A Tale of Two Races—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Ryan Godfrey Splash - Transatlantic Race 2011 Puma Ocean Racing
As expected, Transatlantic Race 2011 is proving to be a wet and wild ride for all involved. Boats everywhere are experiencing super-fast 24-hour runs that are the envy of Transpacific racers (more on that in a minute), although the later group might prefer their balmy temperatures to those being experience back east. 'Quite a moist race thus far,' reports Kenny Read, skipper of Puma's Mar Mostro, a Volvo Open 70 that will be competing in this year's Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). 'Rain, fog, waves crashing over the deck...and all of the cold adds to a problem with condensation dripping everywhere. Sound glamorous?'
While Read's bunk isn't as warm or dry as yours will be tonight, you'd better believe that he's going to bed with a bigger smile: 'There are a few up sides though,' Read continues. First of all, we're hauling ass. We are already done with half of an Atlantic crossing and it seems like we just started. Tactically, there hasn't been much in it so far, and it's kind of a flat-out boat speed contest.' For more on Read and the mar mostro boys, check out Read's from-the-racecourse voice interview, in this issue.
Rambler 100, IRC-100, starting the Transatlantic Race 2011 Newport RI, July 3, 2011 - Transatlantic Race 2011 Billy Black
Elsewhere on the course, Rambler 100 (formerly Speedboat), George David's Juan K-designed speed machine, came just 12 nautical miles shy of besting the 24-hour distance record (596 nautical miles) set by Ericsson 4 in the 2008/2009 VOR. As for strategy, Peter Isler, Rambler 100's navigator, reports: 'Looking forward, the big tactical decision that could decide this race is coming up tomorrow morning when it looks like the clocking wind will favor the other gybe for the first time since we started.
The timing of the gybe is crucial because it looks to set up the track of the boat through probably the lightest winds we will see in this race... at the boundary between the low over Labrador and the low that's been hovering over Ireland. It looks like we are going to have some very light winds for what looks like about four hours before we connect into the northwesterly from the eastern low.' Be sure to check out this issue for the full report and stay tuned to the site for updates.
On the left coast, the Transpac Yacht Race fleet is struggling with lighter-than-ideal winds. Thus far the cruiser-racers have favored a more southerly routing, while the thoroughbreds are taking the northerly lane. According to reports, no one is smiling as widely as their eastern counterparts (yet), although the magic-carpet ride isn't too far away from some of the faster boats. Check out the reports, in this issue
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