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Monday rush hour in the RORC Transatlantic Race

On the 17th day of the RORC Transatlantic Race five teams completed the 3,000 nautical mile race within a 10 hour period and 11 yachts are still at sea. Monday’s finishers included four young German teams and Gerald Bibot’s Belgian catamaran Zed 6. Mathias Mueller von Blumencron’s Red was the winner of the Class40 Division for the RORC Transatlantic Race.

Red completed the race in an elapsed time of 15 days 17 hours 25 mins 25 secs to take a hard-earned victory from Berthold and Tobias Brinkmann’s MarieJo, which was just under nine hours behind. The Class40 lead had changed hands at least three times during the race, but it was Red with a young but very experienced crew that has been together for many years and raced thousands of miles, that took the Class win.

“For three of us this is our second transatlantic race in this boat. It is a great team and we have fun together,” commented von Blumencron. “This was a very tactical race. Right from the start we were upwind for almost 500 miles. We did make a big tactical mistake mid-Atlantic when we went south too early to try to cross ‘Death Valley’ as we called it. MarieJo got 70 miles ahead of us so we had to catch them. Eventually the easterly breeze arrived and the downwind slide began. 48 hours from the finish we had a really squally night with tough racing in 35 knots of wind. In contrast, the last night was so peaceful – a wonderful way to end a great race.

Class40 RED makes her way into Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina after finishing the race and taking Class40 victory © RORC/Arthur Daniel

MarieJo, Berthold and Tobias Brinkmann’s Class40 had a close battle with RED and finished in Grenada just under nine hours behind © RORC/Arthur Daniel

German J/V53 Bank von Bremen finished the race in an elapsed time of 15 days 21 hours 29 mins 57 secs. The offshore training boat is owned by Segelkameradschaft Das Wappen von Bremen and skippered by 29-year old Alexander Beilken with a crew with an average age of 31. The Bremen-based yacht will be taking part in the whole of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta as friends of the Hamburg-based NRV, celebrating their 150th anniversary, but there is fierce but friendly competition between Bremen-based yachts and those from Hamburg.

“We are delighted to have beaten the Hamburg boats to Grenada,” smiled Alexander Beilken, tasting a cold beer. This boat has sailed over 160,000 miles and we feel very privileged to write another chapter in her history. Unfortunately for us we have to go straight to Antigua as we have a new crew member from our club coming out to sail on the boat, so after breakfast, we will sail north to Antigua. We will be back racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 in February.”

Young skipper, Alexander Beilken and crew on Bank von Bremen’s J/V53 had friendly competition throughout the race with Hamburg-based boats © RORC/Arthur Daniel

German JV52 Haspa Hamburg, owned by another youth sailing initiative, Hamburgischer Verein Seefahrt, finished the race in an elapsed time of 16 days 03 hours 20 mins 50 secs. The crew are nearly all in their 20s and skipper Max Gaertner and nearly the entire crew went for a swim in the marina on arrival. For the last part of the race Haspa Hamburg was locked into a personal duel with Gerald Bibot’s Belgian catamaran Zed 6.

“We destroyed both of our spinnakers which really reduced our speed and Haspa Hamburg came from 100 miles behind to beat us to the line by just over 10 minutes,” explained Zed 6 skipper Gerald Bibot, “But, we were happy for them, not sad for us. It is fantastic to see young talented sailors making their way in our sport and I am sure many of them will go on to do great things in the future.”

Close finish: Haspa Hamburg and Zed 6 finish the race and head to the dock at Port Louis Marina for a warm welcome. © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Follow the remainder of the fleet still racing:

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Individual yachts, classes or the whole fleet can be tracked throughout the race

Monster Project proud to be in Grenada

Roman Guerra’s Volvo 70 Monster Project finished the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Sunday 10 December 2017 in an elapsed time of 14 days 21 hrs 39 mins 46 secs. Sixteen yachts are still racing across the Atlantic Ocean and a number of teams will finish the 3,000 nautical mile race over the next 48 hours.

Monster Project safely moored at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina and the team cracked open the cold beers: “None of this team has raced across the Atlantic before and it all got pretty emotional when we finished. All of us got a bit teary,” commented Monster Project skipper, Roman Guerra. “There are so many memorable moments, but racing at over 30 knots of boat speed two nights before the finish, was really special. The crew described it as awesome, scary, wonderful and just unreal. Any serious sailor wants to race across the Atlantic in a Volvo 70 and we are proud to have done it. A big thank you to the RORC for running such a great race

Roman Guerra is originally from Australia and bought Monster Project to further his passion for offshore racing, to take part in top offshore races around the world and to share his experience with others. This was the crew’s first Atlantic crossing © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Volvo 70 Monster Project in C&N Port Louis Marina after completing the RORC Transatlantic Race with a team comprised of crew from seven different countries and all on their first Atlantic race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Five teams are within 200 miles of the finish in Grenada and two German teams are likely to have a photo-finish. Mathias Mueller von Blumencron’s Class40 Red leads the charge with 121 miles to go, just three miles ahead of Alexander Beilken’s JV53 Bank von Bremen.

“Everybody on board Red is in fighting mode and pushing hard with very little sleep. The infamous squalls of the Caribbean are powerful eruptions of nature and in between is our tiny little boat, screaming down thewaves. However, the concert is not over yet; we still have over a hundred miles to go – just a small sprint from Kiel to Anholt. No big clouds are visible at the moment and it’s an almost clear sky. What a difference 24 hours makes. Spirits are up and Red is flying,” says Mueller in his race blog.

A close finish with German Class40 RED is likely for the offshore training yacht Bank von Bremen, owned by Segelkameradschaft “Das Wappen von Bremen” e. V. / Germany and skippered by 29-year old Alexander Beilken with a crew with an average age of 31 years © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Gerald Bibot’s Belgian catamaran Zed 6 is 176 miles from the finish, just ahead of two German teams, Berthold and Tobias Brinkmann’s Class40 MarieJo and Max Gaertner’s JV52 Haspa Hamburg. Provisional IRC One leader, Bjoern Woge’s Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg is 346 miles from Grenada, and expected to finish the race on Monday evening.

In IRC Two, the provisional leader is Richard Palmer’s British JPK 10.10 Jangada which is racing Two Handed with Rupert Holmes. Here is a summary of their blog:

“Our spell in stereotypical tradewind conditions a few days ago didn’t last long; a succession of squalls brought gusts into the upper 20s. After some spirited surfing that saw Jangada hitting 14 knots, the sea state became such that it was no longer feasible two-handed to continue with a spinnaker set. We then spent 24 hours running with a poled out No4 jib, or reaching with the jib and one reef in the mainsail, still hitting boat speeds well above 10 knots.
“However, the wind speed dropped to less than four knots. Unfortunately, the larger boats got past that point well before the high became established, so we’ve lost out compared to them. Nevertheless, we have a few in our sights that we can realistically overhaul on corrected time between now and the finish, and we’re still leading both our own class and the two-handed division by a comfortable margin. In terms of distance, we’re only halfway through this 3,000 mile race after 13 days at sea. That’s certainly frustrating, but the second half should be much faster with a prospect of consecutive 200 plus mile days.”
Follow the fleet and watch the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race unfold: Minisite:

YB Race Tracker:
Individual yachts, classes or the whole fleet can be tracked throughout the race

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:

YB Race Tracker:
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:

To complete entire entry for ASW 2018 click here:

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:

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Caribbean Sailing Association 2017