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RORC Transatlantic Race - Campagne de France win Class40 Division
2016 RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Campagne de France win Class40 Division ~ RORC Transatlantic Race

Campagne de France has taken Line Honours for the first Class40 Division and is the first Two Handed team to complete the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race.

Swan 82, Stay Calm and Baltic 112, Path finished within three hours of each other after 2,865nm.

Stay Calm and Path finish in Grenada

The British Swan 82, Stay Calm, skippered by Kyte Lloyd finished the RORC Transatlantic Race on Saturday 10 December at 19 Hours 02 Minutes and 17 Seconds. Stay Calm’s mainly British crew included two Volvo Ocean Race winners, Jules Salter and Neal MacDonald and was the third Maxi to complete the race.

‘The fleet was very competitive and the weather was just as difficult to master,’ commented Lloyd after crossing the line in Grenada. ‘All is well on board and the spirit in the crew never diminished. A big thank you to the RORC for excellent organisation and thanks to Marina Lanzarote and Port Louis who showed us such amazing hospitality. Unfortunately, due to our late arrival we could not spend time in Grenada, however, we will certainly be back very soon.’

RORC Transatlantic Race - Campagne de France win Class40 Division

Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron’s Campagne de France has taken line honours for the first Class40 Division and is the first Two Handed team to complete the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

The fourth Maxi class yacht to finish the race was Anatoli Karatchinski’s Baltic 112, Path, skippered by Italian Captain, Daniele Cesaro. The magnificent superyacht had enjoyed a close battle with Swan 82, Stay Calm, resulting in the two yachts finishing less than three hours apart after over 14 days at sea.

‘It was a fantastic trip and a lot of fun,’ commented Pepe Ribes, Spanish America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veteran who was crew boss and navigator on Path. ‘The race was a bit slow because of the amount of upwind and light winds shortly after the start, but we really enjoyed sailing the boat, especially downwind. The atmosphere was great on board and we have become even better friends having raced across the Atlantic together. We had a great send off in Lanzarote and now that we have finished the race, we can see we will have a great party here in Port Louis, Grenada.’

Two Handed Campagne de France win Class40 Division

Sunday 11 December: Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron’s Class40, Campagne de France completed the RORC Transatlantic Race outside Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina in just over 15 days, finishing at 14 hours 37 minutes and 53 seconds GMT.

Campagne de France has taken Line Honours for the first Class40 Division and is the first Two Handed team to complete the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race.

Halvard and Miranda were met dockside by Glynn Thomas and the staff of Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, who presented the team with a basket of Grenadian goods on behalf of Grenada Tourism. RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen and RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott greeted the team and congratulated them on a fine achievement in a tough race.

Halvard Mabire, designed and built Campagne de France and was delighted with the boat’s performance.

RORC Transatlantic Race - Campagne de France win Class40 Division

Stay Calm completes the RORC Transatlantic Race © RORC/Arthur Daniel

‘This was not the typical trade winds postcard,’ smiled Halvard. ‘There was a lot of upwind sailing and towards the end we had over 30 knots of wind for some time, which is also unusual. The boat managed extremely well, but there are some small areas of the design that need a little adjustment. Our ultimate goal for the boat is the 2018 Route du Rhum for Miranda, who will sail solo. So we experimented with the autohelm and sail configuration.’

Campagne de France completed the race nearly 300 miles ahead of their nearest rivals, Catherine Pourre’s Class40, Eärendil. Miranda Merron spoke about the key parts of the race for Campagne de France.

‘We knew there would be an important wind shift as we cleared the Canary Islands near the start, and the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) at Tenerife was also likely to affect the desired route. We stayed very high, while Eärendil stayed low and fast. As we approached the TSS, the wind shifted and we were headed; we tacked to our advantage. There was a lot of cloud activity around and we were probably luckier with the change in wind than Eärendil. Once we got away it seemed to pay to be ahead in the race. The rich got richer, and as we were lighter with just two crew and a watermaker, we had the advantage in the light patches. We have learnt so much from the race; we just have to remember it all.

RORC Transatlantic Race - Campagne de France win Class40 Division

Fourth Maxi class yacht to finish the race was Anatoli Karatchinski’s Baltic 112, Path © RORC/Arthur Daniel

Our next race will be in Antigua for the RORC Caribbean 600 in February, which now has some reputation. It is a great race for Class40s with plenty of manoeuvres and a huge variety of wind angles. However, we will not be tackling the race two handed, we will be four up for the ‘600,’ explains Merron.

The next team expected to finish the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race is Laurent Pellecuer’s Class40, Seconde Chance which is currently estimated to be leading IRC One. The team of French surgeons competing for their charity 2nd-chance, is due to arrive in Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina at around midday tomorrow, Monday 12 December (1500 GMT)

To track the race click here.

by Louay Habib

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