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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

By sunset on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the majority of the record fleet had raced into the wide expanse of the Atlantic Ocean, leaving the Canary Islands in their wake. This would normally result in blasting southwest in the trade winds, but this year’s race has a very complex weather scenario for the days ahead. Right now, a low-pressure system to the north is affecting the front runners who chose this high road. To the south, the low road, the breeze is better than expected. The low riders look to have made the right call – for now.

Speed machines: Giovanni Soldini's Multi 70 Maserati and a local kite surfer enjoy the breezy conditions at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race © Lanzarote Photo SportSpeed machines: Giovanni Soldini's Multi 70 Maserati and a local kite surfer enjoy the breezy conditions at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race © Lanzarote Photo Sport

MOCRA CLASS
To the north, the leading multihulls have slowed down to under 20 knots as they enter the transition zone created between the low to the northwest and the trade winds to the northeast. Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) has been the dominant force so far and has taken up a westerly position compared to Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA), and Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA). Tactically, PowerPlay has positioned between the competition and the finish. The race is on to cross the transition zone and gybe onto the fresh breeze to the northwest.

IRC SUPER ZERO
The 100ft Maxi 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. Trifork’s navigator Aksel Magdahl contacted the RORC media team:

“Here on Trifork everything is well. I have some respect for I Love Poland since I’ve seen that the boat is very fast, so happy to be well ahead after the start. Now it’s a bit of a strategy game. It is tricky to find a reasonable way across to Grenada. We’ve chosen to trust the weather models a bit around the development of the low-pressure systems and head north. However, being aware of the risk of the models getting it wrong, we didn’t go for the most extreme route around the Azores, like the computer software recommended. All the boats with different sizes and speeds have different timing around where they will be affected by the low, so it’s hard to compare much with Comanche or the smaller boats, so we’re looking at the other Volvo boats. At the moment, the weather looks nice for Comanche who can sail a shorter distance than us, just with a little stop in a couple of days while we will battle two or three low pressure systems! We finally gybed towards the west now, Sunday afternoon. It feels good after pointing towards Greenland for 24 hours!”

IRC ZERO
Max Klink’s Botin 52 Caro (CH) is still leading the class, 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.

From Richard Palmer on Jangada “It has been a hard first 24 hours ,with a big sea state, so we have been hand steering. It’s settled down now so the Code Zero is up and the Autohelm is in charge.” © Lanzarote Photo SportFrom Richard Palmer on Jangada “It has been a hard first 24 hours ,with a big sea state, so we have been hand steering. It’s settled down now so the Code Zero is up and the Autohelm is in charge.” © Lanzarote Photo Sport

IRC ONE
Leaving Tenerife to port initially worked out well for Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 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.
Juno 9 Jan 22

Christopher Daniel on his J/121 Juno (GBR) reported in as the team passed south of Tenerife: “Juno had a good first 30 hours, with the North Atlantic giving us a welcome reception to remember. With winds ranging from 30 kts to almost nothing, we’ve already used every sail in the locker! Before the start we made the decision to err towards the rhumb line and have just rolled the dice to sail between Tenerife and La Palma. Not an easy call, and we’ll only ever know whether it was correct when we all re-converge to the west of La Palma’s wind shadow.

Two of the boats racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race have reported that they are heading for shore. Swan 58 OM II and the classic Faiaoahe. OM II has retired from racing and will sail to Antigua. Faiaoahe have reported that they have temporarily suspended racing but intend to resume racing. All are safe and well aboard both boats.

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The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race started on time in glorious conditions outside Marina Lanzarote and there was a number of Irish crew on the 30 boats on the 3,000 nm race to Grenada. As previously reported, Ireland's top ocean racer Justin Slattery is onboard the 100ft canting keel Maxi Comanche while Conor Corson of the National Yacht Club and Southampton based Callum Healy whose family hail from County Kildare are both on Phosphorous II. ISORA regular Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra from Wales is competing as Louay Habib reports.

Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) hit speeds of 33 knots at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race when 30 boats took the start off Marina Lanzarote for the 3,000 nm race to Grenada © James MitchellPeter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) hit speeds of 33 knots at the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race when 30 boats took the start off Marina Lanzarote for the 3,000 nm race to Grenada © James Mitchell

The 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race started on time in glorious conditions outside Marina Lanzarote. A flotilla of spectator boats witnessed the spectacle and thousands more watched by live stream, with Vendee Globe star Pip Hare providing commentary. After months of preparation and planning, the 3,000nm race to Grenada has begun for 256 sailors from 27 different countries. The record fleet of 30 boats set off at blistering pace downwind leaving Lanzarote behind. The RORC fleet will race through the Canary Islands before sailing into the open waters of the Atlantic. A complex weather system promises a fascinating race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Conor Corson of the National Yacht Club and Southampton based Callum Healy whose family hail from County Kildare are both on Phosphorous IIConor Corson of the National Yacht Club and Southampton based Callum Healy whose family hail from County Kildare are both on Phosphorous II

“15-20 knots of wind with a wave height of nearly one and a half metres made for a spectacular downwind start,” commented RORC Deputy Racing Manager Tim Thubron. “Both the MOCRA and combined IRC class starts were very competitive; it just shows how spirited this fleet is. The RORC Race team will be monitoring their progress throughout the race 24-7, and as with all of our Club’s events, we wish all our competitors a safe and enjoyable race.”

José Juan Calero, Managing Director of Calero Marinas commented: “It is fantastic to see the race start in perfect conditions. I speak for all of the team at Calero Marinas and all of the supporters of this race, to say we are so proud of how this race has developed. It is an amazing experience for all of the sailors. This is the eighth year we have hosted the start and I thank the RORC for putting their trust in Lanzarote to deliver. A big thank you to the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France for supporting the race.”

Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) © James MitchellJason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) © James Mitchell

Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) - © James MitchellGiovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) - © James Mitchell

MOCRA

At speeds of over 30 knots the powerful multihulls in the MOCRA class were first away. Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) won the pin end with Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) first to cross the line to leeward. The Italian team was the first to gybe inshore and to the turning mark at Puerto Calero. However, Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) ripped out in front hitting a speed of 33 knots. PowerPlay was first to clear the passage between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Argo and Maserati gybed south of the rhumb line, but PowerPlay continued to head to the north. Less than three hours into the race, the trio had travelled over 70 miles.

L4 Trifork VO70 © James MitchellL4 Trifork VO70 © James Mitchell

IRC SUPER ZERO

L4 Trifork got the best start of the big boat class, with Joern Larsen at the helm and Bouwe Bekking calling the shots. L4 Trifork started to leeward and got into clean air to hoist their massive spinnaker. L4 Trifork was originally the VO70 Ericsson 4 but now has DSS foils and a longer bowsprit – turbo charged would be an understatement. However, the 100ft canting keel Maxi Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth also got away well, passing L4 Trifork to windward in a show of power. L4 Trifork gybed on their line and might have even got a tow in their quarter wave. It was an aggressive start by both teams. Three hours into the race Comanche leads by five miles. Behind the leaders on the water HYPR (NED), sailed by Jens Lindner, has taken a northerly position. The Polish National Foundation’s VO70 I Love Poland and The Austrian Ocean Racing’s VO65 Sisi are further to the south.

IRC ZERO

The super-fight between the offshore fifty-footers got off to a cracking start. Max Klink’s Botin 52 Caro (CH) nailed the pin end of the line like the team were starting an inshore race. David Collins Botin 52 Tala (GBR) was hardly shy of the line either. The Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), helmed by Stefan Jentsch was also in the mix. Three hours into the race the trio were screeching along, three-abreast, at close to 20 knots of boat speed.

IRC ONE

Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) pulled away from the class at the start to lead on the water. Boat Captain Chris Jackson called in just after the start: ‘It’s great to get going and we are doing very nicely, touching 12 knots and it is great to be first on the water in our class.”

Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra with boat captain Chris Jackson (GBR) © James MitchellAndrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra with boat captain Chris Jackson (GBR) © James Mitchell

Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) had a great tactical start, hugging the coast of Lanzarote to record a velocity made good of over 10 knots. Christopher Daniel’s J/122 Juno (GBR) is racing across the Atlantic for the first time and contacted the race team after the start: “Glamour conditions for the start! We managed to recover quickly from a blown fitting on the tack line and are now enjoying a VMG run downwind past the amazing Lanzarote coastline. Having passed the turning point off Puerto Calero we will make our way through The Canary Islands; next stop Grenada!”

Without doubt IRC One has the biggest variety of yachts in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Three classic yachts are racing under IRC, including Remy Gerin’s Faiaoahe (FRA) who is a larger-than-life character and racing his 65ft (19.8m) cutter-rigged sloop Two-Handed with Bernard Jeanne-Beylot. Racing a traditionally built boat with just two people requires all-round skill, but the pair are not short on humour either, besides an exercise bike below deck, Remy admits to having a huge quantity of broccoli on board. “I love it but my children don’t, so this is one of my big treats on board. I don’t get enough at home!” Laughed Remy.

Summing up the commitment by the Royal Ocean Racing Club to this race, RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton commented: “It takes a lot of resources from the whole RORC team and from our partners both here in Lanzarote and across the ocean in Grenada. The preparation before the start and the welcome at the finish are all part of a great experience for competitive teams racing 3,000 miles. Ocean racing is part of our name, it is in our DNA and the majority of our members around the world are ocean racers. The RORC is respected for managing racing and for our safety standards. To provide great offshore races is what we strive to deliver and these also become bucket-list events.”

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Sailors participating in the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race shared their thoughts on the eve of the start during a press conference at Marina Lanzarote on Friday 7 January.

Brian Thompson, tactician for Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo, said: “It’s going to be a fantastic competition between four boats for multihull line honours.

“The winner will be the team that manages these powerful boats, especially in the rough conditions, and the one that takes the best route.

“This year the trade winds are not as normal as they should be, so for the record we will have to wait and see.

“It is always exciting to race across the Atlantic; it hasn't got any smaller or any easier!”

Bouwe Bekking, principal helmsman and strategist for Volvo 70 L4 Trifork, said: “If you want to know why Lanzarote is such a great place to start a race across the Atlantic, just look out the window: the temperature is great, the conditions are fantastic, and you need breeze for these races.

“Lanzarote has great facilities, and the people here are real experts in lots of areas. Racing across the Atlantic is becoming more popular, it is an incredible experience, and this race is a great way to start a campaign.”

Ireland will be represented by Justin Slattery among the crew of the record-setting Maxi VPLP, Comanche — whose bowman Willy Altadill and crew Diogo Cayolla spoke their minds.

“Every child dreams of racing on a boat like Comanche and it has brought me responsibility and experience,” Altadill said. “It's not easy to race on Comanche, but it’s amazing to get a chance to race on a boat like this with a world-class crew.”

Cayolla added: “This will be my first Atlantic race on Comanche and I’m really looking forward to it. Comanche is a big powerful boat and it likes the wind. We do have a record in mind and that is going to be our biggest goal for the race.”

Also in attendance for the organisers were Héctor Fernández of the Lanzarote Tourist Board, Yacht Club de France vice president Olivier Pecoux , International Maxi Association secretary general Andrew McIrvine, RORC chief executive Jeremy Wilton and José Juan Calero, managing director of Calero Marinas.

Thirty teams from all over the world will start the eighth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday 8 January from 11am UTC.

The race start will be live-streamed on the Puerto Calero Marinas Facebook page in Spanish with commentary and in English by Vendée Globe star Pip Hare.

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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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London's Royal Ocean Racing Club, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France are making final preparations for the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race starting on Saturday 8th January 2022. The longest race in the RORC Season’s Points Championship has attracted a record 30-boat entry in the epic 3,000nm race across the Atlantic Ocean and battles are predicted throughout the fleet. Starting from Lanzarote, the teams will be based at two Calero Marinas - Puerto Calero and Marina Lanzarote, and are racing to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

The Magnificent Seven – MOCRA Class

Competing for line honours and one of seven magnificent entries in the MOCRA class - Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA)Competing for line honours and one of seven magnificent entries in the MOCRA class - Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) © Arthur Daniel

Seven multihulls are entered, with a scintillating four-way battle for Multihull Line Honours expected. Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA), Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati (ITA), Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay (CAY) and Antoine Rabaste’s Ultim'Emotion 2 (FRA) are all favourites to be the first to finish the race. The RORC Transatlantic Race Multihull Record is 5 days 22 hrs 46 mins 03 secs (2015 - Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo 3, skippered by Brian Thompson).

Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald are racing on the new Gunboat 68 ToscaAlex Thomson and Neal McDonald are racing on the new Gunboat 68 Tosca

The overall multihull winner is decided after MOCRA time correction, bringing three super-charged teams into the mix. Two French ORC50s have their own line honours duel and the chance of taking victory for the MOCRA Class. Halvard Mabire & Miranda Merron will race Two-Handed with GDD against Quentin le Nabour’s fully crewed Club 5 Oceans. The latest entry for the MOCRA Class is a brand-new British Gunboat 68 Tosca, which includes Alex Thomson and Neal McDonald on the team sheet.

Favourite for Monohull line honours - 100ft Maxi Comanche © ELWJ PhotographyFavourite for Monohull line honours - 100ft Maxi Comanche © ELWJ Photography

Volvo 70 L4 Trifork with Dutchman Bouwe Bekking at the helm © ELWJ PhotographyVolvo 70 L4 Trifork with Dutchman Bouwe Bekking at the helm © ELWJ Photography

The firm favourite for 2022 Monohull line honours and the IMA Trophy is the 100ft Maxi Comanche, skippered by Mitch Booth. With solid trade winds and no major equipment failures, Comanche has the potential to smash the race record. The RORC Transatlantic Race Monohull Record is 10 days 05 hrs 47 mins 11 secs (2018 - Pier Luigi Loro Piana's 130ft Supermaxi My Song).

The Ultimate Prize - RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy

Twenty-three teams, including Comanche, have the opportunity to take the ultimate prize for the best corrected time under IRC and to lift the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. Three Volvo 70s will be racing: L4 Trifork with Dutchman Bouwe Bekking at the helm, HYPR with German skipper Jens Lindner, and I Love Poland skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski. The Austrian Ocean Race Project’s VO65 Sisi, skippered by Gerwin Jansen, makes up a quartet of teams that have the potential to match race across the Atlantic.

One of many races within the race will be fought between high-performance 50-footers. A fascinating encounter is expected between Maximilian Klink’s Swiss Botin 52 Caro, David Collins’ British Botin 52 Tala, and the German Carkeek 56 Black Pearl, skippered by Stefan Jentzsch. Three 60-footers should enjoy a close battle; British Open 60 Rosalba, skippered by Richard Tolkien, French Volvo 60 Challenge Ocean, skippered by Valdo Dhoyer, and Jean Pierre Dreau’s French Mylius 60 Lady First 3.

The latest entries for the race include Shahid Hamid’s British Swan 58 OMII, a brand-new Juan Kouyoumdjian design, and the Hinckley Sou'wester 52 Diana with Dutch skipper Carlo Vroon.

James Mitchell German Carkeek 56 Black Pearl, skippered by Stefan Jentzsch © James Mitchell/RORCJames Mitchell German Carkeek 56 Black Pearl, skippered by Stefan Jentzsch © James Mitchell/RORC

A family affair - Christopher Daniel’s British J/121 Juno competing in IRC Two © James TomlinsonA family affair - Christopher Daniel’s British J/121 Juno competing in IRC Two © James Tomlinson

Remy Gerin’s 65ft Spirit of Tradition-designed sloop Faïaoahé is racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de France © Rolex/Carlo BorlenghiRemy Gerin’s 65ft Spirit of Tradition-designed sloop Faïaoahé is racing under the burgee of the Yacht Club de France © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Mark Emerson’s British A13 Phosphorus II in the hotly contested IRC One classMark Emerson’s British A13 Phosphorus II in the hotly contested IRC One class © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo

Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen is the highest rated entry in IRC One and is one of four highly optimised 40-footers in the class. A full-on contest is expected between Mark Emerson’s British A13 Phosphorus II, Jacques Pelletier’s French Milon 41 L'Ange De Milon, and Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra; overall runner-up in the 2019 race.

In IRC Two, Ross Applebey’s highly successful British Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster is making a RORC Transatlantic Race debut. Another debutant, Christopher Daniel’s British J/121 Juno will be close competition. Juno is very much a family boat, with a young crew. Daughter Poppy will helm, son Jack is on the bow and five of the Juno crew are in their twenties.

“For me it is an enormous privilege to have a similar sporting passion with my son and daughter; it is a huge opportunity,” commented Christopher Daniel. “Racing across the Atlantic focuses you on the risks, but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it. Before the start, top of the wish-list is a crew that is free of Covid. The original plan was to race with seven, but the team has been increased to eight, so if a crew member cannot race, we will still have a full complement.”

Three classic designs will be racing under IRC for the Classic Trophy. Henry Cochin’s 1968 Philip Rhodes 71ft ketch Eugenia V, skippered by Baptiste Garnier; Martin Westcott’s Chilean 1978 S&S Swan 57 Equinoccio, and Remy Gerin’s 65ft Spirit of Tradition designed sloop Faïaoahé.

Faïaoahé will be racing Two-Handed with Bernard Jeanne-Beylot against the smallest entry in the RORC Transatlantic Race, Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada. Also racing Two-Handed with Jeremy Waitt, Jangada can punch well above her weight having won the race overall in 2019.

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With the preliminary design study phase drawing to a close, the ground is now being prepared for the construction of the first Class 30 a joint yacht design project between the RORC in London and UNCL in France, with the next phase of the project underway, which is the development of the detailed construction plans. These will be completed by the end of March 2022.

The new Class 30 design will offer two different specifications; a Club and One Design version, with the Club offering being seen as a tool for training, learning about and competing on the offshore racing circuit. This new boat is the fruits of an international architecture competition organised by France’s National Offshore Racing Union (UNCL) in partnership with the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), in the UK and the Storm Trysail Club in America. With the constant involvement of the competition winners, the VPLP naval architecture firm and the Multiplast yard.

One of the objectives of the project is for the Class 30 Club boat, to have a competitive ready to sail price tag of under €100,000.

"The new Class 30 design will offer two different specifications; a Club and One Design version"

pre-booking process

At this early stage of the programme, the project has been very well received with over thirty reservations of production boat numbers recorded on the UNCL – Yacht Club de France stand at the Nautic boat show in Paris, where the launch process began in earnest together with the presentation of the model.

The registration protocol is both simple and safe. You need to send an email to [email protected] where all requests are received; in return a booking contract will be sent along with a short presentation on the boat. To secure the reservation a €2,500 deposit needs to be paid to a locked escrow account (all details in the information you receive), managed by a sworn lawyer. Once funds are received, the lawyer sends a booking number in chronological order to applicants. This booking number is non-transferable and you can cancel your reservation at any time and receive a full refund.

Production set to commence from January 2023

With regards to the build schedule, the study phase has been extended to finalise the tooling and moulds so that construction of the production boats can commence at the beginning of 2023, with the aim of having a few of the boats competing that Easter, either at the Spi Ouest France or the SNIM, or at RORC races in UK.

Depending how the order book evolves, promoters of the production boat will consider in due course whether or not to put in place an additional mould to increase production capacity in France, whilst evaluating the development of a licence programme overseas.

A boat designed to be container-shipped

In addition to the very contemporary lines and a series of simple and inexpensive solutions, what has come off the drawing board of competition winner VPLP-Multiplast is a truly stellar logistical feat. Indeed, through the possibility of fitting the whole boat and its rig into a 40-foot container was not a prerequisite of the initial specifications, it was quickly viewed as a major benefit in ensuring the best possible distribution of the one-design via both road and sea transport. The design of a transport cradle is also envisaged with this in mind. In line with the wishes of the project’s stakeholders, particular attention has gone into the pre-manufacture studies of the first prototype to ensure the best possible control of the budget for the production boats, which is a key aspect of the project.

Class 30 One Design - A light, effective and accessible deck layout to prioritise dynamic trimming and favour learning within crewed sailingClass 30 One Design - A light, effective and accessible deck layout to prioritise dynamic trimming and favour learning within crewed sailing

A circuit for the Class 30 One Design™

The main aim of the class is to set up a sports programme enabling sailors – owners and clubs – to get out racing at the highest level as soon as possible on a variety of course types and stretches of water. To this end, the one-design is intended to provide an optimised response to the IRC measurement criteria. This option will pave the way for an extensive one-design race programme both in France, UK and overseas, around the cans and offshore. UNCL and RORC are also very keen to quickly schedule in a ‘Class 30 Tour’, an event which will serve as a reminder of the project’s suitability and ambition for training and replenishing a whole generation of offshore racing crew and skippers of renown. This Class 30 Tour could travel with crews going back and forth between the English and French coasts.

Class Management

It is the intention to set-up class associations for both the Club and One Design to develop and manage the Class 30 (rules and racing programme), as well as being a forum for sharing ideas, training initiatives and managing and dealing with any issues that are relevant to the class.

Quotes:

James Neville, Commodore of the RORC
“Beyond the political wrangling, we’re here to prove that in the sailing world, we know how to support joint projects and get the French and the English working together as one!”

Géry Trentesaux, new President of the UNCL
“We are extremely pleased with the progress of the Class 30 One Design™ project. One of our priorities is to ensure its success, and we are particularly happy with the involvement and motivation of the team formed by the naval architect firm/yard. As Yves Ginoux said, we’ve successfully rounded the first upwind mark and we’re now focused on running before the wind, ready to make the most of the favourable gusts.”

Simon Watin, VPLP design
“Managing to combine performance, simplicity and fun with this boat, which aims to connect dinghy sailing and offshore racing, is an extremely motivating challenge for our whole team. Following on from our fine experience on the Figaro 3, it’s another step forward into the world of production monohulls for us.”

Dominique Dubois, Multiplast Groupe Carboman
“We’re very proud to have been selected to build this new one-design. For Multiplast, the race is already on and we’re investing a great deal of energy into this project to ensure the boat is accessible and easy to maintain, whilst also being quick and fun. It’s an ambitious challenge and just the kind of project we love taking on.”

Reminder

Class 30 Club: a basic version that is simplified yet high-performance, for training offshore racing crew and one-design racing at a particularly competitive ready-to-sail introductory price enabling it to be purchased by as many people as possible.

Class 30 One Design™: Club version to which kit integrating various fit-out modules has been added (electronics, navigation and galley modules, ballast tanks...), designed to expand its scope of use and performance for offshore racing. The Class 30 One Design version enables a duo or crew to race in a one-design class as well as be competitive in IRC.

Key points of the Class 30 One Design™ project:

  • A boat that is great to sail: seated comfortably at the helm or out on the rail, on a hull which is not too wet, with a large cockpit for carrying out manoeuvres in crewed format
  • A design that keeps a tight rein on cost
  • Simple forms with minimally developed surface area
  • A structure and assembly geared around the production of a one-design series
  • A pared-back deck layout and rig
  • Significant focus on eco-design, with the overall consideration of the construction as well as the uses and manner of sailing
  • A powerful and versatile hull for a boat that is evolutionary on every point of sail
  • A light, effective and accessible deck layout to prioritise dynamic trimming and favour learning within crewed sailing.
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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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The 2021 Royal Ocean Racing Club Annual Dinner and Prize Giving was held to celebrate a spectacular season of racing. Dubbed the RORC Oscars, over 300 attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception and a three-course gourmet dinner. A glittering array of prestigious prizes were presented to the season’s winners in The Ballroom of the 5-Star InterContinental London Park Lane.

More than 4,000 sailors from around the world, racing in a dazzling variety of 400 boats, took part in the 2021 RORC Season's Points Championship. The world's largest offshore racing series comprised 11 testing races, each with its own coveted prizes.

During dinner, the main stage lit up for the awards ceremony and RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton introduced guest speaker and RORC member Pip Hare to the stage. Pip’s IMOCA 60 Medallia was also one of the winners, being awarded the Dennis P Miller Memorial Trophy for the best British Overseas Yacht. A magnificent result in the 2020-2021 Vendée Globe, saw Pip become the first British skipper to finish the premier solo round the world race. Pip’s 20-minute presentation was warmly received by the RORC members and guests.

“Getting to the start line of the Vendée Globe is the most difficult goal of all and I have many people in this Club to say a big thank you for getting me there,” commented Hare.

RORC member and guests speaker Pip Hare was awarded the Dennis P Miller Memorial Trophy for the best British Overseas Yacht for her magnificent result in the Vendée Globe on IMOCA Medallia Photo: Rich BowenRORC member and guests speaker Pip Hare was awarded the Dennis P Miller Memorial Trophy for the best British Overseas Yacht for her magnificent result in the Vendée Globe on IMOCA Medallia Photo: Rich Bowen

Sunrise win IRC Overall + Yacht of the Year 2021

RORC Commodore James Neville, assisted by RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone, welcomed the trophy winners to the stage; each one receiving tumultuous applause from the audience. There was a standing ovation for the overall winner of the 2021 RORC Season's Points Championship, Tom Kneen’s JPK 1180 Sunrise. The team received a huge haul of prizes including the Jazz Trophy for winning IRC Overall and the Somerset Memorial Trophy for RORC Yacht of the Year.

Sunrise’s victorious season is unprecedented in the 21-year history of the Championship. Winning the RORC Season’s Points Championship by 133 points, including overall wins under IRC in the East Coast Race and the Morgan Cup. The zenith of Sunrise’s success came when Tom Kneen became the first British skipper to win the Rolex Fastnet Race since 2003.

“This really is unbelievable,” commented Kneen. “The Sunrise team is a very unique group of people that has done something quite astonishing. Collecting all this silverware in front of this special crowd makes you start to comprehend what we have achieved. The reality is that this will not sink in for a while. This season is beyond our dreams; everything went really well for us and you have to be lucky as well as good. I think we have proven that you don’t need to be wealthy as we are a fairly small budget boat with a young crew. This achievement is through hard work and commitment. Our biggest challenge right now is to keep it going and it is very hard to imagine what next. We can do amazing things with this team and the platform we have created.”

“This really is unbelievable,” commented Tom Kneen after collecting all the silverware at the RORC Annual Dinner and prizegiving for the the winners in the 2021 RORC Season's Points Championship. “Sunrise is a very unique group of people that has done something quite astonishing. Photo Paul Wyeth

The zenith of Sunrise’s success came when Tom Kneen became the first British skipper since 2003 to win the Rolex Fastnet Race Photo Paul WyethThe zenith of Sunrise’s success came when Tom Kneen became the first British skipper since 2003 to win the Rolex Fastnet Race Photo Paul Wyeth

Tala win IRC Zero Overall

Retaining the Europeans Cup for the best yacht in IRC Zero was David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala. A fantastic season included winning IRC Zero for the Rolex Fastnet Race. Tala left the UK at the start of November and sailed to Puerto Calero, Lanzarote for the start of the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race. The 3,000 nautical mile race across the Atlantic Ocean to Camper and Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina, Grenada starts on 8th January 2022 with a record entry of world-class boats.

“We have been improving Tala after every race; she is now a lot dryer than she was!” commented Collins. “Tala has the capability to win races, sending this boat is huge fun and we hope to get that opportunity. When it gets really gnarly, we know we will need to preserve the boat. Nobody in the team is under any illusions, we are taking a racing car rallying. I have never raced across the Atlantic before and if we get the tradewinds and all goes well we should finish in under 10 days.”

A fantastic season for David Collins' team onboard his Botin IRC 52, Tala, winning the Europeans Cup for IRC Zero overall in the Season’s Points Championship and taking home two Assuage Tankards for their performance in the Myth of Malham and Castle Rock Race Photo Rich BowenA fantastic season for David Collins' team onboard his Botin IRC 52, Tala, winning the Europeans Cup for IRC Zero overall in the Season’s Points Championship and taking home two Assuage Tankards for their performance in the Myth of Malham and Castle Rock Race Photo Rich Bowen

Bellino win IRC Two-Handed & IRC Three Overall

2021 was a victorious year for Rob Craigie racing his Sun Fast 3600 Bellino with Deb Fish. Bellino won IRC Three with 93 entries, as well as IRC Two-Handed with 80 entries.

“I love sailing with Deb and it is really good to win this year, especially as we couldn’t sail last year with the pandemic. We have been building on what we have done for many years and this is the first time we have won IRC Three. Given the quality of the fleet this year, that is very special,” commented Craigie.

Deb Fish added that many younger teams are coming into the IRC Two-Handed Class: “Many of the younger sailors come from a dinghy background and that is scary for us because they can get to a good standard very quickly. They have the advantage of youth where they don’t get as tired doing 60 tacks. Once they get the experience, they become a very potent force.”

Rob Craigie racing his Sun Fast 3600 Bellino with Deb Fish won IRC Three with 93 entries, as well as IRC Two-Handed with 80 entries Photo: Rich BowenRob Craigie racing his Sun Fast 3600 Bellino with Deb Fish won IRC Three with 93 entries, as well as IRC Two-Handed with 80 entries Photo: Rich Bowen

RORC Admiral Mike Greville also presented a special award to Eddie Warden Owen, marking the finale of 12 years at the helm of the Royal Ocean Racing Club as Chief Executive Officer. Eddie was awarded life membership of the Club and a gift of a special dossier of his articles produced for Seahorse Magazine.

Eddie Warden Owen - Awarded lifetime membership of the RORC for his work over 12 years at the helm of the Royal Ocean Racing Club as Chief Executive Officer Photo: Rich BowenEddie Warden Owen - Awarded lifetime membership of the RORC for his work over 12 years at the helm of the Royal Ocean Racing Club as Chief Executive Officer Photo: Rich Bowen

Over three hundred attended the RORC 2021 Season's Points Championship dinner and awards ceremony in London Photo: Rich Bowen

After the prize-giving, guests partied to a live set from rock and pop cover band 4 to the Floor. 

Racing for the 2022 RORC Season's Points Championship continues on January 8th with the RORC Transatlantic Race. The exciting RORC Season, which started with the Rolex Middle Sea Race, includes the RORC Caribbean 600, the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race, and the inaugural RORC Baltic Sea Race. 

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020