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Clarion call for RORC Transatlantic Race

by Louay Habib / RORC 26 Sep 07:54 PDT 8 January 2023
German Botin 56 Black Pearl has unfinished business in the RORC Transatlantic Race and has entered the 2023 edition starting on Sunday 8th January © James Mitchell / RORC

The ninth edition of the RORC Transatlantic Race, supported by Calero Marinas and the International Maxi Association is scheduled to start from Marina Lanzarote, Canary Islands on Sunday 8th of January 2023.

Racing across the Atlantic is a phenomenal experience and a huge variety of boats and sailors have already registered for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's 2,995nm offshore race.

Held annually in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA) and the Yacht Club de France, entry is open to boats racing under IRC, Class40, Classic Yachts, Superyacht and MOCRA rating systems. Early entries and expressions of interest for the 2023 RORC Transatlantic Race include teams from at least seven different countries, including; Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and the United States.

The largest yacht currently entered in the 2023 edition is the magnificent French Wally 107 Spirit Of Malouen X, sailed by Stephane Neve. The overall winner under IRC will win the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy and past winners include four Maxi Yachts: RP78 Lupa of London, Finot 100 Nomad IV, Marten 72 Aragon and the VPLP/Verdier 100 Comanche. The first monohull to cross the line in Grenada is also awarded the magnificent IMA Transatlantic Trophy.

Giovanni Soldini's ballistic Italian Multi70 Maserati plans to defend their Line Honours victory last year. This will be Maserati's fourth race, but the outright race record has so far eluded the team. (2015 - Lloyd Thornburg's Phaedo3 in 5 Days, 22 hrs,46 mins,03 secs). Maserati is one of five 70ft trimarans competing in the Rolex Middle Sea Race this October. Soldini's Maserati is keen to have close competition for the RORC Transatlantic Race. The first multihull to take Line Honours will receive the RORC Transatlantic Race Multihull Trophy. The best corrected time under the MOCRA Rule will be the Multihull Class winner.

German Botin 56 Black Pearl, with Stefan Jentzsch at the helm has unfinished business in the race having retired last year. Black Pearl is back and the highly experienced crew includes Marc Lagesse as navigator and Paul Standbridge as watch leader. New to the race is Laurent Courbin's French First 53 Yagiza, skippered by the highly experienced Philippe Falle. Andrew Schell's Frers Swan 59 Icebear will also be making its RORC Transatlantic Race debut.

An ocean racing legend will also be racing this year; the 58ft Philippe Briand-designed L'Esprit d'Équipe, winner of the 1985 Whitbread Round the World Race. L'Esprit d'Équipe will be skippered by Lionel Régnier who has completed 13 transatlantic races, including winning the OSTAR. Fifty-footers have lifted the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy on two occasions; Franco Niggeler's Swiss Cookson 50 Kuka 3 (2018) and Eric de Turckheim's NMYD 54 Teasing Machine (2017), also entered for the 2023 edition.

Passionate Corinthian teams for the 2023 edition include teams racing in IRC Two-Handed. Katherine Cope's British Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist will be racing with Claire Dresser in the race's first all-woman double-handed team. Father and son team of Peter & Duncan Bacon have entered their Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear and Sebastien Saulnier returns with his French Sun Fast 3300 Moshimoshi which was the first Two-Handed entry to finish in 2021. For the 2023 edition, Saulnier will be racing with business partner Stefan Jaillet. The smallest boat to win the RORC Transatlantic Race overall under IRC was Richard Palmer's JPK 1010 Jangada, racing two-handed with Jeremy Waitt in 2019.

The RORC Transatlantic Race is part of the RORC Caribbean Series where IRC rated boat with the best combined score in both the 2023 Transatlantic Race and 2023 RORC Caribbean 600 claims the series trophy. The Swan 601 Lorina 1895, skippered by Ken Docherty has entered for both races. Andy Middleton's First 47.7 EH01 is a welcome edition to the RORC Transatlantic Race and his Global Yacht Racing team will also be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Yet to enter, but expected to do so, are Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster; second overall in the last edition, plus Andrew Hall's Lombard 46 Pata Negra, which has competed in three previous races, including second overall in 2019.

Racing across the Atlantic is on the bucket-list of any serious offshore sailor and every sailor that completes the 2995-mile race is also eligible to join the Royal Ocean Racing Club. For on-line entry and more details about the RORC Transatlantic Race:

See the entry list here...

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