With the fleet leaders about halfway to Grenada, the 2022 RORC Transatlantic is shaking out to be a tactically interesting one. The race, now in its 8th edition, began on Saturday with 30 teams ranging from 70-foot catamarans to a 28-foot JPK 1010.
Early in the race, light winds plagued the area south of rhumb line, forcing the fleet to stay north, with the fast frontrunners making the largest diversion to take advantage of better wind. The multihulls leading the fleet now find themselves in a close race as they dip back down to the rhumb line in about 10kts of wind. Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 PowerPlay is currently ahead, but just 50 miles separate it from the American-flagged MOD70 Argo, and the Italian Multi 70 Maserati is just 20 miles behind that.
Comanche, helmed by Mitch Booth, is in 4th for line honors (though L4 Trifork is slightly ahead with the IRC rating) and on track to beat the current the monohull race record. According to their navigator, Will Oxley, “All going well on Comanche. Our goals are a safe boat and crew, line honours and a new race record. We felt we could achieve these goals without heading far north and crossing the front in big seas and strong winds. So, we have been threading the needle between a col (transition zone) and an easterly wave (atmospheric trough), trying to find enough pressure to make our way west.”
The American-flagged Gunboat 68 Tosca, which was co-skippered by Ken Howery and the famed Vendée Globe sailor Alex Thomson, has retired and is returning to port with all crew safe and accounted for.
To check out the race tracker, click here.