(Monday, July 13, 2015) – A giant runway of strong southwesterly wind spanning the breadth of the North Atlantic for the last few days has allowed the grand prix boats competing in the Transatlantic Race 2015 to cover staggering mileage.
While Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s 100’ maxi Comanche set a new monohull 24-hour record when she covered 618.01 miles over Friday-Saturday (subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council), Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 trimaran Phaedo³ also put in a resounding performance.
Towards the end of the race Phaedo³, at one point, recorded a peak speed of 41.2 knots when navigator Miles Seddon was driving. As Thornburg recounted: “The sea opened up before him. It was the biggest wave you have ever seen and we were pointing down it!” But it was the consistently big daily runs that were most impressive – four days at 610 miles/day and this was despite a generally short wavelength that required them to stack everything hard aft and have appendages and rig raked back to the maximum setting.
(Sunday, July 12, 2015) – German boats were fourth and fifth home on the water in the Transatlantic Race. Tilmar Hansen’s Outsider crossed the finish line off the Lizard at the southernmost tip of Cornwall, at 13:55:27 UTC (09:55:27 EDT) on Saturday and completed the Coastal Race on to Cowes, finishing off the Royal Yacht Squadron just after dawn this morning.
“Being back in Cowes is a very emotional moment for me,” said Hansen. “We have very nice memories from 1983 and 1985 with our [victorious] Admiral’s Cup campaigns with Outsider.”
This was the present Outsider’s second Transatlantic Race following the HSH Nordbank Blue Race in 2007 in which she claimed line honours, IRC Class 2 and was second overall under IRC. The German team looks set to repeat the latter result in the present race – a performance all the more remarkable because its satellite communications broke down early in the race, and they were unable to receive vital weather information.
(Saturday, July 11, 2015) – Since Bryan Ehrhart’s Lucky secured line honours in the Transatlantic Race yesterday afternoon (English time), two of the race’s largest boats have finished.
Crossing the line off the Lizard at 21:30:21 UTC (17:30:21 EDT) last night, Clarke Murphy’s 100ft Nomad IV arrived second, after a tense 24 hours when she’d done well to close on Lucky.
Navigator Mike Broughton explained: “We cut the corner a bit, but at the same time the last part was a bit light.” They were further hampered by sailing for the last 30 hours unable to use their big headsails because their halyard box had pulled off the mast during a crash round-up to avoid a semi-submerged container on Thursday.
This was just one of a catalogue of technical problems Nomad IV suffered during the race, such as having to sail for all but the first two days without the hydraulics vital for most of her sail controls and filling her water ballast tanks.
(Friday, July 10, 2015) – Late afternoon, British time, Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky was the first boat in the Transatlantic Race 2015 to cross the finish line at The Lizard, ending a brutal 8 days 22 hours 5 minutes and 3 seconds at sea on a 2,800-mile eastbound crossing of the North Atlantic, sailed mostly in strong winds.
At present Lucky holds the lead in the Transatlantic Race 2015 under IRC handicap, but the title remains under threat from boats yet to finish. Similarly, her impressive course time is likely to be bettered by the maxis which started four days after her.
(Thursday, July 9, 2015) – With a day and a half to go, the three-way battle to be first home in the Transatlantic Race 2015 has changed complexion, with Bryon Ehrhart’s Lucky taking the lead on the water. Yesterday afternoon the Reichel/Pugh 63 finally passed the giant schooner, Mariette of 1915, a vessel twice her size, but some 93 years her senior.
Lucky, also favorite for handicap honors, had 312 miles left to sail at 1000 EDT (1400 UTC). Yacht racing wisdom would dictate she should now keep herself between her competition and the finish line off The Lizard. Instead she chose a different path and this morning appeared bound for southern Ireland rather than southern England.