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Eric de Turckheim's French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine is the overall winner of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. Whilst many of the record 23–yacht fleet are still racing, none of them can better Teasing Machine's corrected time under IRC. Teasing Machine is the smallest yacht to win the RORC Transatlantic Trophy which has been previously won by yachts in the Maxi Class.
"To win the RORC Transatlantic Race is just fantastic," commented Eric de Turckheim. "It is not just a personal achievement to win my first ever transatlantic race because it has been such a massive team effort. Teasing Machine was only taking part in its second offshore race and to build a team to that performance level within four months has required a huge commitment from everyone, but especially Laurent Pages."
Teasing Machine tactician Laurent Pagès and Navigator Jean-Luc Nélias form a formidable partnership. The Frenchman took the same roles for skipper Franck Cammas, winning the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, and Nélias won this year's Transat Jacques Vabre on Sodebo Ultim with Thomas Colville, smashing the race record.
"There were three main stories to this book," explained Laurent Pagès. "The start of the course put us in the wind shadow of the Canary Islands which was very difficult, but we had a very good first 24 hours. It was very important to be as early as possible to the ridge of high pressure because the door would close at some stage, and we did a very good job crossing the area of light winds. After that we knew we would have to go south eventually and we tried to remain in the pressure. Teasing Machine is a powerful boat that likes to stay in the wind. It has been a privilege to discuss the strategy of the race with Jean-Luc Nélias. It is another great victory and I hope there will be many more."
RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen was very pleased with the result and the race: "It has been no easy task for the Teasing Machine team to win this race and they have been pushed hard by a number of very competitive boats. Eric and his team showed their determination and expertise,
After a few negative years, resulting in some despondency about the future of cruiser racing, the annual meeting of SCORA, the South Coast Offshore Racing Association, had a more positive atmosphere, with a good attendance of skippers, boat owners and club representatives and quite a few practical suggestions about driving the racing scene forward.
SCORA Commodore Kieran O’Connell, who is also Rear Commodore for Keelboats at the Royal Cork YC in Crosshaven, has been talking up the levels of participation in the racing scene, so I was interested to find out if this was the case at the meeting.
In fact, it seemed to be so and was reflected with a wide-ranging debate, from developing Class 4 for the smallest boats, to bring more people into racing, to the length of races, a desire for more racing amongst Cork Harbour sailors outside of the harbour confines, developing more inter-club racing and how to bridge the gap where young sailors are lost to the sport, between dinghy racing and cruisers.
This practicality was reflected in a debate about the often contentious issue of boat handicaps. There was general agreement that the concentration on handicapping should primarily be at club level, where it could best be used to stimulate more participation locally and strengthen the clubs. Where boats wanted a national handicap to race in other locations, that would have to take account of and dealt with, but the emphasis should be
The Annual General Meeting of the 2017 West of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) took place at the Dromoland Inn in Co. Clare earlier this week. Among the items discussed on the night was the combined 2018 WIORA ICRA Championships which will be run in Galway Bay next August. In acknowledging that combining events can mean an increase in costs to boat owners and participants, and as a gesture of goodwill and thanks to its members for their continued support, WIORA have voted to suspend membership fees for 2018. The venue for the 2019 West Coast Championships was also decided at the AGM with Foynes Yacht Club being awarded the event.
After twelve years in his role as Honorary Secretary of the Association, Thomas Whelan from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland, stepped down at the AGM. WIORA Commodore, Simon McGibney, the WIORA committee and its members would like to sincerely thank Thomas for all his years of service and contribution to promoting cruiser racing along the west coast and wish him the very best of luck with his new found free time next year.
Connor Phelan's Jump juice will be among the winners saluted tonight at the South Coast Offshore Racing Association (SCORA) agm and prizegiving that will be held in the Royal Cork Yacht Club at 7.45pm writes Bob Bateman.
Cruiser–racer fortunes are on the up in Cork harbour according to SCORA Commodore Kieran O'Connell who gave a recent confident forecast that fleet numbers are on the 'way back'.
As well as Phelan's Class Zero and One victory, among tonight's other highlights is Tom Roche's first in ECHO in the same division with Kinsale Yacht Club entry Meridian.
RCYC entry Bad Company (Desmond, Ivers) was the IRC two winner with Waterford Harbour yacht Slack Alice skippered by Shane Statham second.
Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CQS finished the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race on Wednesday 6th December taking Monohull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 11 days 00 hrs 03 mins 08 secs. CQS committed to a southerly route for the 3,000 nautical mile race and despite sustaining sail damage in a vicious 40 knot squall, the canting keel 98ft Maxi led from start to finish. Ingvall is no stranger to taking line honours in prestigious offshore races, twice taking the honour in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. This was Ludde Ingvall's 16th transatlantic.
Once dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Ingvall was full of enthusiasm for the RORC Transatlantic Race and his team:
"We have had a fantastic trip, even though the slow start meant we didn't have a fast race, but I love it. It is great to be back in the Atlantic and especially nice to be first. Much more fun than being last! We have a young crew on board and it is especially rewarding to give them this chance and 'pass it on'. Sailing is an amazing sport, but big boat opportunities for young sailors are few and they did really well. Just think, we have eight nationalities on one boat and everybody was focused on the same finish line. We worked as a team, looked after each other and it was tough at times."
After the Australian Maxi had safely moored at the impressive Superyacht Dock, CQS received a warm welcome from RORC Race Officer Steve Cole and Glynn Thomas, General Manager at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Patricia Maher, Chief Executive Officer at Grenada Tourism Authority presented Ludde Ingvall and his team with a basket of Grenadian produce.
CQS has now set the bar for the best corrected time under IRC for the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy. The defending champion, Marten 72 Aragon, skippered by Jochen Bovenkamp and Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump are likely to be the next yachts to finish. The Maxis have close company from two