult to get to our polar speed in light conditions, especially upwind.”

Will Oxley, navigator on the 100ft Maxi ComancheWill Oxley, navigator on the 100ft Maxi Comanche Photo: Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo AB

British navigator Miles Seddon will be racing for Peter Cunningham’s team on MOD70 PowerPlay. Hot competition for Multihull Line Honours will be Jason Carroll’s Argo, Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati and Antoine Rabaste’s Ultim'Emotion 2. Seddon is no stranger to the race having been navigator on MOD70 Phaedo3, setting the Multihull Race Record in 2015 of 5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs.

Miles Seddon - PowerPlay: “If this were a holiday brochure there would be no question, head south until the butter melts. At the moment the middle road doesn’t appear to be an option due to light winds. Given a free rein, the routing software favours the northerly option for best pressure for the longest period of time, but when you start to dig into the wave direction and sea state, it is less appealing. Further along the northerly route the models develop a strong cold front pushing down from the north, with 30-40kn winds forecasted and temperatures in the low to mid-teens behind the front. It certainly has some warning bells attached to it at the moment.”

British navigator Miles Seddon will be racing for Peter Cunningham’s team on MOD70 PowerPlay British navigator Miles Seddon will be racing for Peter Cunningham’s team on MOD70 PowerPlay Photo: Joaquim Vera

Miles Seddon was navigator on the MOD70 Phaedo3 which set the Multihull Race Record in 2015 of 5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secsMiles Seddon was navigator on the MOD70 Phaedo3 which set the Multihull Race Record in 2015 of 5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs

America’s Cup and 52 Super Series navigator Marc Lagesse is racing on German Botin 56 Black Pearl with Stefan Jentzsch at the helm. The crew are highly experienced with over 40 Atlantic races between them. Black Pearl is one of a trio of Botin designs that are expected to have a rare and exceptional battle across the Atlantic. Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro, David Collins’ British Botin 52 Tala, and Black Pearl is a contest to savour.

Marc Lagesse – Black Pearl: “The short answer right now is north, but two days ago it was south. Yesterday it was 50/50 and now it’s north. The situation is very fluid and changing daily. North will be punchy, uncomfortable and cold. So, I am not too keen on that decision (he jokes). We are in a dog fight with Caro; she is very similar to Black Pearl in design, also with water-ballast and sailed by a crack crew. Tala will be very well sailed too. On the water we are bigger and should have an advantage, however they rate very well. The same goes for Tala in terms of size and rating. To a large degree we will not let other boats influence us, but once we get out there and the race develops, the scenario may change that strategy. The calibre of the competition means that if they do something different, we will need to understand why.”

America’s Cup and 52 Super Series navigator Marc Lagesse is racing on German Botin 56 Black Pearl with Stefan Jentzsch at the helmAmerica’s Cup and 52 Super Series navigator Marc Lagesse is racing on German Botin 56 Black Pearl with Stefan Jentzsch at the helm

Black Pearl at the start of the 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race © James Mitchell/RORCBlack Pearl at the start of the 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race © James Mitchell/RORC

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With less than a month to the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race, well over half of the record international fleet has arrived in Calero Marinas Puerto Calero in Lanzarote for the start of the 3,000 nautical mile race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada. Over 200 sailors from at least 22 different nations will be competing. The eclectic mix includes professional sailors from the Olympics, America’s Cup, Vendée Globe, and The Ocean Race, however, the vast majority are passionate corinthians.

Latest Entry List here

Double Olympic gold medallist Giles Scott will be part of Peter Cunningham’s crew racing his MOD70 PowerPlay. This will be Scott’s first-ever transatlantic, but he has a wealth of multihull experience as tactician for INEOS TEAM UK’s America's Cup campaign.

“The only offshore I have done previously was the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race on the same boat when it was Concise, so this is a bit new for me,” admitted Scott. “I am used to the speed that we will achieve, but clearly this will be very different; we are racing across the Atlantic and there are going to be some big waves. Hopefully, we will get good trade winds and it will be 3,000-miles downwind, which will be nice!”

Going offshore and looking forward to his first Atlantic race - Giles Scott will be on board Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay in the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada in January 2022 © Cameron Gregory/ INOES TEAM UKGoing offshore and looking forward to his first Atlantic race - Giles Scott will be on board Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay in the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada in January 2022 © Cameron Gregory/ INOES TEAM UK

The major difference for Scott will be racing offshore for a number of days and nights, something that he has not experienced in the Finn or the AC75. “I am fully into the unknowns here; it is a first step up into this world. I am looking forward to it, but I am nowhere near being an expert. I will be following the lead of the guys around me. I really don’t know what to expect in the middle of the Atlantic and this is almost a different sport. I hope I can perform to a high standard for the team. This is out of my comfort zone and that is why I want to do it. It will be an experience with a great set of guys and I am sure I will learn a lot,” concluded Scott.

With echoes of the Prada Cup in New Zealand earlier this year between INEOS, American Magic and Luna Rossa, the RORC Transatlantic Race features PowerPlay with a majority British crew, Argo from the United States, and Maserati from Italy.

“I am not sure about that analogy!” smiled Scott. “This race should be a real tussle; all three boats are set up differently. I am sure I can bring some experience to the team from the ‘Cup but I am not going to revolutionise anything. It doesn’t really matter what type of sailing you do, there is always parallel learning and this is a new area for me and why I am so keen to do it. My INEOS commitments don’t ramp up for a few months and since I stopped Olympic sailing, getting into offshore racing has been of real interest.”

One of several yachts racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de France will be Jacques Pelletier’s Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon which is competing in the race for the first time © Paul Wyeth

The 2022 edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race has been organised in association with the Yacht Club de France and nine of the competing teams will be flying the French tricolour. French teams have lifted the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy on three occasions: Jean-Paul Riviere’s Nomad IV (2015) Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine (2017) and Olivier Magre’s Palanad 3 (2021).

Two stand out teams racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de France will be Jacques Pelletier’s L'Ange De Milon and Remy Gerin’s Faiaoahe. Jacques Pelletier has lost count of the number of Fastnet Races he has competed in, including winning class in 2019, but this will be his first RORC Transatlantic Race with his Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon. Having suffered mast problems in the heavy weather at the start of the 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race, it is wonderful to see L’Ange De Milon has been repaired and is ready and waiting in Lanzarote. Designed by Jacques Valer of JPK fame, and with a highly experienced French crew, L'Ange De Milon will be a force to reckon with.

One to watch in the RORC Transatlantic Race - Tonnerre de Glen, Dominique Tian's Ker 46 One to watch in the RORC Transatlantic Race - Tonnerre de Glen, Dominique Tian's Ker 46 © Antoine Beysens

Dominique Tian loves ocean racing and his Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen is also one of the hot prospects from France. This will be the first RORC Transatlantic Race for the boat which has been meticulously prepared for the race. The team is full of experience, including navigator Oliver Kraus, who came second in the Multi 50 Class in both the TJV and the Québec St Malo:

“I am enthusiastic about my first Transat in this boat,” commented Dominique Tian. “It is one of the goals for 2022; the other being the RORC Caribbean 600. To finish with the crew and boat in good shape is always the most important thing. If we can also perform well, then we will achieve the best outcome possible.”

Taking on the RORC Transatlantic Race Two-Handed in his spirt of tradition classic - Remy Gerin's Faiaoahe, racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de France © ROLEXTaking on the RORC Transatlantic Race Two-Handed in his spirt of tradition classic - Remy Gerin's Faiaoahe, racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de France © ROLEX

Remy Gerin’s Faiaoahe is a spirit of tradition classic, built-in 2006 to sail around the world. The 65ft (19.8m) cutter-rigged sloop will be raced in the IRC Two-Handed class by skippers Remy Gerin and Bernard Jeanne-Beylot. Faiaoahe will dwarf another IRC Two-Handed competitor; Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada (overall winner in 2019), which is almost half the same length.

“Faiaoahe has been raced and cruised numerous times in the Pacific and Atlantic, including twice around Cape Horn, but this will be the first time we have raced her Two-Handed across the Atlantic,” explained Gerin. “Our first goal is to complete the race and then we are looking forward to welcoming our friends and family who will join us in the Caribbean.”

On the Volvo 70 HYPR - Gap year student fulfills his dream of racing across the Atlantic on the ocean racer On the Volvo 70 HYPR - Gap year student fulfills his dream of racing across the Atlantic on the ocean racer © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

For centuries, racing across the Atlantic Ocean has always been the centre of fascination for ocean racers, the opportunities to take part in an all-out race across the world's second-largest ocean is rare, especially for corinthian sailors. Of the 27 confirmed entries for the 8th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the youngest crew member on file is just 18 years old. Swedish sailor Filip Henriksson will be competing on the Volvo 70 HYPR skippered by Jens Lindner, which is one of 11 Maxis eligible for the IMA Trophy. Filip learnt to sail big boats with his family in the Gothenburg archipelago:

“My dream is to race across the Atlantic,” commented Filip. “2022 is my gap year and I saw HYPR when I searched the internet and I thought if I am going to do it, I may as well do it big. I am so excited to have got a position on board. I will be turning 19 during the race and my parents will be flying to Grenada to celebrate with me and have a holiday to explore the island.”

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After several days of calm weather that tested everybody’s nerves, the fleet has finally caught the trade winds. The four leading boats are currently leaving the Cabo Verde Islands in their wake while Jim Schofield (Ireland) in his Molly Claire, who took a more conservative start and missed the first weather system, is crossing the latitude of Nouadhibou in Mauritania.

Globe 580 Transat Race Director Lutz Kohne is relieved to see his sailors finally getting some wind! “After a week of patchy winds, we are happy to see that our old friend, the Azores High, settled in again this weekend, giving the guys steady trades and boat speeds above 5 knots. Being becalmed in the middle of the ocean is one of the significant mental challenges of solo sailing, and I am impressed how well the Globe 5.80 Transat skippers have sat it out and enjoyed the beautiful nature around them!"

With less than 2000 NM to go, the sailors have completed one-third of the voyage. Picture taken on the first leg start day in Lagos. Credit: G580TWith less than 2000 NM to go, the sailors have completed one-third of the voyage. Picture taken on the first leg start day in Lagos. Credit: G580T

Fleet finally catching trade winds after 12 days of patchy winds along the African coast. Sailors now sailing west in tropical weather and steady winds, leaving Cabo Verde and Jim Schofield (Ireland) with his Molly Claire behind.Fleet finally catching trade winds after 12 days of patchy winds along the African coast. Sailors now sailing west in tropical weather and steady winds, leaving Cabo Verde and Jim Schofield (Ireland) with his Molly Claire behind.

The southern group of Etienne Messikommer (Switzerland) in his Numbatou and Michal Krysta (Czech Republic) in his Menawan have just passed Mindelo in Cabo Verde, which Michal chose to round south. Shadowed by the island for most of Sunday with less wind, he let Etienne increase the gap between them through better speed, but as always between those two, this is far from over!

Meanwhile, 100 nm north of them, Peter Kenyon (UK) whose Origami and Don McIntyre (Australia) whose Trekka are still battling it out on a parallel route on the same longitude. Don is thrilled to finally cross the 20° north latitude, enabling a more direct route towards Antigua.

With less than 2000 nm to go, the sailors have completed one-third of the voyage, and the most challenging part of it, with elusive winds and heavy traffic. They are all shirtless, in good spirits, with the boats in perfect condition for the last part of this inaugural 580 voyage from Lagos to Antigua.

You could feel their spirits were high through their tweets on Nov 26 ( DAY 9):

N°01 DON MCINTYRE (AUSTRALIA): great night give me wind i go fast give me blue i go happy give me warm i go naked give me trekka i go to antigua happy naked sailor
N°07 MICHAL KRYSTA (CZECH): Perfect wind condition today. Menawan is flying to south-west as fast as she can. Klárce hubana, zítrasivoláme ?.
N°88 ETIENNE MESSIKOMMER (SWITZERLAND): YO. flying fish all around and the tipical tropial heat fill with moister. yes in the tropics we are. best option naked live.
N°47 PETER KENYON (UK): Found my second flying fish of the journey in the corner of the cockpit this morning. Been watching some live ones do some huge leaps across the wake this pm.
Nº57 JIM SCHOFIELD (IRELAND) : Still moving! Spirits good.

Globe 580 founder and Transat competitor Don McIntyre is especially pleased with the boat, and he always compared this small boat journey with his 2010 Bounty Boat Expedition which with very little food and no toilet paper. And this time he has plenty.Globe 580 founder and Transat competitor Don McIntyre is especially pleased with the boat, and he always compared this small boat journey with his 2010 Bounty Boat Expedition which with very little food and no toilet paper. And this time he has plenty.

Globe 580 founder and Transat competitor Don McIntyre is especially pleased with the boat, and his sailing time is giving him even more ideas for the class. “We are learning as we go but now have significant mileage in the fleet in wind conditions ranging from 0 to 50 knots with no damage.” Don said over the weekend, “The design is excellent, the boat is strong and can carry weight. This gives me several ideas about the future of the class for the less experienced or the more social sailors. Expect big news in Boot Dusseldorf!”

Severin Hummer will bring his race-ready 5.80 #98 on display on the McIntyre Adventure stand in Boot Dusseldorf. The 25-year-old from Switzerland decided not to participate in the 3000 nm leg after successfully completing the 600 nm qualifier, and will trailer his Shrimp back to continental Europe before taking her to Dusseldorf for the boat show from January 22 to 30. Picture Credit: Aïda Valceanu/ G580TSeverin Hummer will bring his race-ready 5.80 #98 on display on the McIntyre Adventure stand in Boot Dusseldorf. The 25-year-old from Switzerland decided not to participate in the 3000 nm leg after successfully completing the 600 nm qualifier, and will trailer his Shrimp back to continental Europe before taking her to Dusseldorf for the boat show from January 22 to 30. Picture Credit: Aïda Valceanu/ G580T

The McIntyre Adventure team will be participating in Boot Dusseldorf from January 22 to 30 and invites builders to come and see for themselves a race-ready, rigged Globe 580 boat exhibited on the stand. They will meet fellow builders and Transat 580 competitors and learn about the latest developments of this fast-growing fleet with more than 150 plans been sold and more than 50 currently being built.

If you are looking for a winter project and want to build your ocean capable racing yacht, visit www.classglobe580.com, and the builders’ blog page

Published in Offshore

The Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France, expect a record entry for the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race. From the mighty Comanche to the miniscule Jangada, 29 teams from all over the world make up an extraordinary entry list. A world class fleet of multihulls and monohulls are scheduled to start the RORC Transatlantic Race on the 8th of January 2022 from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote.

The 3,000 nautical-mile race across the Atlantic to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada, has two major prizes for the monohulls. The overall winner, after IRC time correction, will win the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. The IMA Transatlantic Trophy will be awarded for Monohull Line Honours. The star-studded entry list of racing yachts includes teams from Austria, Cayman Islands, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.

Current entry list is here

The firm favourite for Monohull Line Honours is the 100 ft (33 m) canting keel maxi Comanche (CAY), skippered by Mitch Booth. Comanche holds the Monohull West-East Transatlantic sailing record (Ambrose Light - Lizard Point. 5d 14h 21m 25s) and has taken Monohull Line Honours in the Rolex Fastnet Race, the RORC Caribbean 600, the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the Transpac and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Skipper Mitch Booth confirms that Comanche will be aiming to set a new race record for the RORC Transatlantic Race, which was set in 2018 by Pier Luigi Loro Piana's Supermaxi My Song (10d 05h 47m 11s).

“We are looking forward to it; this is what Comanche was made for and the RORC Caribbean 600 is on the programme as well,” commented Mitch Booth. “The RORC Transatlantic is a perfect race for Comanche - a perfect length with a reaching course. It is an iconic race and setting a new race record is one of the challenges we are aiming for. Setting a race record doesn’t allow you to choose the right weather window and the current race record is fast – but it’s beatable. We have a couple of the My Song crew in our team and we are looking forward to having a crack at it; that’s the name of the game!”

Given the high number of performance yachts entered for the 2022 edition, a fierce battle is expected for overall victory after IRC time correction for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy.

HYPR embarks on her rounding of the volcanic island of Stromboli in the recent Rolex Middle Sea RaceHYPR embarks on her rounding of the volcanic island of Stromboli in the recent Middle Sea Race © ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo

A significant number of out-and-out ocean racers will race across the Atlantic, including Jens Lindner at the helm of the turbo charged Volvo 70 HYPR and Bouwe Bekking with Volvo 70 L4 Trifork . Gerwin Jansen will skipper the VO65 Sisi (AUT), raced by the Austrian Ocean Race Project. Richard Tolkien’s Open 60 Rosalba (GBR) and Jean-Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First III (FRA) will also be on the start line in Lanzarote.

For Stefan Jentzsch and his team racing Black Pearl, (GER) the RORC Transatlantic Race is unfinished business. The brand-new IRC 56 retired with a broken bowsprit in 2021. New to the race, and fresh from a third in class for the Middle Sea Race, will be Maximilian Klink’s new Botin 52 Caro (GER). The RORC Transatlantic Race will also mark the debut for Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN).

David Collins' Botin IRC 52 Tala (GBR), winner of IRC Zero in the Fastnet Race, left the UK in early November to sail all the way to Lanzarote. “The RORC Transatlantic Race is a big undertaking for Tala,” commented Pete Redmond. “The boat is specifically set up for offshore and we have been working on improving the water ingress especially for this race. We have no doubt that we will have a bit on. It should be a lot of fun, but ask me that again in Grenada after about 11 days!”

The RORC Transatlantic Race - a big undertaking for Tala which has been set up for long offshore racing in the 3,000nm transatlantic race to Grenada The RORC Transatlantic Race - a big undertaking for Tala which has been set up for long offshore racing in the 3,000nm transatlantic race to Grenada © ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi

A number of highly competitive yachts under 50ft (15.24m) will be in action for the RORC Transatlantic Race. The Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) was second overall in the 2019 race. Now under the ownership of Andrew Hall, Pata Negra will be taking part in its second RORC Transatlantic Race.

Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) has been a proven winner racing with the RORC on both sides of the Atlantic. However, this will be Scarlet Oyster’s RORC Transatlantic Race debut. “I am a proud RORC member and having won class in the ARC 10 times and overall five times, it feels right to take on a bigger challenge,” commented Ross Applebey. “Looking at the strength of the entrants this will be a hard race to win but we will score well for the RORC Season’s Points Championship.”

Newcomers for the RORC Transatlantic Race include Mark Emerson’s A13 Phosphorous II (GBR) which has been in fine form this year. Christopher Daniel’s J/122 Juno (GBR) will be racing with a crew of family and friends. French teams will be racing with highly experienced crews including Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen (FRA) from Marseille and Jacques Pelletier Milon 41, L'Ange de Milon (FRA), class winner for the 2019 Fastnet Race, as well as several classic yachts; Baptiste Garnier's Eugenia V, Remy Gerin's Faiaoahe and Alain Moatti's beautiful fife ketch Sumurun.

Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster - 'Taking on a bigger challenge' in the highly competitive RORC Transatlantic Race Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster - 'Taking on a bigger challenge' in the highly competitive RORC Transatlantic Race © Paul Wyeth/pwpictures.com

Alain Moatti's beautiful fife ketch SumurunSeveral classic yachts will be competing in the RORC Transatlantic race, including Alain Moatti's beautiful fife ketch Sumurun © Sumurun

The smallest yacht in the current entry list, both in terms of water-line length and crew, is Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada, which will be racing in IRC Two-Handed with Jeremy Waitt as co-skipper. This will be the third RORC Transatlantic Race for Jangada, including an overall victory under IRC in 2019. Jangada was in fine form for last month’s Middle Sea Race, winning IRC Two-Handed in feisty conditions.

“This will be the second race for the season and the ambition is to win the RORC Season’s Points Championship overall, which has never been done by a Two-Handed team,” commented Richard Palmer. “For our RORC Transatlantic Race win in 2019, the weather gods were in our favour, but the championship series was thwarted by the pandemic. This year, even getting to the start line is logistically challenging. However, once the starting gun fires the nerves and anxiety fall away, you are just in race mode.”

The first Two-Handed winners of the spectacular RORC Transatlantic Trophy in the 2019 race - Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada will return for the 2022 edition with Jeremy Waitt as co-skipper © Arthur Daniel/RORCThe first Two-Handed winners of the spectacular RORC Transatlantic Trophy in the 2019 race - Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada will return for the 2022 edition with Jeremy Waitt as co-skipper © Arthur Daniel/RORC

Published in Offshore

A group of six Class Globe 5.80 home-built plywood Minis are making history with the first-ever single-handed Globe 5.80 Transat Race setting off at noon yesterday from Lagos Portugal. They are bound for Rubicon Marina in Lanzarote in the Canaries before heading to Antigua in the Caribbean 3,600 miles away.

Only four of the six entrants made the start on time. Race Founder Don McIntyre's TREKKA is now due to start on Wednesday 3rd two days late. His final preparation was interrupted by running the event.

Irishman Jim Schofield arrived at 4 am on start day after a 16-hour drive off the UK Ferry with 'Molly Claire" in tow. He has only just finished building the boat! He must now launch and rig the yacht, set up safety gear and fresh food. He may not set off till Saturday five days late. The six yachts will regroup in Lanzarote before setting off on the main race across the Atlantic on Nov. 18th.

Jim Schofield's Class Globe 5.80 Molly Claire from IrelandJim Schofield's Class Globe 5.80 Molly Claire from Ireland

It had been a hectic week for all entrants with last-minute preparations, including One design Class registration, Mast pull-down stability checks, safety inspections and briefings, plus a few hardy parties!

As a steady NW breeze powered 10 to 14 knots, the grey clouds disappeared sending skippers and spectator boats into the starting sequence of this 600 nm qualifier under a gorgeous sun and the dramatic backdrop of the Ponta de Piedade cliffs off Lagos.

It's the second Irish mini to set out across the Atlantic this November with Galway sailmaker Yannick Lemonnier lying 12th in the Mini Transat race.

Published in Solo Sailing
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The 2021 RORC Transatlantic Race started in glorious conditions outside Marina Puerto Calero on Saturday 9th January. With the RORC Racing Management Team operating remotely, the race start was officiated by Manuel Torres, Sporting Director, Real Club Náutico de Arrecife. With a highly experienced team from the Royal Yacht Club, the RORC fleet got away to a spectacular reaching start for the 7th edition of the race.

An hour into the race, all of the competing boats had rounded Punta de Papagayo on the southern tip of Lanzarote. The IRC56 Black Pearl, sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, was leading on the water, followed by Johannes Schwarz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon. Oren Nataf’s Multi50 Trimaran Rayon Vert, skippered by Alex Pella had a conservative start but was soon scorching along at close to 20 knots of boat speed.

In the Class40 duel, Antoine Carpentier’s Redman got away well at the Committee Boat end and was a mile ahead of Olivier Magre’s Class40 Palanad 3, passing Punta de Papagayo. However, Palanad 3 has taken a more northerly route and is posting a higher boat speed than their immediate competition. What is more, over the next 100 miles or so, Redman will need to point higher than Palanad 3 to pass north of Tenerife.

Two hours into the race, all of the fleet were experiencing exhilarating reaching conditions with double digit boat speed, blasting towards the sun as it sets to the west. Tonight will be the first awe-inspiring sunset of many to come. Two teams racing in IRC Two-Handed are side-by-side north of Fuerteventura. Sebastien Saulnier’s Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi and Tim Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai seem equally matched for speed. Benedikt Clauberg’s First 47.7 Kali has taken the most northerly line of the fleet and is going well.

José Juan Calero, Managing Director for Calero Marinas, affectionately known as ‘JJ’, watched the start from a spectator boat and commented: “It has been fantastic, probably the best start of all; sunshine with 16-22 knots and gusts of 25 from the NNW. It was a really competitive start with all the boats pushing hard. It’s amazing when you see teams really going for it right from the gun for a 2,735-mile race. It was great fun to see them race away. We have been involved in many regattas over the years, it is our passion. We started our relationship with the RORC in 2014 and the RORC Transatlantic Race has been increasing in popularity. The decision to move the start to January has been a good one. We have a fantastic relationship with RORC which has gone from strength to strength in the last seven years. We are particularly proud this year, with all of the issues and problems that everyone has had and we have to congratulate RORC for organising this race.”

“We are ever thankful that we can get a race away and a special thanks must go to JJ and all the staff at Calero Marinas. We could not have put on this race without their tremendous support,” commented RORC Race Manager Chris Stone. “As with all RORC races, we will be monitoring the progress of the fleet and we wish every competitor fair winds to Antigua and that they enjoy their time in the Caribbean.”

The course for the RORC Transatlantic Race sets the fleet north of the Canary Islands for the first 150 miles. Conditions are expected to be lively with the wind forecast from the NNW at 20-25 knots with a sea sate in excess of 2 metres.

Race Tracker here

Published in RORC
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When your name is Wolfgang Bee and your boat is a top-of-the-line Hanse 455, the smart money would say you’re German. But when your wife is a Fenix from a family with roots in Tippperary and a couple of other Irish counties, and your beloved family boat is called Saoirse, then the smart money would also say that Ireland is never far from your thoughts.

Saoirse’s approaching arrival from the Azores in Ireland, with an ultimate destination in Malahide, is just one of the many voyages being tracked by the Ocean Cruising Club’s Vice Commodore Daria Blackwell from her base at Port Aleria on Clew Bay in Mayo. There, her husband Alex Blackwell (incidentally an OCC Rear Commodore, there’s a right nest of them at Port Aleria) is the whizz on the technology side as they work to provide a support service for the hundreds of OCC yachts worldwide that went off for long carefree dream cruises, but now find almost every potential port choice deeply affected by the Covid-19 restrictions.

This voluntary assistance has attracted such international attention that Daria recently found herself featuring on the Russian service of the BBC World News. And we well know that - just as the eyes of the Skibbereen Eagle used to be firmly on the doings of the Tsar of Russia - so the Kremlin is now keeping a close eye on Afloat.ie (howya Vlad, how’s it goin’, boy?), so here’s the link to show how far the OCC is reaching 

german saoirse crew2The German-Irish Bee-Fenix family on Saoirse are bound for Malahide from the Azores, where they had a restricted but very welcome five day stop in Horta after saioing from the Caribbean

For boats making the almost 4,000 mile hop to Europe from the very closed-down Caribbean, the legendary hospitality of Horta in the Azores has been a godsend. And though crews arriving at Horta have not been allowed ashore, they’re provided with a sheltered berth, and ways have been devised of helping them to re-stock with stores, water, fuel and Peter’s own special Horta-distilled spirits, which will cure anything.

The Quinlan-Owens family on the Galway Bay-based 39ft ketch Danu are still in the midst of the Antigua to Horta stage, but the departure a couple of days ago from the Azores of a loose flotilla of six boats included at least two bound for Ireland, with Saoirse well-followed thanks to her regular Facebook postings  However, all that is known of the other, a boat called Vibe, is that she is heading for Cork.

Time was when wandering about the oceans with only the occasional contact with anyone was what sea-voyaging escapism under sail was all about. But what with the increasing spread of AIS, and the all-involving effect of Covid-19, the crew of the good ship Vibe – which seems to lack AIS – will find themselves shaken out of their solitary little world of voyaging with something of a culture shock when they finally reach Cork

Published in Cruising
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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