BIG ADVENTURE COMES TO AN END
Written by George Grant on December 15, 2014
SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE ARRIVES IN GRENADA RORC TRANSATLANTIC RACE
St. George — Derek Hatfield’s Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure, crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada at 09:47:16 UTC on Monday 15th December 2014 with an elapsed time of 14 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds.
The Spirit of Adventure crew of 15 were met dockside by representatives of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and well-wishers at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. After enjoying an ice cold beer, the first cold drink for two weeks, the crew cleared customs and headed for the Victory Bar for eggs and bacon.
“Racing across an ocean makes you realise the important things in life. I could have just taken a cruise liner and enjoyed fine food and a brandy after dinner, but that isn’t a challenge. This has certainly been a challenge, an accomplishment that I will always look back on, something that re-adjusts your perspective on everyday life and I must say eggs and bacon are a damn fine idea right now,” said Axel Hussel, Spirit of Adventure crew.
Spirit of Adventure was in true racing mode with minimal supplies of food and water and Derek Hatfield and his experienced watch leaders pushed the training crew to the maximum. However the light downwind conditions in the second half of the race were less than ideal for Spirit of Adventure.
“That was a difficult crossing,” admitted Derek dockside. “We lost both spinnakers due to damage, which meant we were downwind with the A8, so really slow going. Spirit of Adventure is not optimised for downwind, she is a reaching boat. But we have all had a good time and got here safely and that was always our primary goal. The last five days the trade winds weren’t playing at all, we had 12 knots of wind and normally it’s blowing 18-22. So we had to be cautious with our water supply. I think the last two meals were just water, oatmeal and honey. All of our milk, bread and fresh food were long gone. As I was fully expecting to finish the race in 12 days, the supplies were a concern, but in the end we were just fine.
“We would have liked a better result but this is a training boat, everybody has to chip in with everything, even the complete novices who might have been expecting Club Med conditions! We will be leaving for Antigua tomorrow and we will be racing the RORC Caribbean 600 in February.”
The next yacht to finish the race will be Nigel Passmore’s J/133, Apollo 7, which is estimated to be leading IRC Two and expected to finish the race around midday local time (1600 UTC) on Monday 15th December.
The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), started on Sunday 30 November 1000 UTC from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Grenada, West Indies, and 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.