Welcome to Grenada – Comanche and L4 Trifork reflect on the 2022 RORC Transatlantic Race.
For many, the Transatlantic Race is the pinnacle of offshore sailing and often a central focus for sailors and crews looking to break records across an ocean that is repeatedly a tactical minefield with multiple weather systems.
Line Honours winner Comanche and her crew showcased how impressive they are by winning the magnificent IMA Trophy. The 30.48m Supermaxi also set a new race record for the 3,000 nm race from Lanzarote to Grenada in 7 days, 22 hours 1 minute and 4 seconds, taking an impressive two days and 7 hours off the previous record set in 2018 by My Song.
Australian Skipper Mitch Booth commented at the finish, “Comanche is an absolute weapon in the open ocean, the benchmark in non-foiling offshore monohulls. The team are just so privileged to have the opportunity to race this boat with the full support and trust from the owners. It’s just a real thrill to be on board. The Comanche crew combines very experienced offshore sailors, grand Prix inshore sailors and a few newcomers. We are not in set roles; everyone is trimming and on the helm. We are mixing it up having a great time. It’s been enjoyable sailing together. Setting Atlantic records is iconic and very special. Comanche now holds records for both easterly and westerly routes.”
Over the last four years, Doyle Sails and the Comanche team have increasingly strengthened the relationship between the sailors and the sailmakers. They are designing and delivering purpose-built sails taking advantage of the exclusive Stratis and Structured Luff technology at every opportunity, and pushing the boundaries.
“One of the unique things with Doyle Sails is that they pioneered this Structured Luff technology, and this is a big game-changer in performance. I would say it is the biggest gain made in recent times in sail development,” commented Mitch Booth on Comanche’s Structured Luff sails.
At sunset on the tenth day of the RORC Transatlantic Race, the Doyle powered Volvo 70 L4 Trifork finished in an elapsed time of 9 days, 10 hours 27 minutes and 58 seconds – taking second place over the line for the monohulls and the first of three 70 foot ocean racers.
Owner Joern Larsen commented from Grenada, “It has been a long ride, and we had all kinds of weather along the way, especially when we went north into cold weather and up to 38 knots of wind,” commented Joern Larsen. “It is a relief to get here, and the race has been an absolute pleasure. In total, with this trip, we have raced 4,000 miles in under ten days, and next, we will do the RORC Caribbean 600. The boat is now part of the Trifork family. We take out Trifork employees, customers and partners to have a special experience. It is the first time I have come to Grenada, and it warms my heart to have presents from local people. We love it.”
L4 Trifork utilises the premiere Stratis 1100 CT, which provides unmatched flexibility in fibre orientation, placement accuracy, and superior lamination. All fibres are designed to be load-bearing, converging to every load point of the sail.
Volvo Ocean Race legend Bouwe Bekking, who, alongside Doyle Sails expert Stu Bannatyne, has eight round the world races to his name, was onboard L4 Trifork for this year’s race. Their stellar crew included Jens Dolmer, Soren Kristensen, Joern Larsen, Aksel Magdahl, Juan Pablo, Marcos Totto, Klaes Meier-Andersen, Stefano Nava, Simbad Quiroga and Joca Signorini.
Bouwe Bekking commented from Grenada, “Our Doyle sails served us well onboard Trifork during the RORC Transatlantic 2022. We had everything from 40 knots to hardly any breeze, and we had the right kit for each occasion and also no breakages!”.
Stefano Nava, who was onboard with Trifork for the first time as a trimmer, echoes Bouwe’s comments, “We didn’t have any problems with the sails on board at all. The new J0 saw a lot of action right out of the start, fast reaching in 30 knots set on the outrigger. When the breeze went a little lighter, we changed to the Masthead Code Zero, which was versatile in both an upwind in light air mode and light to medium reaching – also very effective triple heading at 130 True Wind Angle.
“Our Mainsail and Structured Luff J4 are still in excellent shape despite being a few years old and one of the first Doyle Structured Luff iterations – it’s hard to find a reason to replace them. As always, in campaigns such as Trifork, there is room for improvement, and it was invaluable to brainstorm with such an experienced crew on what the next moves might be in the sail world that would improve and complement the existing inventory.
“It was a brilliant race, and nice to see the boat performing consistently above the polar targets at every angle and not needing a trip to the sail loft after such a demanding race”.
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