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Out to win - 30 Boats in The ARC Racing Division

Out to Win - 30 Boats Compete in ARC Racing Division
21 November 2012

Although planned as a fun event, it soon became apparent that some crews wanted to compete in the ARC rather than simply cruise, so a Racing Division was introduced to enable anyone wishing to race to pit their skills against likeminded sailors. Entries in this division form around 15% of the fleet. The ARC Racing Division is run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) using IRC ratings. Yachts in the Racing Division are not permitted to use their engines for propulsion.

After taking line honours in the 2010 ARC, the Swan 80 Berenice is once again set to win. Skipper Marco Rodolfi from Italy is looking forward to another exciting and hopefully fast passage, trying to break the course record (11 days, 5 hours, 32 mins 30 secs) set in 2006 by Capricorno. Olympic Star-class sailor and Volvo 70 racer Andreas Hanakamp from Austria will again be sailing the Akilaria 40, Vaquita. Vaquita led the 2011 racing division for many days, despite being one of the smaller boats. She was third over the line and winner of RORC Racing Division.

There are four French boats in the Racing Division: Surfing Petrel is a new Pogo 50 by Finot-Conq designed for fast (very fast) cruising. In the crew are ocean racers Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, plus designer Pascal Conq. Philippe Soufflet will be skippering the new fast cruiser JP54, The Kid. Pioneered by President of IMOCA, the organisers of the Ocean Racing World Championship, Luc Talbourdet and IMOCA 60 legend Jean-Pierre Dick. After the ARC, the boat will stay in the Caribbean and offer luxury charter. The smallest racing boat is Angela, 10.50 m. It’s a one-off, designed by Sam Manuard and built by Jean Sentucq Riga who will be the skipper in ARC 2012. Albacor IV, a J/109 is slightly larger at 10.75m and although they are in the Racing Division, Sophie Olivaud and Gérald Durand have decided to race double-handed.

Two German sailing federations are also competing in ARC 2012. Peter von Danzig is the flagship of the Academic Sailing Association Kiel. The students are wearing t-shirts with the inscription ‘Escape to the Caribbean.’ Haspa Hamburg is also sailing with young people who are eager to race and win.

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