Roaring RORC

If proof were required as to why the Royal Ocean Racing Club is the premier club of our time, look no further than the RORC Transatlantic Race. How they have pulled off the most sublime communications approach is something else – they are literally everywhere. TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – you just can’t escape the media upload that is bringing the action, the tracking and the stories so thunderously to our attention. On paper it’s just a quick flick across the pond from Lanzarote to the Caribbean but wow, RORC’s unbelievable press team, led by the sublime Trish Jenkins and word-smithed by Louay Habib, has really captured something special.


©RORC / Jim Mitchell

I urge you to watch the start onboard Powerplay and not come away thinking: ‘crikey, that’s full-on’ or have a look at the pictures of Comanche at full arc and go: ‘yeah that’s pretty special.’

It was an awesome spectacle of high-end yacht racing, the likes of which only a few are lucky enough and talented enough to experience. And shoreside, it actually looked like a whole lot of fun.

Andrew McIrvine, Admiral of RORC, Chairman of the International Maxi Association and all-round political titan of our sport, was in full party mode in Lanzarote at the Gala Dinner, welcoming the crews alongside the new RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton and a host of top dogs from the Maxi world and the Yacht Club de France. Fabulous fun. The RORC team go the extra mile and know their clientele and target audience well. It’s a brilliant set-up run by true professionals who really understand the sport.


©RORC / Jim Mitchell

And on the water, it’s turning into a classic. Comanche is literally obliterating the course in the monohulls whilst it’s a three-way dog-fight in the glamour trimarans between Powerplay, Argo and Maserati – tell me that’s not a dynamite fleet to watch.

Peter Cunningham’s Powerplay holds the lead and is pedal to the floor with ‘Sir’ Giles Scott onboard (having the absolute time of his life) and was wearing a smile as big as Texas off the startline as they headed the fleet to the first turning mark – can you imagine doing a Transat on a multi? It must feel like a fortnight in a tumble dryer on full spin whilst trying to drive a Formula 1 car. Brilliant to watch and they clocked over 600 miles on the first day. Wow.



Mitch Booth clearly has something to prove on Comanche and certainly isn’t sparing the horses, tailing the multis like a rabid dog with estimates suggesting that if they keep up this 20+ knot pace, they could well shatter the course record by an astonishing three days. That’s not just a generation ahead, that’s a lifetime. It could well be one of the stand-out moments in modern-day yacht racing. We shall see – long way to go though.


©RORC / Jim Mitchell

Further down the fleet it’s as hot as hell with some beautiful ocean-going machinery on display. The sweet spot seems to be in the 50 foot + range with a real dogfight going on between the two Botin 52’s of Caro and Tala whilst the VO70’s (remember them?) of Hypr and I Love Poland will shake out into a match race as sure as night follows day. The one to keep an eye on is the IRC56 Black Pearl, currently on a southerly course and about to come into fresh breeze. Game on, all on.


©RORC / Jim Mitchell

And excuse me for saying this but you’ve gotta love what Alex Thomson is racing on – a Gunboat 68 has to be the most civilised way of yachting the Atlantic. I fully expect to see a thoroughly refreshed, be-showered and groomed Alex by the time he steps off in the Caribbean. Warm fluffy duvets hopefully and three decent meals a day – a far cry from being knees deep in carbon repair kits onboard Hugo Boss and nursing the damned thing home without a keel…good for Alex. He looks like he’s having a lot of fun.


©RORC / Jim Mitchell

If you haven’t been watching, go to the event website: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/ and check out how modern-day communications should be done. Open the tracker and spend a good hour from the comfort and relative safety of your armchair plotting the course with the wind and conditions overlay and just wish that you were there. It’s a heck of a race.

RORC is roaring with this one.


8 thoughts on “Roaring RORC

    1. I’m surprised that there isn’t news on why Alex is way off course, going slow and seemingly abandoning the race. Hope all is well on board.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Nice. You brought to my fuller attention an event which I only tracked in a very small corner of my brain. Scuttlebutt mentioned it, and that’s my #1 source. You of course are far more Europe oriented. I liked the YouTube link. One tiny, minor comment (constructive I hope) is that you used sublime twice as an adjective in the first paragraph, instead of finding a different lofty, superlative adjective 🙂 I hope my comment does not offend you.

    OH — Thanks for the America’s Cup reply.

    Warm regards from chilly New Jersey,

    Randy Needham (Rando) Rando@Needhams.us Cell 201-259-5831 (OK text/SMS)

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  2. It’s nice to see Alex getting a rest, but they should go farther and arrange an exorcism so he can finally be rid of his curse.

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      1. What if Alex was supposed to be the one who would cure cancer or fix world hunger but he became a sailor instead of a scientist and Fate keeps trying to push him back onto that path but he doesn’t realize it?

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