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Lively local sailing conditions and great teamwork set the scene for a fantastic launch to this year’s international yachting scene in Calero Marinas
Negotiating the necessary PCR tests, tricky travel concerns and a stringent adherence to current health protocols, it was a great relief to finally see a superb fleet out on the waters just of Puerto Calero for the start of the RORC Transatlantic Race. The shift to from a November to a January start was rewarded with rousing conditions and the competitors were refreshed and ready to get started after their obligatory confinement on board.
An hour into the race, each of the competing yachts had rounded Punta de Papagayo on the southern tip of Lanzarote. The IRC56 Black Pearl was leading on the water, followed by the Volvo 70 Green Dragon. Rayon Vert, the Multi50 Trimaran, skippered by renowned Spanish sailor Alex Pella, had a conservative start but was soon scorching along at close to 20 knots of boat speed.
The duelling Class 40s showed Redman getting away with a good start, but Palanad 3 choosing to take a more northerly and potentially faster route. What is more, over the next 100 miles or so, Redman will need to point higher than Palanad 3 to pass north of Tenerife.
Two hours into the race, all of the fleet were experiencing exhilarating reaching conditions with double digit boat speed, blasting towards the sun as it sets to the west into the first of many awe-inspiring sunsets to come. Two teams racing in IRC Two-Handed were side-by-side and matched for speed as they passed the north of Fuerteventura.
José Juan Calero, Managing Director for Calero Marinas watched the start from a spectator boat and commented: “It has been fantastic, probably the best start of all; sunshine with 16-22 knots and gusts of 25 from the NNW. It was a really competitive start with all the boats pushing hard. It’s amazing when you see teams really going for it right from the gun for a 2,735-mile race. It was great fun to see them race away. We have been involved in many regattas over the years, it is our passion. We started our relationship with the RORC in 2014 and the RORC Transatlantic Race has been increasing in popularity. The decision to move the start to January has been a good one. We have a fantastic relationship with RORC which has gone from strength to strength in the last seven years. We are particularly proud this year, with all of the issues and problems that everyone has had and we have to congratulate RORC for organising this race.”
“We are ever thankful that we can get a race away and a special thanks must go to JJ and all the staff at Calero Marinas. We could not have put on this race without their tremendous support,” commented RORC Race Manager Chris Stone. “As with all RORC races, we will be monitoring the progress of the fleet and we wish every competitor fair winds to Antigua and that they enjoy their time in the Caribbean.”