Amateur Sailing Team Finish RORC Transatlantic Race aboard Volvo 60

Derek Hatfield's Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure, crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada at 09:47:16 UTC on Monday 15th December 2014 with an elapsed time of 14 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds.

Derek Hatfield's Volvo 60
Derek Hatfield's Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure, crossed the finish line of the 2014

The Spirit of Adventure crew of 15 were met dockside by representatives of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and well wishers at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. After enjoying an ice cold beer, the first cold drink for two weeks, the crew cleared customs and headed for the Victory Bar for eggs and bacon.

“Racing across an ocean makes you realize the important things in life. I could have just taken a cruise liner and enjoyed fine food and a brandy after dinner but that isn't a challenge. This has certainly been a challenge, an accomplishment that I will always look back on, something that re-adjusts your perspective on everyday life and I must say eggs and bacon are a damn fine idea right now!” Axel Hussein; Spirit of Adventure crew.

Grenada finishing RORC Transatlantic Race
Grenada finishing RORC Transatlantic Race

Spirit of Adventure was in true racing mode with minimal supplies of food and water and Derek Hatfield and his experienced watch leaders pushed the training crew to the maximum. However the light downwind conditions in the second half of the race were less than ideal for Spirit of Adventure.

“That was a difficult crossing,” admitted Derek dockside. “We lost both spinnakers due to damage, which meant we were downwind with the A8, so really slow going. Spirit of Adventure is not optimized for downwind, she is a reaching boat. But we have all had a good time and got here safely and that was always our primary goal. The last five days the trade winds weren't playing at all, we had 12 knots of wind and normally it’s blowing 18-22. So we had to be cautious with our water supply. I think the last two meals were just water, oatmeal and honey. All of our milk, bread and fresh food were long gone. As I was fully expecting to finish the race in 12 days, the supplies were a concern but in the end we were just fine.

“We would have liked a better result but this is a training boat, everybody has to chip in with everything, even the complete novices who might have been expecting Club Med conditions! We will be leaving for Antigua tomorrow and we will be racing the RORC Caribbean 600 & St. Maarten Heineken Regatta in February”. The finish this morning puts the team in second place in IRC Zero division, for the amateur crew who have never sailed together this was the event of a lifetime, a real bucket list item for most sailors and these brave men and women completed the course.

The next yacht to finish the race is likely to be Nigel Passmore's J/133, Apollo 7, which is estimated to be leading IRC Two and expected to finish the race around midday local time (1600 UTC) on Monday 15th December. Five boats are still at sea with Nomad IV having commenced the Transatlantic once again after pulling back into the Canary Islands for a repair to a broken boom on the newly launched 100' Finot racing machine.

Congratulations to the whole sailing team; Derek Hatfield, Chris Stanmore-Major, Grant Gordon, Mike Robbins, Gerry Vandergrift, Alan Rothenbush, Ed Rees, Mike Visser, Aurelie Cebe, Paul Chouinard, Michel Gagnon, Axel Hussein, Eric Gouin & Steefan Persoons

Derek and the team will be at the Toronto and Vancouver International Boat Shows in January to once again update visitors on the next round the world race as well as how the team training events available during the winter Caribbean season and spring time on the Atlantic.

For more information on our Sailing Adventures contact:

Patianne Verburgh -



Star Clippers

SB Store