Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team Wins RORC Transatlantic Race
Pictured: Andrew O’Donnell, Dan Flanigan, Chris Kennedy, Hobie Ponting winning jump
First in IRC One Second Overall
Grenada – Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team has finished 1st in class and 2nd overall in the RORC Transatlantic Race marking 3,100 miles raced in their epic 7,000 mile ‘delivery’ of Oakcliff’s new Class 40.
Immediately after the finish Hobie Ponting exuded “That was epic, we have crossed an ocean the first time any of us have done it and it feels fantastic. The last 24 hours was the hardest of all. We had very little wind and it was frustrating having spent days charging along at 20 knots. We have all worked so well together and we have finished this race better friends than we started.” He added ‘we don’t know what day it is right now and a shower, some good food and a bed with sheets is top priority.”
Less than 2 months ago Oakcliff received a call that the Bodacious Racing Team in Chicago wanted to donate their Class 40 sailboat to Oakcliff. The detail that the boat was in Hamble, England was quickly remedied when the core of the Oakcliff Ocean Racing Team motivated to create and execute a plan that had them flying to the UK with coach, top short-handed sailor, and also Oakcliff graduate Jeffrey MacFarlane. In the UK they would take possession and deliver the boat to the Canary Islands off of the West coast of Africa to start the RORC Transatlantic Race.
It was a wild trip across the brutal Bay of Biscay but they made it to the start line. Coach Jeff left them here as they headed off to race from Lanzarote, Gran Canaria to Granada, which is surprisingly close to Venezuela – only 230 miles. After some much deserved R&R and a little spiced rum they will hop back onboard and deliver the boat to Charleston, SC. It is arguable that they couldn’t possibly have sailed any more distance in transporting the boat from England to the US but what an opportunity. To put it in perspective: they will have sailed well over 7,000 miles – longer than any one leg of the Volvo Ocean Race and almost a third of the way around the world!
“This is just one of the exciting and life-changing opportunities that Oakcliff is providing to young hungry athletes who come to Oyster Bay to test themselves in the extreme world of Ocean Racing, the uber-competitive match racing world or to aim for the Olympics” explained Executive Director Dawn Riley. Applications for Oakcliff’s 2015 training programs are open and can be accessed through http://www.oakcliffsailing.org
The team of Dan Flannigan, 23 (Rhode Island), Hobie Ponting, 23 and Chris Kennedy, 26 (Wisconsin) and Andrew “OD” O’Donnell, 27 (New York) are all keen to get home to America to see their families and friends and, if they can make it on time, they will have many stories to share around the Christmas Tree!
Oakcliff is proud to have the following partners: Heron Financial, The Better Chip, Gill, Spinlock, Expedition Navigation and yacht racing solutions, Katadyn Watermakers , Sea Logic a B&G Dealer, Power Specialist Associates.