The 3,000nm RORC Transatlantic to Grenada started on time in glorious conditions from Lanzarote.
15-20 knots of wind with a wave height of nearly one and a half metres made for a spectacular downwind start, with Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY) hitting speeds of 33 knots when the 30 boats took off from outside Marina Lanzarote.
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, PowerPlay ripped out in front hitting a speed of 33 knots and 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.
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.
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.
Andrew Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) pulled away from the class at the start to lead on the water.
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.
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.
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.