RORC TRANSATLANTIC RACE – LANZAROTE-GRENADA
Written by George Grant on December 19, 2014
MOONLIGHT SÉRÉNADE – FINAL YACHT ARRIVES
St. George — Denis Villotte’s French JNP12, Sérénade crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada in the early hours of Friday December 19th with an elapsed time of 18 days, 20 hours, 01 minutes and 55 seconds. The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race.
Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew was understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear at the Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them.
“That was very hard,” said Denis. “The first half, because of the changing winds and the second half because we were fighting against the light winds. For the last seven days we had just nine knots of wind; and we had no spinnaker for the last three days. Both Alain and Pit were close friends before the race. I knew them but less. But we are all close friends now! This is my second transatlantic, the first one was a lot easier as we had much more regular and better winds. For this race, the variety of conditions has made it far more interesting from a navigational point of view. We each took a watch system of two hours on, two hours standby and two hours sleep — which is very tiring over 18 days. But we are delighted to be here in Grenada to such a fantastic welcome in the middle of the night. We were just looking forward to making land, and when we saw Grenada, our joy was huge; but to arrive with so many smiling faces was just incredible.”
The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), began on Sunday 30 November at 1000 UTC from Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands bound for Grenada, — 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.