Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 5: Picking the layline 2,500 miles out

by Louay Habib 27 Nov 2019 05:06 PST 27 November 2019
Strategic decisions facing the double-handed team on Jangada, the smallest yacht in the race - RORC Transatlantic Race day 5 © RORC / Joaquim Vera / Calero Marinas

After five days into the RORC Transatlantic Race the international fleet is experiencing shifty conditions with a light to moderate wind oscillating between nor' east and east.

All of the teams are south of the rhumb line but different strategies are producing a range of tactics in the 3,000nm race to Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada.

Richard Palmer, competing Two Handed with Jeremy Waitt on his British JPK 10.10 Jangada are currently provisional overall leader after IRC time correction. French Wally 100 Dark Shadow is 2,285nm from the finish and leading the fleet for line honours. Swedish VO65 Childhood 1 has sailed the most miles (945nm) and is the furthest south. Pata Negra is back in the race having made a pit-stop in El Hierro.

Via satellite communication Jangada sent an update on Day 4 (Tuesday 26 November) which highlights the current strategic decisions facing the double-handed team:

"Three days into the race and the strategies are starting to pan out. Before we left, we spoke about making a decision on north versus south of the Great Circle route. As the days pass and the weather forecast is refined, we see that there lies a vast 'synoptic wasteland' to the north. The challenge now is just how far south do we go? Gybe early and we risk being sucked into that high pressure. Gybe late and sail extra miles unnecessarily. It's all about trying to pick the lay line 2,500nm out! We've made that call and are now heading direct to Grenada. We think we still have time to bail out and gybe south again if the pressure starts going slack.

"Childhood 1 and Dark Shadow, especially, are taking the hit now to dive further south into the trade winds. No doubt we will see our fortunes reverse as they make progress in the trades. The question is, will the extra distance out weight the speed benefit? Only time will tell - watch this space." Richard and Jeremy on Jangada.

"This is a weather dominated race without a doubt," commented Dark Shadow's skipper Yerin Hobson via satellite. "We are seeing shifts between 50º-90º from one moment to the next, so it has been tough on the crew to stay focused, especially as there are a few cloud patterns which can alter things. Dark Shadow is a heavy boat so it is hard for us in light breeze and we are not as manoeuvrable as Childhood, especially with regard to the shifts. Life on board is in the groove and the mood is good, all helped by a rock star chef and hot showers. Racing at night we have no moon, so it is hard not having a horizon. To keep the concentration we are operating 15 minute stints on the helm."

Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 Pata Negra suspended racing on Day 2 (Sunday 24 November) and motored into El Hierro, the most southwesterly of the Canary Islands. The young crew, skippered by Andy Lis discovered problems with their watermaker and wisely took on enough water at El Hierro to last for the race. Pata Negra then returned to their last racing position, hoisted sails, and commenced racing. To add to the crew's problems, Andy Lis cracked a tooth requiring medical treatment.

All teams in the RORC Transatlantic Race must carry the prescribed medical kit for a World Sailing Category 1 Race and at least two crew must have first aid training. Pata Negra crew Conor Totterdell put his skills learnt at the Dun Laoghaire RNLI to good use, turning the forecabin of Pata Negra into a makeshift dental lab!

For more information please go to rorctransatlantic.rorc.org

Related Articles

RORC Transatlantic Race moves to January from 2021
The most significant of a number of subtle changes to the event This date change is the most significant of a number of subtle changes the RORC is making to its Season Points Championships, which includes making the Rolex Middle Sea Race the first points race in the Championships. Posted on 14 Jan
RORC Transatlantic Race overall
Jangada is first two-handed team to win the antique silver trophy Richard Palmer's British JPK 10.10 Jangada was presented with the RORC Transatlantic Trophy in Grenada at a ceremony and prize-giving banquet held at Camper & Nicholsons Victory Bar and Restaurant. Posted on 12 Dec 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 17 update
Pata Negra - all smiles in Grenada Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 Pata Negra, skippered by Andy Lis, finished the 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race on Monday 09 December in an elapsed time of 15 days 22 hrs 58 mins 13 secs. Posted on 9 Dec 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 14 update
Dark Shadow shines in Grenada French Wally 100 Dark Shadow finished the 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race in an elapsed time of 13 days 9 hours 11 mins and 3 secs. Dark Shadow was sailed by Andre Auberton-Herve (FRA) and skippered by Yerin Hobson (AUS). Posted on 7 Dec 2019
Childhood 1 wins IMA Trophy
Childhood 1 crossed the finish line outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina Swedish VO65 Childhood 1, skippered by Bouwe Bekking, has taken Line Honours in the 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race. Posted on 5 Dec 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race day 11
All set to welcome the early finishers Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada is all set to welcome the early finishers in the RORC Transatlantic Race. VO65 Childhood 1 is expected to finish on Wednesday 4th December and will win the IMA Trophy for Monohull Line Honours. Posted on 3 Dec 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race day 9
Childhood's deep dive south has paid dividends Whilst all of the competing yachts are south of the rhumb line in the RORC Transatlantic Race, there is over 900nm of latitudinal separation in the fleet. Jangada is furthest north and Childhood 1 furthest south. Posted on 1 Dec 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race day 2
Racing into the wild blue yonder The 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race is now into the second day with the entire fleet anticipated to leave the Canary Islands and head into the remote Atlantic Ocean on Sunday 24 November. Posted on 25 Nov 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race under way
Farewell Lanzarote! The 6th edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race got under way on time with the fleet starting from outside Marina Lanzarote at 1100 UTC on Saturday 23 November, 2019. Posted on 23 Nov 2019
RORC Transatlantic Race: Dock talk
Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Childhood I, shares his thoughts ahead of the race Arrecife, Lanzarote: On the penultimate day before the start of the sixth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the international fleet have eyes on the weather for the 3,000nm race across the Atlantic Ocean to Grenada in the West Indies. Posted on 22 Nov 2019
Henri-Lloyd 2020 HLRC FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOMRooster 2020 - Impact BA - FOOTER