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2015 Transatlantic Race Sailor Feature - Elin Haf Davies

2015-Elin-haf-davies-chris-frost-TRThe RORC Transatlantic Race, organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with The International Maxi Association attracts a huge variety of competitors. Racing 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from Marina Lanzarote is a huge challenge. The fastest yachts may take less than a week to reach Port Louis Marina Grenada, but for one team,­ it is more likely to be three weeks at sea.

Elin Haf Davies and Chris Frost will be competing two-handed on J/120 Nunatak. Their campaign to race across the Atlantic started with eight races in the 2015 RORC Season's Points Championship, including the RORC Fastnet Race. Chris Frost is an experienced sailor, winning World and European Championships in his Swan at inshore regattas, but he has never sailed across the Atlantic before.

Read more... [2015 Transatlantic Race Sailor Feature - Elin Haf Davies]
RORC Members battle for Etchells World Title

2015 Etchells World Champions - Skip Dieball, Jon McLean and Jeff Eiber - Photo Etchell Worlds 2015/Guy NowellJon McClean has won the Etchells World Championship in Hong Kong having had a week long battle with RORC Rear Commodore Steve Benjamin which went right down to the wire of the last beat of the last race.

Jon McClean who hails from Anglesey but now resident in the US teamed up with sailmaker Skip Dieball and Jeff Eiber a few years ago with the aim of making a mark in the class. They had to cope with a wide variety of conditions including 25 knots and extreme 3m swell.

Read more... [RORC Members battle for Etchells World Title]
Magnificent Fleet Set for 8th RORC Caribbean 600

six15-0014 Tim_Wright_Photoaction.comWith under four months until the start of the 8th race, the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600 has already attracted an astounding collection of the world's finest offshore racing yachts. The strength of the fleet suggests that there will be intense competition for overall honours as well as record attempts for both monohull and multihull race records.

Shipping straight to the Caribbean from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race will be Comanche, Jim & Kristy Hinze Clark's American 100ft VPLP/Verdier designed Maxi, which rightly claims to be the fastest monohull in the world for her 24-hour record run (2015 Transatlantic Race, 618.01 nm, averaging 25.75 knots). Comanche races with as many as 29 crew, led by Kenny Read, who was on board George David's Rambler 100 to set the RORC Caribbean 600 course record in 2011 (40 hours 20 mins 02 secs). Given the right conditions, Comanche is very capable of breaking Rambler 100's record.

Read more... [Magnificent Fleet Set for 8th RORC Caribbean 600]
RORC drums up International competition for 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup

2016-comc-commodores-cup-michael-boyd-rupert-tyler-RTLast night at the Royal Ocean Racing Club's St James's clubhouse, the 2016 Commodores' Cup was formally launched, with the British investment management and financial planning company Brewin Dolphin continuing its sponsorship of the club's biennial flagship event for national three boat teams with amateur crews. The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup will next take place out of Cowes, Isle of Wight over 23rd-30th July 2016.

First Israeli team

Something of a surprise was the first team officially to enter the 2016 event being not one of the regulars - France, Ireland or the UK - but Israel. Alongside judo, sailing is Israel's top Olympic sport, but to date this hasn't extended to big boats.

In addition to the Israelis, and the four UK teams, France is expected to mount a strong entry, having not won the event since 2006. The defending champion, Ireland, is expected to return, plus at least one Dutch team and possibly another composite Benelux team. Hong Kong has shown interest and there remains the strong possibility of a team from Canada.

Read more... [RORC drums up International competition for 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup]
Rolex Middle Sea Race - Simple Course, Complex Race

Michele Galli racing his TP52, B2 emerged winner of the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race - photo Rolex/Kurt ArrigoThe Rolex Middle Sea Race has a simple course, yet it is an incredibly complex race that appeals to professional and Corinthian sailors alike. The combination of a myriad land features, with varied winds and sea states creates one of the most complex puzzles for navigators. For a team to perform to the best of their ability requires extensive preparation and precise execution. Preparation is fundamental, yet the ability to interpret the changing conditions while racing and adapt accordingly ultimately delivers success.
The 36 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race started on the 17th October, featuring a fleet of 111 yachts, from 22 nations with yachts ranging from 9 to 25 metres in length. There is no race with a more dramatic start under cannon fire from the bastions of Grand Harbour, as the fleet set off on a great adventure.
The first to return were the Americans. Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70 trimaran Phaedo3 christened the finish line just after midnight on Tuesday, 20 October. Closely followed by George David's canting keel maxi Rambler 88 who claimed monohull line honours. An impressive feat for the course record holders, who had hoped for a weather forecast that would enable them to better their time with their new Juan Kouyoumidjian design.

"We broke the course record in 2007 but that has not been broken this year. So it is nice to keep that one intact," commented George David. "This was a slow race, although we did have incredibly varied conditions, we saw zero to 23 knots of wind speed and everything in between and every cardinal point of the compass for wind direction and wind transitions of up to 90 degrees. In respect of the record, the first half of the race killed any chance and in the second half we had 160 miles dead up wind from Trapani to Lampedusa."

Read more... [Rolex Middle Sea Race - Simple Course, Complex Race]
Grenada Commits to RORC Transatlantic Race

Fred Pilkington being presented with the IMA Line Honours Trophy by the Honourable Yolande Bain-Horsford, Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation and Andrew McIrvine, RORC Admiral and IMA Secretary General - Photo RORC/Arthur Daniel & Olando K RomainWith just over a month to go, competitors in the RORC Transatlantic Race - which is jointly organised by the International Maxi Association (IMA) - are making their way to the start from Marina Lanzarote. The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) announced that the Caribbean island of Grenada would continue to host the international fleet at the end of their 3,000 nm Atlantic race.

The final and longest race in the annual RORC racing programme counts towards the 2016 Season's Points Championship series. A dozen teams including both corinthian and professional sailors from France, Great Britain, Belgium, Russia, Spain and Canada will compete for an impressive array of silverware, including the fine vintage silver trophy presented by the International Maxi Association (IMA) for monohull line honours.

Read the full article on the RORC Transatlantic Race minisite

Rolex Middle Sea Race - Stella cast in Malta

Lee Satariano's race winning J/122 Artie - photo Rolex/Kurt ArrigoThe 2015 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, organised by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, will start this Saturday, 17th October, in Grand Harbour, Malta. For the second year in succession, well over 100 yachts will be competing, flying the flags of 22 countries.

The 36th edition of the race has a record number of 11 canting keel carbon fibre flyers racing, and weather permitting all of these high performance yachts are capable of breaking the course record, which has stood since George David's Rambler 90 record run of 2007 (47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds). Leading the assault on the course record will be George David himself, racing the Juan K designed American Maxi, Rambler 88, with an all-star crew including; Brad Jackson, Andrew Cape, Joca Signorini, Rodney Ardern, Simon Daubney, Robbie Naismith, Lorenzo Mazza, Stu Wilson, Nathan Hislop, Jan Dekker, Jerry Kirby, Scott Beavis and Curtis Blewitt.

Two hi-tech multihulls will be racing in the MOCRA Class and both are very capable of beating Rambler 88 around the 606-mile course. Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD 70, Phaedo3, has been smashing world records since being launched last year. Phaedo3 is co-skippered by British sailor, Brian Thompson, who was part of the crew on Banque Populaire V, for the outright round the world record (Jules Verne Trophy). Californian Peter Aschenbrenner will be racing his 63-foot Nigel Irens designed trimaran, Paradox. Whilst on paper, Phaedo3 is faster than Paradox, under the MOCRA rating rule, Paradox beat Phaedo3 in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race. Paradox crew includes the world speed record holder, Paul Larsen, who achieved over 65 knots in Sailrocket in 2012.

The overall winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the coveted Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy is decided by the best corrected time under the IRC handicap system. Last year, the competitors experienced flat calm to storm force winds. This variety makes predicting the overall winner very difficult.

Read more... [Rolex Middle Sea Race - Stella cast in Malta]
Sugar and Spice

RORC Transatlantic Trophy © RORCA varied and international fleet ranging from 40 to 100ft will set off on Saturday 28th November from Lanzarote, the most eastern in the Canary Islands chain, bound for Grenada in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Transatlantic Race. The monohulls will be competing for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy, for the best elapsed time under IRC, and any one of the fleet has a real chance of winning the race and lifting the 104 troy-ounce trophy.

In the sixth century, Ireland's St. Brendan embarked on a legendary voyage that some believe took him to across the Atlantic, nearly 500 years before the Vikings and 1,000 years before Christopher Columbus. The origins of racing east to west across the Atlantic Ocean can be traced back to the Clipper Route of the mid-19th century. This route ran from England down the east Atlantic Ocean to the Equator. A good sailing time for the 3,275 miles run would have been around 21 days, for the RORC Transatlantic Race, the fastest yachts could cover this distance in just six days.

Read more... [Sugar and Spice]
A Fascinating Duel

Concise 10 powers out of the Solent past the iconic Needles - photo Mark Lloyd/Lloyd ImagesA highly varied fleet with fascinating competitors will set off on 28th November from Lanzarote - the most eastern island in the Canary Islands chain - bound for the island of Grenada in the Caribbean in the RORC Transatlantic Race organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with The International Maxi Association.
Two MOD 70s will be locking horns in the 2015 RORC Transatlantic Race, aiming for line honours and victory in a highly competitive, high-speed duel: Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 and Tony Lawson's Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield are capable of a top speed in excess of 40 knots and an average 25 knots for the race. Two of the world's fastest multihulls could complete the 3000 nautical mile course in just five days.

The two MOD 70s have raced each other twice. Concise 10 got the better of Phaedo3 in the Artemis Challenge, around the Isle of Wight Race but Phaedo3 squared the match, beating Concise 10 in the Rolex Fastnet Race. The RORC Transatlantic Race will be the first transoceanic race between two fully crewed MOD 70s for over three years and it is highly likely that the race will be incredibly close. In the last fully crewed Transatlantic Race featuring MOD 70s, three teams finished within two hours of each other.

For the full article see the RORC Transatlantic Race minisite

2015 IRC Double Handed National Championship - Winners Decided

The start of the Double-handed National Championship 2015 - photo Luke ShearsOrganised by the Royal Southampton YC, in conjunction with the Royal Ocean Racing Club, the second edition of the IRC Double Handed National Championship took place in the Solent, last weekend. 37 teams took part racing in three IRC Classes, lack of wind on the Saturday was the undoing of the passage race but two excellent races were held on the first day in the Central Solent.

Race Director Robert Lamb, sets the scene for the championship. "With high pressure dominating the south coast of England racing was delayed on Friday until a south westerly settled in after 4pm. Two races were then run: a laid marks 'sausage/triangle' followed by a 'round the cans' race. Wind eventually strengthened to 10-12 knots to provide good racing. Saturday was disappointing with not enough wind to run the scheduled three hour passage race. So two races only were completed for the championship. All competitors were invited to the RORC Cowes Clubhouse for supper, which had a terrific atmosphere."

Read more... [2015 IRC Double Handed National Championship - Winners Decided]
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Event Minisites

Rolex Fastnet Race
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
RORC Caribbean 600 Race
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race
RORC Transatlantic Race
Transatlantic Race 2015

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