The first start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 gets underway
The sunshine burnt off the morning fog almost on cue as the first start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 got underway with six of the smallest yachts in the fleet beginning their journey across the Atlantic. A gentle breeze wafted in from the southeast to give the competitors some champagne sailing conditions, at least for the moment – all of the yachts competing in the TR2011 know there are bound to be difficult times ahead.
Skippered by Rives Potts Jr. (Essex, Conn.), local favorite Carina (48′ sloop) got away to a great start, hugging the coast to escape a knot of foul current. Onboard are four fathers and five sons, as well as the youngest crew member in the race, Dirk Johnson Jr. (Middletown, R.I.). At just 16 years of age Johnson has been sailing since he was a baby and has always wanted to sail across an ocean.
The Army Sailing Association’s British Soldier currently leads the fleet on the water and her skipper, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Bate (Falmouth, Cornwall), was relishing the challenges that lay ahead, as he commented just before the start.
“The first goal for us is to get around Nantucket Shoals and then we’ll head into the Atlantic proper. I love the open ocean and the big rolling waves. After a day or so the crew will settle into a routine. For me, the most marvelous thing about this race is enjoying the fun and banter with the crew, you just cannot get that anywhere else. There will be difficult times ahead, but we will battle through. We know that we will get some pretty foul weather, but we know that it will improve. The crew of British Soldier are not all highly experienced offshore sailors, but they are all good characters who can keep each other entertained when the going gets tough and I think that is priceless.”
The next start is on Wednesday 29 June at 13:50.
For more, visit www.transatlanticrace.com.