News Day 4, RORC Transatlantic Race

Day 4, RORC Transatlantic Race

29 November 2016

Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard 3 continues to match the pace of Giovanni Soldini's MOD70, Maserati while they continue heading upwind working their way into the faster conditions in the pressure system ahead. Aragon, Arco Van Nieuwland and Andries Verde's Dutch Marten 72 maintains the lead under IRC and is revelling in the early conditions in the race; staying in front of the significantly bigger Baltic 112, Path and Swan 82, Stay Calm, while Infiniti 46, Maverick at half the size continues to make great progress towards the front of the fleet.

In IRC One, Nemesis the Two Handed Swan 45 of James Heald and Ben Harris are in a fabulous position; the conditions early in the race suiting the pair perfectly and are still snapping at the heels of Nova Scotia-based Challenger, the fully crewed Volvo 60 of Spartan Ocean Racing.

James and Ben will be settling into the watch system which sees them rotating 2 hours on and 2 hours off through the night, but James explained before the start of the race that most of the day both he and Ben tend to be up tweaking the boat keeping it going as fast as possible as well as keeping up with the maintenance and checks: "We sailed the boat from the Solent to Lanzarote non-stop in preparation for the race; a great way to get to know the boat and each other. The watch system worked and we complemented each other very well," explained James. "I like to steer on my watch, where Ben will use the autohelm more and be free to trim, but it is all hands on deck for any manoeuvres or sail changes."

Spartan Ocean Racing's Volvo 60, Challenger is enjoying the race as the crew get used to the boat and life on board: "Our first few days at sea have been an extension of the training we began in Lanzarote; getting to know the boat, getting used to the watch system, preparing food, watch keeping, helming and trimming.  Already we have shared much knowledge on sailing these bigger boats. We have been on headsails going upwind, on the Code Zero cutting across dead zones and are now on reaching sails working in very light winds to keep with our 'pace boat' on this outward leg- Maverick (DSS Infiniti 46) currently 50 miles ahead of us,"  Chris Stanmore-Major updates us from on board.

Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron continue to lead the Class40s pulling out a 90 mile lead over Catherine Pourre and the team aboard Earendil.

"Campagne de France is ghosting along in winds of 1 to 5 knots, occasionally gusting 7 knots, wind direction shifting around by 60 degrees. It is a dark moonless night and not a soul in sight. It's quite peaceful, dry and not cold. Path (Baltic 112) occasionally appears on AIS some 17 miles north of us. I'm not sure what life is like on board for them, but I'm fairly certain they didn't dine on freeze-dried food straight out of the packaging, and there are probably several people on watch. After the rather busy start to the race with multiple sail changes and manoeuvres to get through and away from the Canaries and various evil clouds, we are now catching up on food and sleep. At this speed, it's going to be a long race!" explains Miranda in her latest blog from the boat.

Team Phaedo are currently 300nm north of rhumb line; this time last year they were 500nm south of the rhumb line doing 30knots down wind in shorts and t-shirts; a very different experience this time as they search for good following breeze in the north Atlantic!

The initial low road they took after the Canary Islands has paid handsomely and they lead Maserati by over 300nm and are averaging twice the boat speed of the Italian MOD70. The race is by no means over as there are a lot transitions around the pressure systems to negotiate as well as a tricky approach to the Caribbean Islands and Grenada before any champagne can be opened.

"We have worked our way around the high pressure west of the Canary Islands and now are trying to transition the cold front where we expect Maserati to catch back up and possibly see a restart; we will have to wait and see," Brian Thompson, skipper of Phaedo explains from the boat. "We have settled into the watch system and celebrated Paul Allen's birthday for the last 36 hours; midnight Canary Islands time until midnight Californian time!" Brian continues.

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    The third RORC Transatlantic Race starts in Lanzarote on Saturday 26th November 2016 and the 2,865 nautical mile race runs through the Canary Islands before crossing the Atlantic to arrive in Grenada
    The race is run in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA)
    The winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy for best elapsed time under IRC in 2015 was Jean-Paul Riviere's 100ft Finot-Conq. Nomad IV also won IRC overall and the IMA Trophy for monohull line honours. Nomad IV also set a new monohull record for the RORC Transatlantic Race: 10 days 07 hours 06 minutes and 59 seconds
    Multihull Record: 5 days 22 hours 46 minutes 03 secondsLloyd Thornburg's MOD70, Phaedo3 was the first boat to arrive in the last race and set the multihull record for the race
    Class40: 12 days 12 hours 36 minutes 32 secondsGonzalo Botin's Spanish Class40, Tales II was the first Class40 to complete the race in 2015, setting a Class40 record


    Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral's Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas such as the RORC Easter Challenge and IRC National Championships in the Solent
    The RORC works with other yacht clubs to promote their offshore races and provides marketing and organisational support. The RORC Caribbean 600 based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean was an instant success, and in 2014 RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the new RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada in November
    The club is based in St James' Place, London and Cowes, Isle of Wight
    In co-operation with the French offshore racing club, UNCL, RORC is responsible for IRC, the principal international handicap system for yacht racing worldwide.The Spinlock IRC rating rule is administered jointly by the RORC Rating Office in Lymington, UK and UNCL Centre de Calcul in Paris, France
    The RORC Rating Office is the technical hub of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and recognised globally as a centre of excellence for measurement. For Spinlock IRC rating information in the UK please see:
    Follow us on Facebook and Twitter:  #rorcrtr #rorcracing


    The racing activities for the Maxi as a separate class started in Porto Cervo in 1980 with the first Maxi Yacht Cup. Immediately afterwards an association of the Maxi owners was founded under the name "International Class A Yacht Association" (ICAYA) with Baron E. de Rothschild elected the first President of the Class. The legal office was created in Geneva, Switzerland. "Class A" was the definition of a Maxi boat in the IOR rating system in force at that time. The following year Gianfranco Alberini was appointed first Secretary General of the Association. ICAYA organized the Maxi Yacht World Championship for many years in Porto Cervo as its European base, as well in other venues in USA - Honolulu, Newport R.I., Miami, St. Thomas, San Francisco. In Europe Puerto Portales, Antibes and Saint Tropez were selected as championship locations
    When the definition "Class A" disappeared with the change from IOR it was decided to rename the Class as "International Maxi Association" (IMA). The Class is now registered in Geneva (Switzerland), has a base in Porto Cervo and an office in the USA, for rating and technical matters. The Class is now expanding its activities, and in 2010 the first Mini Maxi World Championship took place in September in Porto Cervo, Italy,  In 2011 the new Rolex Volcano Race opened the Mediterranean sailing season
    Andrew McIrvine took over as Secretary General in 2013. In 2014 the pure racer Mini Maxis were reformed into the Maxi 72 Class. The IMA has organised previous Maxi Transatlantic races but this is the first in association with RORC. IMA has presented a vintage trophy for line honours for this new race
    IMA is a recognized member of the IRC Congress. Since November 2010 ISAF has recognised the Maxis as an international class. This means that the International Maxi Association is now the sole authority with the right to hold World and Continental Maxi Championships


    Calero Marinas has developed and manages three marinas in the Canary Islands, having accrued over 35 years' experience in the sector. The Canaries' warm climate and regular supply of breeze has lead Lanzarote to become a favourite training ground for offshore race teams, whilst the combination of good flight connections and easily available services has created a popular and reliable base for international sailors
    Marina Lanzarote is the newest addition to the group with secure berthing for vessels of up to 60m LOA, a wide range of services and the advantage of having the city and maritime quarter within a few minutes' walk
    The shipyard is equipped to hoist superyachts and the inclusion of deep keel pits in the yard's design was considered especially to meet the needs of transoceanic racing yachts



    The premium yachting destination in the Southern Caribbean. Grenada and The Grenadines are widely considered to be the most unspoilt cruising grounds in the Caribbean. Famed for its people's warm and gregarious hospitality the 'Spice Island' of Grenada has a varied topography of mountains, rainforests and waterfalls, fringed by icing sugar beaches and cooled by trade winds


    Camper & Nicholsons is widely recognised to be one of the world's oldest and most prestigious yachting business names, with origins dating back to 1782. The company has specialised in marina and waterfront development for over 40 years and has provided services to clients in more than 25 countries worldwide. Projects range from small marinas through to developments of over 500 hectares.
    Camper & Nicholsons Marinas Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Camper & Nicholsons Marina Investments Limited, listed on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange. Camper & Nicholsons currently operate marinas in Grenada, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Turkey and the UK, with over 30 new projects currently under way all over the world.
    Owned and managed by Camper & Nicholsons Marinas, Port Louis Marina has transformed Grenada's yachting facilities. Overlooking the historic capital St Georges and designed to reflect the traditional Creole architecture, the marina offers 170 berths, including 30 superyacht berths for vessels from 25m to 90m LOA, and up to 7m draft
    For more information about Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina

Trish Jenkins - RORC Transatlantic Race
Press Liaison
M: +44 (0)7880 518689

Nick Elliott, Racing Manager
Royal Ocean Racing Club
T: +44 (0) 1983 295144

20 St James's Place
London SW1A 1NN
Tel: 020 7493 2248
Fax: 020 7493 2470

International Maxi Association
Legal Headquarters: c/o BfB Société Fiduciaire Bourquin frères et Béran SA - 26, Rue de la Corraterie - 1204 Genève - Switzerland