Frank Lang and crew of Optim'X, arrive in Grenada after completing the inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race
© RORC/Arthur Daniel & Orlando K Romain
Frank Lang's X 40, Optim'X crossed the finish line of the 2014 RORC Transatlantic Race, off Quarantine Point, Grenada at 05:17:31 UTC on Wednesday 17th December 2014 with an elapsed time of 16 days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 31 seconds.
Warm welcome to the spice island of Grenada and a welcome basket of local goodies for the crew of Optim'X © RORC/Arthur Daniel & Orlando K Romain
As with every yacht participating in the race, staff from Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina greeted the French team on arrival with warm congratulations, a cold beer and a welcome basket from the Grenadian Tourism Association on behalf of the people of Grenada.
The crew of five looked tired after nearly 17 days at sea and over 3,000 miles of racing, but owner, Frank Lang was full of praise for his crew and the yacht that had looked after them so well during the Atlantic crossing:-
"I was born in La Baule and it is a town famous for sailing. It is in my blood, but this journey has been full of surprises. During a period of strong wind, when we had 30 maybe 35 knots, we sailed 248 miles in 24 hours, averaging over 10 knots which is a very fast speed for Optim'X. It is the fastest that the boat has ever been, but for the last three days of the race, we have had very light winds, which has made it a long race for us. The finish was hard with no wind as we arrived. We were tacking continuously, looking for that last breath of wind.
After crossing the finish line, Optim'X make their way into Port Louis Marina © RORC/Arthur Daniel & Orlando K Romain
"Everything is okay with the boat and we were all good friends before this race, and nothing has changed in that regard! We have sailed together for a long time and for me, this is my fifth crossing but not the fastest. However, I am looking forward to taking part in the RORC Caribbean 600, which was one of the reasons we decided to race with the RORC to Grenada."
Bingo, Yves and Isabelle Haudiquet's Pogo 40 is expected to be the next yacht to finish at approximately 2000 UTC 17 December.
Denis Villotte's JNP 12, Sérénade is 226 miles from the finish and expected in the early hours of the morning on 19 December.
Here's today's blog from the three-man team on Sérénade: We are 255 miles from Grenada and with winds blowing often less than 10kts, our finish is desperately slow. Last night we lost our only spinnaker, the "big yellow", the beautiful light yellow kite that I had mended and mended for the past 10 days! We still have a good gennaker but it is useless for running downwind, which is precisely what we have to do. Before starting from Lanzarote, I had hoped I could beat my 2012 Atlantic crossing time (16 days 4 hours). Now my challenge is revised to less than 19 days. Have a good day!
Denis Villotte's JNP 12, Sérénade. Racing with Alain Houchard and Philippe Porta © Puerto Calero/James Mitchell
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, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean.