(Wednesday, July 15, 2015) – While the oceanic speedsters of the Transatlantic Race 2015 have long since docked after making the 2,800 mile crossing from Newport to The Lizard in just over a week, a thought needs to be spared for the nine boats still at sea. Six of these have been battling the North Atlantic for two and a half weeks, while the back marker of these, Paul Anstey and Craig Rastello’s Florida-based C&C 41, Dizzy, this morning has broken the ‘500 miles to go’ barrier with an ETA at The Lizard of Saturday afternoon.
The only boat to make her way up the English Channel to Cowes in the last few hours has been Earl St. Aldwyn’s elegant, fast, Shipman 50, Zephyr. She crossed the finish line off The Lizard at 03:47:09 UTC yesterday (23:47:09 EDT on July 13) and then ticked off the Coastal Race, arriving in Cowes early this morning (03:13 UTC).
(Tuesday, July 14, 2015) – 20 boats, or just over half the fleet, have now finished the Transatlantic Race 2015.
George David’s Rambler 88 was roughly 120 miles astern when her rival, Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze-Clark’s 100ft Comanche, crossed the finish line at The Lizard off the south coast of England on Monday at 5:49 UTC (01:49 EDT). Rambler 88 followed at 11:08 UTC (07:08 EDT), winning on corrected time, by 7 hours, 2 minutes and 49 seconds win over her larger opponent.
Rambler 88’s sailing manager and tactician Brad Butterworth commented: “The boat performed pretty well. It took us a while to get ourselves sorted out with the sail combinations and we were experimenting with the side boards all the while we were racing. It got windy around day four, when the sea state didn’t really suit us and it wasn’t until the last two days when we felt comfortable against the big boat [Comanche].”
(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.