With a 21 January, 2005, deadline for entries in the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge 2005, 21 yachts have entered or intend to enter the race.
"These transatlantic races don't happen often -- or often enough, I believe -- and perhaps it is pent-up enthusiasm that accounts for such good numbers and, even more gratifying, such good boats so early,"
said A. Robert TOWBIN, chair of the New York Yacht Club's Transatlantic Challenge Committee. Robert TOWBIN, whose Sumurun won the Classic Division in the 1997 Atlantic Challenge Cup, this race's predecessor, expects 25 to 30 yachts to enter the race.
The Rolex Transatlantic Challenge, for monohull yachts 70 feet (21.3m) length on deck and longer, is hosted by the New York Yacht Club with the cooperation of the Royal Yacht Squadron. The race will start off New York on 21 May, 2005. A theme is to break the 100-year-old transatlantic race record of Atlantic, skippered by Charlie BARR, which in 1905 raced from New York to The Lizard in England in 12 days, four hours, one minute and 19 seconds. That is the oldest race record in sailing. There will also be handicap and elapsed-time prizes for Grand Prix, Performance Cruising and Classic yachts.
Yachts entered or intending to enter include the 141-foot (43m) canting keel two-masted Mari-Cha IV, designed for Robert MILLER by Clay OLIVER, Greg ELLIOT, Phillipe BRIAND et al., holder of the transatlantic passage record, and the brand-new 115-foot (35m) carbon-fibre canting keel Maiden Hong Kong, owned by Frank PONG and designed by Juan KOUYOUMDJIAN.
Other expected entries to date are Tiara, the second-largest boat in the fleet at 178-feet (54.3m), designed by Dubois; Anemos, a 112-foot (34.1m) Swan to be skippered by Stephan A. FRANK; Destination Fox Harb'r, a 134-foot (40.8m) Dubois-designed sloop, owned by Ron JOYCE; Sariyah, a 131-foot (39.9m) S&S-designed ketch, chartered by Cortright Wetherill Jr. with Tim LAUGHRIDGE as skipper, which finished second in the Atlantic Challenge Cup; Leopard, a 98-foot (29.9m) Reichel PUGH design skippered by Mike SLADE; the 116-foot (35.4m) Whisper, designed by Ted FONTAINE; the 140-foot (42.7m) Whirlaway, designed by Dubois; and the 151-foot (46m) Windrose of Amsterdam, owned by Chris GONGRIEPE, which holds the World Sailing Speed Record Council Performance Certificate for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic by a two-masted schooner. Also entered is the 230-foot (70.1m) Stad Amsterdam, the largest entrant, launched in 2002 as the first clipper ship to be built in 130 years and chartered by members of the Storm Trysail Club.
Also in the lineup are Kokomo, owned by Lang WALKER, a 132-foot (40.4m) Dubois design; Scheherazade, owner William STEWART, a 155-foot (47.2) Bruce KING design; and Sojana, owned by Peter HARRISON, a 115-foot (35m) ketch, designed by Farr.
At least three contemporary 70- and 80-footers will join the fleet: Palawan, a 75-foot (22.9m) Hood design owned by Joe HOOPES, which won its class in the Bermuda Race in 2002; Carrera, an 81-foot (24.7m) Reichel PUGH design owned by Joseph Dockery, the first yacht to finish the 2004 Bermuda Race; and Kim, owned by John DUERDEN, a 72-foot (21.6m) custom-steel ketch drawn by Hoek Design with a classic look but a modern underbody.
Then there is A. Robert Towbin's aforementioned Sumurun, a 94-foot (28.7m) Fife design built in 1914. Other classics include Aello, Tim BRITTON, a 125-foot (38.1m) gaff-rigged schooner built in 1921 to the design of Max OERTZ; the 80-foot (24.4m) Mariella, an Alfred Milne design built by Fife in 1939 and skippered by Carlo FALCONE; and Nordwind, an 88-foot (26.8m) composite ketch built in 1938 to the design of A. Gruber. The latter yacht set the course record in the Fastnet Race (88 hours and 23 minutes) that stood for two decades.
To enter or for more information, visit the event website at the address below.