Entries coming in
Next summer’s Transatlantic Race 2011, hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club, has to date attracted 14 entries and seven provisional ones, with the deadline to enter February 28, 2011. The TR 2011, a distance of 2,975 nautical miles, is from Newport, RI to the Lizard west of Plymouth, England and will feature three staggered starts from June 26-July 3, 2011.
The New York Yacht Club at Harbour Court in Newport, RI, and the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, England will welcome participating yachts at scheduled events on departure and arrival.
The TR 2011 is for Racing, Racing/Cruising and Classic yachts with a minimum length overall of 40 feet and will be limited to 50 yachts. It will establish a record time for a race from Newport to the Lizard, as administered by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, part of ISAF.
Among the notable entries is Rambler 100, sailed by George David, of Hartford, CT. If a familiar name, this Rambler is new to David. He will be campaigning a renamed Speedboat, the canting keel IRC 100 commissioned by Alex Jackson and designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian.
In his 90 foot Rambler in 2007, David won the Transatlantic Nordbank Blue race, the Super Zero class in the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. A few months later, Rambler won Buenos Aires to Rio and, in 2009, the transatlantic Heineken Cape to Bahia Race. Rambler holds the current fixed keel record in two of these races and the record overall in the other three. Said David: “Transatlantics are proper blue-water sailing. I didn’t think of these as life goals until the 2007 race. I should have and recommend the same to every serious sailor.”
David made these comments in late October just before taking Rambler 100 from Newport to Florida with Puma Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ken Read. Read, too, is strongly considering entering the TR 2011 with his new Mar Mostro, again sponsored by Puma for the 2011-2012 Volvo and also designed by Juan K: “We’re strongly considering doing the race. It will be a great opportunity for our program and for offshore sailing in North America in general.”
Dr. Huntington Sheldon, of Shelburne, VT will be sailing Zaraffa, his Reichel Pugh 66-footer, in which he won the 2003 DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge from Newport to Cuxhaven, Germany with a course time of 13 days, 15 hours, 7 minutes and 28 seconds. Having subsequently donated the boat to the U.S. Naval Academy, Sheldon is chartering her back for the TR 2011.
The largest entry presently is Sojana, Peter Harrison’s Farr 115ft ketch. Harrison headed the 2003 British America’s Cup challenge. His Sojana was second across the line in 11 days, 14 hours, 54 minutes and 59 seconds in the Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in 2007.
Former NYYC Commodore Larry Huntington will enter his Ker-designed Snow Lion, which won her class in the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race and finished second overall in the 2010 Bermuda Race Gibbs Hill Division. Huntington’s previous Snow Lion was second to finish the 2003 DaimlerChrysler North Atlantic Challenge. He has raced five transatlantics and eight Fastnets. “Joseph Conrad wrote, ‘the true peace of God exists a thousand miles from the nearest land,’” said Huntington. “A race across the Atlantic is a great way to experience that peace.”
There are three 40-footers: British Soldier ASA, Lt. Col. Nicholas Bate, and two Class40s: Bolands Mill of John Ryan (Dublin, Ireland) and Dragon, belonging to Michael Hennessy. There is also a contingent of yachts from Germany expected to compete. They include Shakti, Varuna and Guts 'n Glory.
Rives Potts, the newly nominated rear commodore of the New York Yacht Club, will race Carina, a 48ft sloop designed by McCurdy & Rhodes and launched in 1969 for father and son Dick and Richard Nye and winner of the 1972 transatlantic. Potts has competed in several America’s Cup campaigns, including Freedom, the successful defender skippered by Dennis Conner in 1980. In 1995, Potts acquired Carina, which has sailed more Bermuda Races than any other boat - 19, and won the St. David’s Lighthouse trophy in 1970 and 1982. In 2010, Potts and Carina repeated the St. David’s Lighthouse win for a third time. Potts, who has competed in 20 Bermuda Races, said, “Most sailors who enjoy ocean racing feel that a transoceanic crossing is the ultimate in their sport. Something everyone should do once in their life. It definitely should be on every sailor’s bucket list.”
To enhance the challenge and interest of the TR 2011, the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series has been created. The Series combines the TR 2011 with three races before on this side of the Atlantic and three after in England and the Mediterranean. Three races including the TR 2011 will qualify for the Series. The six companion races and their starting dates are the Pineapple Cup February 5, 2011, RORC Caribbean 600 February 21, Annapolis to Newport June 3, Rolex Fastnet August 14, Biscay September 5-6, and Rolex Middle Sea October 22.