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Battles in the RORC Transatlantic Race

21 yachts are still racing in the RORC Transatlantic Race. At 0800 UTC on the 13th day, Jochen Bovenkamps’s Marten 72 Aragon was 273 miles from the finish and estimated to arrive at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina around midnight local time on Thursday 7th December. The ETA for Teasing Machine, Sorceress and Outsider is Friday 8th December.

2016 RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy winner, the Dutch Marten 72 Aragon is scheduled to finish around midnight (local time) on Thursday 7 Dec © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Line Honours winner, Ludde Ingvall’s Australian Maxi CQS will be awarded the International Maxi Association (IMA) Transatlantic Trophy later today. CQS has also set the IRC corrected time to beat for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. In IRC Zero, Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is expected to finish well inside the required time to lead the race overall.

In IRC One, three German yachts, just over 1,000 miles from the finish in Grenada, are vying for the class win: Björn Woge’s Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg, Friedrich Boehnert’s Xp50 Lunatix, and von Eicken and Brockhausen’s Swan 56 Latona. All three yachts have fathers and sons on board; Latona has three generations of the von Eicken Family. Father and son, Bene and Björn Woge on Broader View Hamburg, contacted the media team via satellite:

“A few days ago we saw whales really close by (a little scary to be honest) and every now and then some dolphins kept us company. Night sailing is really impressive as we are chased by a trail of glowing plankton which looks beautiful. During the night we have a light that shines into our sails for us to see, but it also attracts flying fish. We have to clear our boat regularly from dead fish on deck. It’s hard to describe just how enormous the Atlantic really is. The surrounding is pretty much the same now as it was on the second day – water! But never the less, we are we looking forward to sailing well and maybe even leading the father-son challenge. We are looking good right now.”

Life at sea: Just over 1,000 nmiles to run for Björn and Bene Woge, father and son on Broader View Hamburg owned by Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt e.V Germany

An area of high pressure has effected all boats racing in IRC Two. Richard Palmer’s JPK 10.10 Jangada racing Two-Handed with Rupert Holmes, has built a formidable class lead after time correction. However, Jangada has a gentlemen’s wager with Gemervescence, skippered by RORC Commodore Steven Anderson and co-skipper Jane Anderson. The wager for a bottle of rum will be won by the first to finish the race. Currently Jangada leads on the water, but Gemervescence looks to have taken a better line through the high pressure and is closing the gap. In the Multihull Class, Gerald Bibot’s Belgian Catamaran Zed 6 gybed northwest yesterday morning and is now less than 1,000 miles from Grenada.

In the Class40 Division, Mathias Mueller von Blumencron’s Red has regained the lead from Berthold and Tobias Brinkmann’s MarieJo. The two German yachts have been enjoying an intense battle with the lead changing hands on at least three occasions. Red is now just 5 miles ahead of MarieJo. Both yachts are expected to continue a high-speed match race right to the finish.

Class40 Red at the start of the race in Lanzarote © RORC/James Mitchell

Here is a summary of Red’s blog sent via satellite, depicting life on board:

“A zone of squalls approached from the east and we tried to avoid the worst clouds with gybes. Heavy wind shifts too. We were managing to go further south, on port with amazing favourite compass readings for us. Very tactical sailing. These clouds can be very, very ugly. The Maxi CQS experienced 40 knots of breeze; we know that mode too. On the other side, the clouds can bring fortunate breezes if you approach them from the correct angle. Now we see how all this influences our position in the competition. Unfortunately, we have little room to gybe further south again as we are almost on the layline to the finish. Grenada is 940 miles ahead – one and a half Fastnet races away – with the difference that it’s a downhill slide only. The last day was easy sailing, 16 to 20 knots of breeze, a relaxing ride with our big spi. Today should evolve similarly. From tomorrow afternoon the sprint to the finish begins. Wind will increase up to 22 knots, the deck will be wet again, the noise under deck is like on a motorboat at full speed. At night it will be pitch black as the moon rises now at midnight and in two days, not even that.”

Follow the fleet and watch the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race unfold:
Minisite: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/

YB Race Tracker: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/tracking/2017-fleet-tracking.html
Individual yachts, classes or the whole fleet can be tracked throughout the race

Closing the gap. In IRC Two, a bottle of rum is at stake between Steven Anderson, RORC Commodore on his cutter Gemervescence and Richard Palmer’s Two Handed JPK 10.10 Jangada © RORC/James Mitchell

A Friday finish for 2016 Commodores’ Cup winner, Eric de Turckheim at the helm of his 54ft Teasing Machine at the start of the 4th RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/James Mitchell

Hoping to win the father-son challenge going on between several German yachts in the fleet with family members on board – Broader View Hamburg, owned by Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt e.V Germany and skippered by Björn Woge, racing with his son Benedikt on board the Andrews 56 © RORC/James Mitchell

CSA Reaffirms Focus on Sailing Development

The 2017 Caribbean Sailing Association’s Annual General Meeting was held last week in Antigua where several members present were joined electronically by 21 other members from across the Caribbean to discuss the business of Caribbean sailing and elect officials for the coming year.

Without exception, sailing development continues to be the biggest focus moving forward outside of the CSA Rating Rule and promotion of the sport of sailing in accordance with the organisation’s mission statement.

A focus on sailing development really kicked off during the 2013 Regatta Organisers Conference in Puerto Rico when delegates discussed the trends in participation of the sport of sailing and the relative decrease in numbers of people entering the sport. It was agreed that as an association the CSA had a part to play in supporting sailing programmes and schools throughout the region. Ultimately the more structured and effective the programmes are, the more it encourages youths of all ages and nationalities to get on the water and long-term helps grow the sport and eventually the regional regattas.

Continued involvement from yacht clubs and programmes and Member National Authorities is bringing benefits in sharing ideas, opportunities and challenges, helping the region to move forward with a united voice.

Kathy Lammers, re-elected as President for a third and final term, expressed her concern to all the islands affected by recent hurricanes. The attendees shared their challenges – aside from loss of boats for youth programmes, the lack of priority for sailing when compared to essential services means that it will take time to get programs back up and running. The CSA through its Sailing Development Committee is looking at how it can support the programmes going forward.

About the coming year Lammers said, ‘In a season which has had such a challenging start, 2018 will be about consolidation for many of the programmes and events around the region.  Internally we are focussed on implementing new procedures with respect to the CSA Rating Rule and improving our efficiency for visiting yachtsmen applying for a rating.’

Existing board members Michael Green of St Lucia, Pam Fuller of the British Virgin Islands, Mark Theron of St. Kitts and Nevis, Alison Sly-Adams of Antigua and Peter Holmberg of St. Thomas are joined by newly elected directors Jaime Torres from Puerto Rico and Bob Hillier from the US and St. Maarten.

Xmas Incentive – Early entries for ASW 2018

In the spirit of giving, our Xmas gift to early entrants for 2018 Antigua Sailing Week is a copy of our informative book – Antigua Sailing Week: The First 50 Years.

This hardcover book gives a complete history of Antigua Sailing Week from its inception as a fun race among friends to becoming the one of most thrilling events in Caribbean sailing.

To receive this wonderful addition to any library and great conversation starter at your coffee table, you must enter and PAY entry fees BEFORE January 1, 2018. Entry fees increase to US $12 per foot on January 1, 2018.

To pay entry fee if you have already registered for ASW 2018 click here: https://www.sailingweek.com/entry-fee/.

To complete entire entry for ASW 2018 click here: https://www.sailingweek.com/enter-2018/.

Books will be available for pick up in Antigua.

The Notice of Race for Antigua Sailing Week 2018 is now available online and can be viewed here: https://www.sailingweek.com/competitors/race-documents/.

CQS takes Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race

Ludde Ingvall’s Australian Maxi CQS finished the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Wednesday 6th December taking Monohull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 11 days 00 hrs 03 mins 08 secs. CQS committed to a southerly route for the 3,000 nautical mile race and despite sustaining sail damage in a vicious 40 knot squall, the canting keel 98ft Maxi led from start to finish. Ingvall is no stranger to taking line honours in prestigious offshore races, twice taking the honour in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This was Ludde Ingvall’s 16th transatlantic.

Once dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Ingvall was full of enthusiasm for the RORC Transatlantic Race and his team:

“We have had a fantastic trip, even though the slow start meant we didn’t have a fast race, but I love it. It is great to be back in the Atlantic and especially nice to be first. Much more fun than being last! We have a young crew on board and it is especially rewarding to give them this chance and ‘pass it on’. Sailing is an amazing sport, but big boat opportunities for young sailors are few and they did really well. Just think, we have eight nationalities on one boat and everybody was focused on the same finish line. We worked as a team, looked after each other and it was tough at times.”

Maxi CQS, first to finish in Grenada © RORC/Arthur Daniel

A jubilant team on CQS after arriving in Grenada and completing the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

CQS Crew: Skipper Ludde Ingvall; Co-Skipper Kenneth Thelen; Logan Andresen; Martyn Baker; Philip Barnard; Hans-Christoph Brumberg; Charles Egerton-Warburton; Robin Elsey; James Espey; Liam Gardner; Paul Heyrman; David Kenefick; Rokas Milevicius; James Oxenham; Malcolm Paine and James Tomlinson.

After the Australian Maxi had safely moored at the impressive Superyacht Dock, CQS received a warm welcome from RORC Race Officer Steve Cole and Glynn Thomas, General Manager at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Patricia Maher, Chief Executive Officer at Grenada Tourism Authority presented Ludde Ingvall and his team with a basket of Grenadian produce.

Patricia Maher, Chief Executive Officer at Grenada Tourism Authority welcomes Ludde Ingvall © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Leading from start to finish: Ludde Ingvall’s CQS is the first of the 22-boat record fleet to finish the 4th RORC Transatlantic Race in Grenada and the team received a warm spice island welcome © RORC/Arthur Daniel

CQS has now set the bar for the best corrected time under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. The defending champion, Marten 72 Aragon, skippered by Jochen Bovenkamp and Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump are likely to be the next yachts to finish. The Maxis have close company from two high-performance offshore racing yachts, Tilmar Hansen’s German Elliott 52 Outsider and the provisional overall leader, Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine. All four yachts are expected to finish the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Friday 8th December.

After crossing the finish line, CQS heads to Port Louis Marina © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Alongside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Superyacht Dock © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Follow the fleet and watch the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race unfold:
Minisite: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/

YB Race Tracker: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/tracking/2017-fleet-tracking.html
Individual yachts, classes or the whole fleet can be tracked throughout the race

A week at sea and reaching out for the trade winds

After nearly a week at sea, Ludde Ingvall’s Australian Maxi CQS is approaching the half way mark of the RORC Transatlantic Race, blast reaching in perfect trade wind conditions. CQS has opened up a lead of 130 miles on her nearest rival. Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is estimated to be leading the race overall after IRC time correction. To set a new race record, CQS needs to finish the race before Tuesday 5th December 1900 hours 06 mins 59 secs UTC.

Heading south: Canadian Southernwind 96 Sorceress skippered by Daniel Stump © RORC/James Mitchell

Teasing Machine is currently negotiating the ridge of high pressure, which forms a barrier to the trade winds, and is making good progress to achieve this goal. Aragon and Sorceress have been the two leading maxis in the RORC Transatlantic Race, and split tacks at about sunset on Day 6. Jochen Bovenkamp’s Marten 72 Aragon chose to continue west, whilst Canadian Southernwind 96 Sorceress skippered by Daniel Stump, chose to move south. Roman Guerra’s Volvo 70 Monster Project has showed terrific pace in the last 24 hours. Diving south from the most northerly position of the fleet, Monster Project has closed in on the finish by 200 miles in the last 24 hours, a pace only bettered by CQS. Monster Project is now facing the decision of where to try to punch through the high pressure to the trade winds further south.

Will Apold talks by satphone from Sorceress of fluky winds and mixed conditions.

“We basically stuck to our routing programme to get across the ridge of high pressure and it has worked out quite good,” commented Will Apold via satellite phone from Sorceress. “We had two thunderstorms which sucked out the wind for about eight hours. Right now, we are carrying our spinnaker and doing about eight knots in light airs. The sea is so flat, a big difference to the slamming of the first four days.”

There are close battles right through the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet and none more so than between two German Class40s. In the early part of the race, Mathias Mueller von Blumencron’s Red built up a lead of 30 miles, but smart tactics through the ridge of high pressure, saw Berthold and Tobias Brinkmann’s MarieJo cross in front of Red on the morning of Day 6. Mariejo has managed to maintain a higher average speed than Red, as the two battle west in the high pressure ridge, with MarieJo opening up a lead of 47 miles.

Mathias Mueller von Blumencron’s Red battles to lead Mariejo © RORC/James Mitchell.

Tobias Brinkmann sets the scene on Red in their blog:

“We are now in the death valley, the no wind zone which separates us from the immense fun of downwind running on a Class40 in the trades. It is night. No cloud, magic starlight. What is good: it’s not so hot and the sun is not torturing us. What is bad: The wind tortures us. It disappeared and for two hours we were completely becalmed.

At the moment there are puffs of hope, as we call them. We are not talking loudly about them to not anger the gods (superstition is hugely important on board – we even scratch the mast. I could write a whole post about it). But we are whispering among us. Sometimes we have tiny breeze, then it dies again. Extremely difficult to steer. At the moment our mark is the belt of Orion, which is laying just in our course. If we steer south of the sword, we are good. North of the sword means closer to the guillotine. We don’t want the guillotine, we want the trades – and they are south of Orion’s sword. The trim of the boat is for super light wind. All sails, water, toolboxes etc in the front section, sleeping in the front too, on the sail bags. We cannot do more than wait (can you imagine how difficult that is?) when you come from the digital world, where “instant” is the parole of our age? Please, wind, come!!!”

Follow the fleet and watch the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race unfold:
Minisite: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/

YB Race Tracker: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/tracking/2017-fleet-tracking.html
Individual yachts, classes or the whole fleet can be tracked throughout the race

800 miles of separation – RORC Transatlantic Race (Leg 1 Atlantic Anniversary Regatta)

Different strategies in tackling the complex weather scenario for the RORC Transatlantic Race have caused a huge spread in the fleet, with boats 800 miles across the Atlantic Ocean, north to south. Ludde Ingvall’s Australian Maxi leads the fleet, gybing further south last night and covering 247 miles in the last 24 hours. CQS is under 2,000 miles from the finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. CQS is 150 miles ahead of Canadian 96ft Southern Wind Sorceress in the battle to win the International Maxi Association (IMA) Transatlantic Trophy for monohull line honours.

Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is estimated to be leading after IRC time correction, and has made a move south to punch through the high pressure ridge, along with Sorceress. For now, Jochen Bovenkamp’s Marten 72 Aragon is continuing west, beating along the bottom of the low pressure system north of their position. The majority of the fleet are approximately 250 miles behind the leading pack. Two yachts have continued to beat into the low pressure system to the north of the rhumb line; Roman Guerra’s Volvo 70 Monster Project and Johann von Eicken and Pit Brockhausen’s German Swan 56 Latona.
Near the rhumb line, a close battle is raging between three German yachts of near-equal size; all of which are youth training vessels. Haspa Hamburg, owned by Hamburgischen Verein Seefahrt (HVS) and skippered by 21-year old Max Gärtner, leads on the water by just two miles from SKWV’s Bank von Bremen skippered by 29-year old Alexander Beilken. Meanwhile, HVS’s second boat in the race, Broader View Hamburg is estimated to lead the trio after IRC time correction. Fifty percent of the crew on the club’s Andrews 56 are between 18 and 22 years and include skipper, Björn Woge’s 19-year old son.

Haspa Hamburg is one of two boats operated by the German club HSV which gives young sailors the opportunity to race offshore. The boat competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in Australia before being sailed back for the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/James Mitchell

Bank von Bremen, the Bremen-based offshore training boat owned by SKWB will compete in both the west and eastbound legs of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta in celebration of NRV’s 150th celebrations. © RORC/James Mitchell

Richard Palmer racing British JPK 10.10 Jangada Two Handed with Rupert Holmes. Satphone interview on day 6 of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race – Leg 1 Atlantic Anniversary Regatta. https://youtu.be/Acn53mFuP6g

Richard Palmer is racing British JPK 10.10 Jangada Two Handed with Rupert Holmes. The pair have thousands of short-handed sea miles between them and the RORC Transatlantic Race is the first race of a 7,000 mile programme of RORC racing, including the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. On day 6 of the race, Jangada was leading IRC Two, 2,350 miles from the finish.
“Go south ’till the butter melts, they say,” commented Palmer by satphone. “As we sail away from the low pressure winds have eased to around 12kts and sea state is considerably calmer. We are now heading south, chasing the pack. IRC 2 rivals, Gemervescence passed 10nm ahead of us last night, but we felt it was too early to tack. So, we stood on to pick up the wind shift and hopefully pinch a few miles from their lead. Our duel with Gem’ has an added twist as we have our own wager with them – first across the line wins a bottle of Rum! But our weather routing is trying to keep us north of the high pressure ridge to sail under a series of lows – 1,200nm of upwind sailing. More reminiscent of the north Atlantic route I did in the 2010 TWOSTAR and was definitely not in the brochure. Or do we battle through the light winds of the ridge and break into the tradewinds to the south? Fortunately, we have another day or two before we have to commit, so will watch the fleet ahead with interest. PS: Sir Admiral (Jangada’s Penguin mascot) is looking slightly worried as the first bucket of flapjacks lasted for days. Maybe we’ll snack more in the fine weather.”

Experienced short-handed offshore sailors: Richard Palmer and Rupert Holmes on JPK 10.10 Jangada at the start of the race from Lanzarote © RORC/James Mitchell

Follow the fleet and watch the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race unfold:
Minisite: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/

YB Race Tracker: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/tracking/2017-fleet-tracking.html
Individual yachts, classes or the whole fleet can be tracked throughout the race

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Caribbean Sailing Association 2017