(Saturday, July 4, 2015) – Independence Day is bringing mixed reactions from the crew of Nomad IV. The 100-footft maxi is currently lying second in the battle for line honors in the Transatlantic Race 2015 behind Bryon Ehrhart's Reichel-Pugh 63 Lucky, which at present has a stranglehold on the race silverware, also leading under IRC handicap.

The dark red maxi is something of a United Nations effort. The boat was designed in France by Finot-Conq and built in Italy by Maxi Dolphin, where she was launched two years ago. Her charterer for this race is American Clarke Murphy, whose navigator, Mike Broughton is British and her strategist, Ian Budgen, is a Scot. The crew is otherwise the usual blend of Antepodians, Americans and Europeans, typical of a maxi yacht.

(Friday, July 3, 2015) –This morning at 03:46 EDT (07:46 UTC), Mariette of 1915 was first yacht in the 2015 Transatlantic Race fleet to pass the southeastern limit of the Ice Exclusion Zone surrounding the Grand Banks, south of Newfoundland. While the exclusion zone extends off to the northeast, the giant gaff schooner is now much freer to sail her preferred course toward the finish line at England’s Lizard Point. At 0700 EDT this was 1815 miles away.

While all the boats have been enjoying brisk southwesterlies, Mariette will hit a meteorological brick wall tonight: an area of high pressure (and light winds) to her east. However, this will be short lived with a fast-moving depression, forming off Nova Scotia today, causing strong southwesterlies to fill in once again. But this bodes well for the boats astern.

2015 TR 07 01 DF 032 CNEWPORT, R.I. (July 2, 2015) – With two staggered starts down, there is just one to go for the 2,800 Transatlantic Race 2015, and it is for the largest and fastest boats: the monohulls Comanche and Rambler 88, at 100 feet and 88 feet in length, respectively, and the multihulls Phaedo3 and Paradox, at 70 feet and 63 feet. All four vessels will rendezvous off Castle Hill Lighthouse on Sunday, July 5, with the multihulls scheduled to cross the line at 2 p.m. and the monohulls to follow a short while later. Currently, 32 other teams are headed to the race’s finish at The Lizard, having similarly started on either June 28 or July 1; the fleet numbered 38 originally, but Windfall withdrew prior to the second start and Privateer retired, due to technical issues, shortly after the second start.

(Thursday, July 2, 2015) – Yesterday’s second wave of starters in the Transatlantic Race 2015 have been enjoying substantially better conditions for their get-away from the US, compared to the first group that set sail last Sunday. While the latter endured a terrible first night thanks to a combination of light winds and lumpy seas, the former have made fast progress in 15-20 knot southwesterlies.

Frontrunner among yesterday’s starters was the 100ft maxi Nomad IV, chartered for this race by Clarke Murphy, which since starting has covered almost three times the number of miles than any the first group managed over the equivalent period.

2015 TR 07 01 DF 184 BA

The second of the three staggered start dates for the 50-boat Transatlantic Race 2015 got underway yesterday in a brisk southwesterly breeze just after 2 p.m. local time.

A line of thunderstorms, which had initially been forecast to come through at mid-day, passed over Newport just as the crews of 20 entries were waking to begin final preparations for the 2,800-mile race from Newport, R.I., to The Lizard off England’s southwestern tip.

By the time the first cannon sounded at 1:50 p.m., the sun was shining and the breeze was blowing, and the competitors reveled in the ideal conditions. First off the starting line were the five Class 40s, purpose-designed ocean racing yachts that are sailing with between two and four crew onboard, less than half what any other boat in the race is carrying.

The Class 40s are the smallest boats in the race but are likely to provide the most intense competition. The boats are very even in speed and are racing in a level class, which means the first boat across the finish line will win class honors.

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