Force 10 Atlantic Finale In The Transatlantic Race 2011
Experiencing the roughest weather conditions of any yacht in the Transatlantic Race 2011, Sasha, skippered by Albrecht and Erika Peters (Munich, Germany), crossed the finish line at The Lizard at 20:10 UTC on 17 July. At sea for over 22 days, the husband and wife team sailed their 1970 Sparkman & Stephens-designed wooden yacht with another couple, Christine Beech and Ron Melton of Picton, New Zealand. With Sasha’s finish, all 26 of the yachts which left Newport, R.I. over the course of three staggered starts have now successfully completed the Transatlantic Race 2011.
As Sasha approached the finish, a storm took hold in the Western Approaches generating very high waves with overhanging crests; large patches of foam turning the sea white with rage; and large amounts of airborne spray that dramatically reduced visibility.
“The spray coming over the bow was more like that from a Volvo Ocean Race yacht than an S&S 42 and the severe weather conditions came upon us, somewhat unexpectedly,” reported Albrecht. “We had over 55 knots of wind and 40’ breaking waves. At times we were hit at 90 degrees by these waves and it was a case of survival. With all three reefs in the main and just a storm jib up, we were still unable to slow the boat down and we were often achieving speeds of over 14 knots. We had also broken the goose-neck fitting between the boom and the mast and we were taking in water, possibly through the keel bolts. But the boat is fine and so is the crew. We are now heading to Cowes and hopefully to Lallows Yard were the boat was built over 40 years ago.”
Despite Sasha’s wild finish the team were unable to eclipse the corrected time of Jacqueline IV, which means that the McCurdy and Rhodes 42’ skippered by Robert Forman (Bay Shore, N.Y.) retains third place in IRC Class Four.
Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.
More about the Transatlantic Race 2011
The Transatlantic Race 2011 charts a 2,975 nautical mile course from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point, South Cornwall, England. Pre-start activities will take place at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, while awards will be presented at the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Cowes Castle clubhouse on the Isle of Wight. Three separate starts – June 26, June 29 and July 3 – featured 26 boats ranging from 40 to 289 feet in length. In addition to winners in seven classes (IRC Class 1 Racer, IRC Class 2 Racer, IRC Class 3 Racer/Cruiser, IRC Class 4 Racer/Cruiser, Classic, Class 40, and Open), whichever yacht finishes the course with the fastest elapsed time will set the benchmark for a new racing record from Newport to Lizard Point, to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council. Rolex watches will be awarded to the record holder and the overall winner (on corrected time) under IRC.
The Transatlantic Race 2011 is also the centerpiece of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS), which includes the Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race, RORC Caribbean 600, the Annapolis to Newport Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Biscay Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Of the seven races in the AORS, three races, including the TR 2011 must be completed to qualify for a series victory. Each race is weighted equally in overall series scoring with the exception of TR 2011, which is weighted 1.5 times. All entered yachts are scored using their two best finishes in addition to the TR 2011. Awards for the AORS will be presented in November, 2011, at the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in Manhattan.