The start of the RORC Transatlantic Race couldn’t have been more impressive. Blue skies, 20ºC and 16 knots of north-easterly for a perfect downwind spinnaker start, made for a superb scene for the many spectator boats as the fleet finally took off, after their preparation week in Calero Marinas’ Lanzarote yacht harbours, Puerto Calero and Marina Lanzarote.
At 11:00 the RORC committee, supported by the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife, sounded the signal for the multihulls to start. Trimarans Argo, Maserati, PowerPlay and Ultim’Emotion 2, took barely thirty minutes to round the first buoy in front of Puerto Calero, delightfully evenly matched. 11:10 saw the gun for the remainder of the fleet, with the powerful supermaxi Comanche, helmed by Mitch Booth, taking the lead; a firm candidate to win the 2022 IMA championship trophy.
The start was streamed through Calero Marinas’ Facebook page, enlivened with a race commentary from recent Vendee Globe finisher and previous race RORC Transatlantic Race contender Pip Hare, and followed by spectators from countries as far flung as Australia, United States, Antigua and New Zealand.
José Juan Calero, CEO of Calero Marinas commented: “It is fantastic to see the RORC Transatlantic Race fleet setting off in these perfect conditions. On behalf of the whole Calero Marinas team and all the race sponsors and supporters, we are very proud of how this regatta grown. It is very gratifying to see how much the sailors enjoy it. This now marks the eighth edition of this race, and I thank the RORC for the trust placed in Lanzarote to host this regatta, and of course, my thanks also to the International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club de France for their support.”
The spectacular 30-strong fleet featured sailors of 27 nationalities and over fifty top-level names from the world’s most prestigious competitive inshore and offshore sailing events, such as the Olympics, the Ocean Race, the Vendée Globe and the America’s Cup. Lanzarote this week has been the transat preparation base for renowned figures such as Brian Thompson, Guillermo Altadil, Jens Dolmer and Alex Thomson, among many others.
Although the forecast for the start couldn’t have been better, over the next few days the fleet faces adverse weather conditions, which will undoubtedly put their skills to the test. The current RORC Transatlantic Race monohull crossing record is 10 days, 5 hours, 47 minutes and 11 seconds, obtained by Pier Luigi Loro’s My Song in 2018, while Lloyd Thornburg’s trimaran Phaedo 3, skippered by Brian Thompson, made it over in a blistering 5 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 3 seconds, back in 2016 and remains unbeaten. Track the fleet as they make their way across via the race’s website: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org
The RORC Transatlantic Race is an event organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club in conjunction with the Yacht Club de France and the International Maxi Association, in collaboration with Calero Marinas for the departure from Lanzarote. The race has the support of the Canary Islands Government, European Regional Development Funds (ERDF), Promotur, the Lanzarote Island Council, SPEL-Turismo Lanzarote, through the European Sports Destination (ESD) brand, the Yaiza Municipal Council, and the invaluable support of the Real Club Náutico de Arrecife.