Transatlantic Race Start

We are excited to head out to watch the starts of the Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR 2011) next week. The little guys head out first this Sunday, June 26; the big boats leave the following Sunday, July 3; and the mid-size yachts leave on Wednesday, June 29. If you can’t get out on Narragansett Bay for an up-close look, we suggest heading to Castle Hill, our favorite spot to watch a race start.

The extremes of crossing the Atlantic Ocean will be experienced very differently by crews on the longest and shortest yachts. This adventure challenge, which aims to add 2,975 nautical miles to its participants’ log books, is co-organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club. The TR 2011 expects to greet its first finisher off Lizard Point in South Cornwall (UK) sometime in mid-July, depending on many things—not the least of which are the lengths of the boats making the crossing.

On one hand, there is the Perini Navi-designed Maltese Falcon, at 289 feet, one of the largest privately-owned sailboats in the world. On the other, there are two Class 40s, which at 40 feet are specially designed for short-handed offshore and coastal racing. These extremes are punctuated by the fact that Maltese Falcon looks every bit the world cruiser, with stem-to-stern luxury incorporated into its design, while the Class 40s seem relatively stark–even like dinghies–in comparison. But each team at either end of the spectrum has its reasons for undertaking the TR2011 challenge, and each team intends to succeed, if not win.

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