Transatlantic Race 2019 started inNewport, Rhode Island, USA, on June 25. 13 participating boats from 5 countries will cross the North Atlantic and, after about 3,000 nautical miles, finish in Cowes (Isle of Wight, UK). The award ceremony for the best crews is tentatively scheduled for June 31. The crews will compete in three divisions.
This event is one of the five divisions of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, co-hosted by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and Storm Trysail Club.
To qualify for the series, a team must participate in at least 3 of the 5 regattas, including the Transatlantic Race. Based on their corrected IRC results, crews receive a maximum of 1 point. The exception is the Transatlantic Race, which will be assessed 1.5 points. Two best results and the result of the current Transatlantic Race will be included in the final standings.
But let's get back to the present Transatlantic Race. The obligatory crossing point for Transatlantic Race participants will be the Cape Lizard - the southernmost point of Great Britain. The organizers try to keep the tradition of fixing speed records on the route Newport - Cape Lizard.
The last such record was set in 2011. The Rambler went 2976 nautical miles in 6 days, 22 hours, 8 minutes and 2 seconds.
Also, the route of the participants will be limited to several restricted areas. One, south of Nantucket Island , would keep them out of shallow water; another would keep them out of icebergs that might occur north of a certain latitude. The third, on the other hand, kept the participants away from nature: the route bypassed the habitat of the red-listed southern right whales east of Cape Cod Peninsula.
So far the leader in the Line Honours classification has been the 30.48m sloop SHK Scallywag from Hong Kong. Scallywag will arrive in Cowes on July 3, 8 days and just under 4 hours after her scheduled start time.
Scallywag's only rival in the IRC 1 division, the American 21.33-metre sloop Wizard, is still in first place in her fleet.
In the IRC 2 division the British 14m sloop Pata Negra is in the lead.
«At the start I and the rest of the team could feel the stress of coastal life just disappear. Offshore racing is not for everyone, but it's an incredible feeling when you can feel the team bonding, everyone working together and focusing on a common task. This boat has been sailed extensively in Australia, Chile, France and the UK, so you can feel the desire to win emerging. We are definitely focused on this»," Pata Negra crewmember Chris Hanson wrote in the blog.
One of Pata Negra's IRC 2 competitors, the American 15.24m sloop from Newport proper Triple Lindy was forced to return home soon after the start due to a dead generator. The team plans to return to the race when the problem is resolved.
In the IRC 3 fleet is the American 14.72m sloop Carina.