After just over 18 days at sea, James Heald’s Swan 45, Nemesis crossed the finish line in Grenada of the 2016 RORC Transatlantic Race in the very early hours of Thursday morning, 15 December. Racing among a fleet of boats from around the world, the Lymington-based duo have won the IRC Two Handed division, were 6th overall in IRC and snatched 2nd place in IRC One. Quite an exemplary achievement with just the two sailors on board for the 3,000 nautical mile race.
Despite a brilliant full moon, rain squalls greeted the arrival of Nemesis onto the windward coast line of Grenada. In the dead of night and through driving rain, the Two Handed team rounded the southern tip of the island and crossed the finish line with their mainsail ripped to shreds, and after over 18 days at sea – the challenge was won!
James Heald and Ben Harris are both from Lymington, UK and battled against adverse weather, extreme fatigue and suffered significant sail damage to their yacht. The British duo were undaunted and arrived in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina dressed to impress in dinner jackets. Two pizzas and a crate of beer arrived from the Victory Bar & Restaurant and the dynamic duo told their story dockside as they got stuck into the feast.
“About half the race was upwind and for a significant amount of time there was either no wind of 30 knots,” explained James Heald. “Having said that, we absolutely loved it and would gladly go straight back out there and do the RORC Transatlantic Race again!
“The last three days we saw great trade winds, but the angle to Grenada was almost dead downwind, meaning a lot of gybes. The mainsail started to rip about 300 miles out so we got it down, stitched it up and downwind it was not really a problem, but upwind and the finish was quite different.”
“Many thanks to Marina Lanzarote and Port Louis for their amazing hospitality. Ben is heading back to Lymington for Christmas and I am meeting the family in Grenada to cruise Nemesis up to Antigua for the RORC Caribbean 600.”
Giles Redpath’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra remains the only yacht still officially racing, Pata Negra have reported an issue with their yacht to the Royal Ocean Racing Club and have now arrived safely in Barbados, with all crew safe and sound.
High res images on request from: email@example.com
The team sent in several great blogs from the time they were at sea:
All the latest news can be found at: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org
Blogs from the crews at sea:
Report: Louay Habib
Image: RORC/Louay Habib