Transatlantic Race Update

Photo Credit: Laurie Warner

The 2011 Transatlantic Race has been smooth sailing so far. The boats that left Newport, RI on Wednesday, June 29 have caught up with those that started on Sunday, June 26, and Phaedo was ahead of its much larger competitor in the Open Class, the Maltese Falcon (both pictured above at the start), by 70 miles as of Tuesday afternoon. However, Rambler 100 looks like it may take the race.

The maxiyachts that started on July 3 have been making fantastic progress. Little in the way of tactics have come into play thus far, as all six yachts in IRC Class One have been taking the direct route, coaxing every knot of speed out of their powerful machines.

Rambler 100 has been averaging close to 20 knots and with just under 2000 miles to go is predicted to finish on the 10th of June.  The Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed 100’ canting keel maxi is on course to set an exceptional benchmark for a transatlantic.

“Great sailing, so far, aboard Rambler 100,” said navigator Peter Isler, confirming by satellite link that Rambler 100 is fully in the groove.  “By our calculations we did a 464-mile 24-hour run from the start.  That’s a 19.3 knot average!  Great sailing for sure.  We’ve had basically the same sail combination up since turning the corner at Nantucket Shoals.”

On the water, Rambler 100’s nearest competitor is PUMA Mar Mostro, skippered by Ken Read. PUMA has taken up a slightly more northerly position and is in good breeze; however, the Point Alpha ice gate is looming and the Volvo 70 may need to alter course towards the east to leave the mark of the course to port.  Nearly 100 miles behind Rambler 100, ICAP Leopard, skippered by Clarke Murphy, is south of the rhumb line and enjoying better breeze than the two rivals in front.  Even at this early stage in the race, it looks as though Rambler 100 will take the spoils — as long as they do not suffer any major gear failure.

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