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Speed dials rising in RORC Transatlantic Race

by Louay Habib / RORC 9 Jan 07:14 PST 8 January 2023

At 1000 UTC on the second day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, three 70ft trimarans are now powered up on a tight reach, blasting through the Atlantic Ocean.

The monohull fleet, racing for the overall win under the IRC Rating Rule, have yet to leave the Canary Islands, with the bulk of the fleet positioned to the north of Tenerife. Boat speeds are ramping up right through the RORC fleet, with the IRC Classes set to join the multihulls in the Atlantic later today or tomorrow.

Multihull Class

Frank Slootman's MOD70 Snowflake (USA), skippered by Gavin Brady was leading as the multihulls approached Tenerife. MOD70 Zoulou (FRA), with Erik Maris at the helm was second and Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi70 (ITA) was in third. Zoulou and Maserati ventured further inshore on the north coast of Tenerife and this move looked to have paid off. At about 0200 UTC, All three teams were at full speed in the acceleration zone between islands. After getting into the constant breeze of the Atlantic Ocean at around dawn, Maserati hit the after-burners, passing Snowflake and winding in Zoulou. The YB Tracker will update at 1200 UTC, revealing which team is the fastest in the current conditions.

IRC Super Zero

Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski leads the class and Monohull Line Honours. Second is Swan 115 Jasi (SWE), skippered by Toby Clarke with the Two-Handed duo of Scott Shawyer & Alan Roberts in third racing IMOCA 60 Canada Ocean Racing (CAN). I Love Poland went inshore north of Tenerife to make up ground on the early leader Jasi. The 1000 UTC position report puts I Love Poland three miles ahead of Jasi, but this lead may be slightly exaggerated because I Love Poland has sailed west and nearer the rhumb line.

Jasi's navigator Tom Robinson contacted the media team to put some real-time commentary into the battle on the water. "We are just to the west of La Gomera at the moment. We had a good night trying to look for some shifts all the way down the side of Tenerife. Through the night it wasn't as windy as we expected. Life is good on board after our first night offshore as a team, with lots of smiles all round. We just got the new weather grib files to assess our strategy over the next couple of days. Jasi has been thundering along averaging 15 knots. I can see I love Poland and we know it's only a matter of time before their Volvo 70 is in its element, but Jasi is going well."

IRC Zero

Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), sailed by Stefan Jentzsch leads the class on the water. However, Henri de Bokay's Elliott 52 Rafale (GER) continues to impress. At 1000 UTC Rafale is leading the class after IRC time correction by over an hour from Black Pearl. Eric de Turckheim's NMYD Teasing Machine (FRA) has taken a similar southerly route on Black Pearl's line and is ranked third.

Arto Linnervuo's Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN) is the most northerly and enjoying surfing conditions, as Arto explained from on board. "A beautiful moonlight first night with just perfect champagne sailing in lighter airs until we arrived at Tenerife. The wind speed is up and Tulikettu is able to get onto her foil. We are currently topping 20 knots of boat speed, going really well at the moment. Great sailing - kind regards from the Tulikettu Team!"


At 1000 UTC, Laurent Courbin's First 53 Yagiza (FRA), skippered by Philippe Falle leads on the water and after IRC time correction. Andrew & Sam Hall's Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) is about three miles astern, with both teams heading for the westerly tip of Tenerife. Lionel Regnier's Briand 58 L'Esprit D'Equipe (FRA) is in third place. The 1985 Whitbread winner has a symmetrical kite and is able to sail at a good velocity almost due west.

IRC Two-Handed competitors: Kate Cope & Claire Dresser, racing Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist (GBR) and Peter & Duncan Bacon on their Sun Fast 3300 Sea Bear (GBR) are making excellent progress. Their average speed has increased this morning, with Sea Bear just four miles ahead, but the two teams are virtually level after IRC time correction.

"At the moment the wind is an ideal 18kts," commented Kate Cope from on board Purple Mist. "We have the big kite up, which is at the top of its range, but the funny thing is in this warm wind it doesn't feel overpowered at all. It's even hit 21kts and she just goes faster! We've Sea Bear in sight (1.6nm) and Claire (Dresser) has just very cleverly overtaken EHO1, which is a bigger boat. A final word should go to our position (after IRC time correction) as we passed between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, we were in first place! For a few hours at least, Purple Mist was the champion!"

For full coverage of the RORC Transatlantic Race, including race updates and stories from the teams, follow the Royal Ocean Racing Club on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For regular updates including satellite tracking go to

Track the fleet here.

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