The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta kicked off today - NEWS - Yacht Club Costa Smeralda

The Atlantic Anniversary Regatta kicked off today

After months of planning and preparation, it was time for the record fleet of 23 yachts from nine different countries to cast off lines and take on the challenge of the Atlantic Ocean. At noon, the starting gun heralded the beginning of the iconic 3,000 nautical mile race from Marina Lanzarote to Grenada.

Despite the light breeze, it was a very competitive start. Ludde Ingvall's 98ft canting keel Maxi CQS made the best of the zephyrs to stretch out an early lead, gybing perfectly on the first of many wind shifts to come. Canadian Southern Wind 96 Sorceress, skippered by Daniel Stump made an impressive start at the Committee Boat end of the line, hoisting their huge gossamer white spinnaker, and Roman Guerra's Volvo 70 Monster Project showed great pace early on.

The smallest boat in the race, Richard Palmer's British JPK 10.10 Jangada, racing two handed with Rupert Holmes contacted the RORC Media team shortly after the start: "Our first challenge was right here on the start line," commented Palmer. "Instead of the 12kt SE breeze we were expecting, it turned out to be a game of pooh sticks with a very light northerly breeze - we have lost count of the number of gybes already! However, we are proud to be leading IRC Two around the first mark and even more delighted to round it ahead of a Swan 60!"

Five hours into a special edition of the  RORC Transatlantic Race celebrating the anniversaries of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Ludde Ingvall's Australian Maxi CSQ was leading on the water by only 9 miles from Varuna, with Marten 72 Aragon, skippered by Jochen Bovenkamp lying 11 miles off the lead.

Follow the fleet here: http://rorctransatlantic.rorc.org/tracking/2017-fleet-tracking.html

For further information visit the AAR website.