Please select your home edition
RS Sailing 2019 - Leaderboard

RORC Transatlantic Race - Day 9: The north south divide

by Louay Habib 1 Dec 07:19 PST 1 December 2019
Looking good for line honours in Grenada - Bouwe Bekking's VO65 Childhood I © Joaquin Vera / RORC / Calero Marinas

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.

Childhood's deep dive south has paid dividends to take the lead for line honours, Jangada leads the race overall after IRC time correction and Pata Negra have come from behind to overtake Kali. After nine days at sea the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet are now well offshore in the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean - the next sighting of land will be the Caribbean.

With 1,220nm to the finish at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in Grenada and leading the fleet is the Swedish VO65 Childhood 1. The young team is into the breeze and surfing in the Atlantic swell, but it was some time coming, as skipper Bouwe Bekking reports via satellite:

"This is probably the easiest transatlantic crossing ever done....We haven't had water over the deck, besides some rain squalls. The relative southern route will pay off we think, but it means adding a lot of extra miles to get to Grenada. That is always the trade-off you have to find. Further south is even more breeze, but we know the wind will turn more to the right, so if you go south too early you sail a massive outside banana!

"Since the weather is easy, everybody is driving Childhood1. It's interesting to see the youngsters performance. Some have talent, others are a little less experienced, but you see that they get better by the day. Also our guests are getting their fair share on the wheel, which for them is also something magical. These boats sail so easy and are responsive. We are looking forward to be getting a bit more breeze in the next 24 hours so the speeds go up," explains Bekking.

Bouwe's prediction of more breeze south has come true, with Childhood I surfing at over 15 knots towards the finish, with the team's current ETA on Thursday 5 December. The French Wally 100 Dark Shadow is in excess of 200 miles north of Childhood 1 and estimated to be a day behind.

Richard Palmer's British JPK 10.10 Jangada is racing Two Handed with Jeremy Waitt and the slowest rated boat in the race is currently leading after IRC time correction. Jangada's biggest rivals, quite literally, are Childhood 1 and Dark Shadow. Jangada have chosen a more direct route to the finish, minimising the number of miles to sail, but taking more of a risk of losing the wind.

"We took the tactical decision early on in the race to stay close to the high pressure ridge, effectively walking along the edge of the hill. We have almost reached the end of the ridge of high pressure. The barometer is starting to fall and we expect wind speeds to increase steadily over the next 24 hours to 18 knots. It's all downwind sailing from here to Grenada. By Tuesday 3 December, we expect to have reached the righthand lay line and will gybe towards Grenada with a seven day sprint to the finish. Only time will tell if we have done enough to hold onto our lea," commented Richard and Jeremy on Jangada.

Giles Redpath's British Lombard 46 Pata Negra is skippered by Andy Lis with a young crew. Having made a pitstop early in the race, Pata Negra has overtaken Benedikt Clauberg's Swiss First 47.7 Kali. Next in their sight is Jangada which is over 200 miles ahead. However, Pata Negra's last recorded 24-hour run was 241nm, 100 miles more than Jangada.

For more information please go to

Related Articles

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
RORC Transatlantic Race day 5
All of the teams are south of the rhumb line 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. Posted on 27 Nov
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
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
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
RORC Transatlantic Race teams arrive in Lanzarote
Young sailors tour a Volvo 65 to get a taste of big boats Teams competing in the sixth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association, received a warm welcome to Lanzarote at a reception hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife. Posted on 21 Nov
RORC Transatlantic Race: Young Guns on Pata Negra
The 2019 race will start from Marina Lanzarote on Saturday 23 November The 2019 RORC Transatlantic Race will start from Marina Lanzarote on Saturday 23 November, bound for Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. Race crews are busy getting themselves and their boats ready for the 3,000nm race Posted on 20 Nov
RORC Transatlantic Race preview
Sixth edition set to feature a huge variety of yachts One-design VO65s and Maxi yachts have expressed their goal to take line honours and a tilt at the race record. Teams racing optimised performance cruisers will be aiming for class and the overall win under the IRC Rating Rule. Posted on 16 Oct
RORC Transatlantic Race: Cracking beers in Grenada
Sirius, Black Sheep and Xtra Staerk have joined the role of honour Stephane Bry's Sirius completed the podium for the Class40 Division, finishing in an elapsed time of 16 days 08 hrs 33 mins and 26 secs. French Canadian Stephane Bry is no stranger to Grenada and he was delighted to return having finished the race. Posted on 12 Dec 2018
Kuka3 lift the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy
Though yachts are still racing, none can beat the time set by Kuka3 Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka3, skippered by Roberto Chuny Bermúdez de Castro has been announced as the overall winner of the 2018 RORC Transatlantic Race. Posted on 11 Dec 2018
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooterFestival of Sails 2020 GIF - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 Bottom