Transatlantic Race 2011 Close, But No Cigar
Newport, R.I. USA (July 7, 2011) – Although conditions in the North Atlantic for the 26 yachts competing in the Transatlantic
Race 2011 put at least one on pace to break speed sailing records, the existing record, set in 2008, will stand for a while
longer. Via satellite link, navigator Peter Isler (San Diego, California) detailed the knarly conditions of the last 24 hours aboard
Rambler 100, which left Newport bound for The Lizard on July 3 (the final start of the three staggered starts for the participating
“As the sun sets on the fourth day of the Transatlantic Race, the crew aboard Rambler 100 has settled into the shipboard rhythm
of the four-hour watches. The drama this afternoon has been our watch on the numbers for our 24-hour run. We've had some
awesome sailing and in the end came just 12 miles shy of the 596 nautical mile (nm) 24-hour record set by the Volvo 70
“Our 24-hour run from 1400 EDT yesterday to today was 582 miles. Each hour we kept calculating, hoping for an increase, but
the best we could do was 584 nm between the 1500 hours and the same for the 1600 hours. The breeze has backed off a bit
now, so the numbers are starting to decrease a bit.
“That was fun to watch - but the team’s focus is firmly on the race - sailing hard, making good decisions and no major mistakes.
This boat is so big, that every sail change takes a long time. The sails are so heavy, the loads so great - that every step of the
process takes time and often shared hands on the heavy loads.
“Looking forward - the big tactical decision that could decide this race is coming up tomorrow morning (our clocks are still on
Newport R.I. time!), when it looks like the clocking wind will favor the other gybe for the first time since we started. That's always
interesting after a few days sailing on one tack - getting used to the feel of going the other way. The timing of the gybe is crucial
because it looks to set up the track of the boat through probably the lightest winds we will see in this race... at the boundary
between the low over Labrador and the low that's been hovering over Ireland. It looks like we are going to have some very light
winds for what looks like about four hours before we connect into the northwesterly from the eastern low.
“So we'll pick a ‘lane’ tomorrow morning - with the breeze still nice and fresh. A few hours later we'll see how our choice panned
out as we enter the light air. The weather models have a much harder time predicting the conditions in light winds compared to
stronger winds (right now its blowing 23 knots) so there's a bit of voodoo and luck involved.”
Indicating it was “time for a nap before all the action,” Isler signed off and sent along photos of the Rambler 100 team averaging
over 24.5 knots of boat speed for over 26 hours.
To follow the race via tracker and get real insight into life on board via the blogs, visit www.transatlanticrace.com
Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional
support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.
For more information, visit http://www.transatlanticrace.com
More about the Transatlantic Race 2011
The Transatlantic Race 2011 charts a 2,975 nautical mile course from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point, South Cornwall, England.
Pre-start activities took place at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, while awards will be
presented at the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Cowes Castle clubhouse on the Isle of Wight. Three separate starts – June 26, June
29 and July 3 – featured 26 boats ranging from 40 to 289 feet in length. In addition to winners in seven classes (IRC Class 1
Racer, IRC Class 2 Racer, IRC Class 3 Racer/Cruiser, IRC Class 4 Racer/Cruiser, Classic, Class 40, and Open), whichever
yacht finishes the course with the fastest elapsed time will set the benchmark for a new racing record from Newport to Lizard
Point, to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council. Rolex watches will be awarded to the record holder and the overall
winner (on corrected time) under IRC.
The Transatlantic Race 2011 is also the centerpiece of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS), which includes the
Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race, RORC Caribbean 600, the Annapolis to Newport Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Biscay
Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Of the seven races in the AORS, three races, including the TR 2011 must be completed
to qualify for a series victory. Each race is weighted equally in overall series scoring with the exception of TR 2011, which is
weighted 1.5 times. All entered yachts are scored using their two best finishes in addition to the TR 2011. Awards for the
AORS will be presented in November, 2011, at the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in Manhattan.
Rambler 100 team (photo credit TR2011/Billy Black)
Rambler 100 photo from offshore (photo courtesy of Rambler 100 / not
available in high resolution)