NEWPORT, R.I. — After a hard-earned third-place finish in IRC Class 3 in the 2015 Transatlantic Race, the Prospector team is back with a new boat, many of the same crew and an itch to better their performance from four years ago.
The Transatlantic Race 2019, scheduled to start Tuesday, June 25, off Newport, R.I., is organized jointly by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club. The race is a direct descendant of the first great transatlantic ocean race, which started from New York Harbor on December 11, 1866. The 2019 edition will be the 31st transatlantic race organized by the New York Yacht Club, and it remains one of the sport’s most enticing challenges. The race will start off Castle Hill Lighthouse in Newport on Tuesday, June 25.
The Prospector team—led by Paul McDowell, Dr. David Siwicki and Larry Landry (left to right in photo at left), and Marty Roesch (not pictured) and managed by Landry and McDowell—is one of five returning entries from the Transatlantic Race 2015. Landry, McDowell and Siwicki, along with three others, entered the 2015 race as a challenge to themselves. They’d been racing with and against each other for many years and were eager to add the transatlantic passage to their collective sailing passport.
For Joe Mele, a 55-year-old retired doctor of internal medicine in New York City and fantastical stunt diver, ocean racing is about more than the competition.
“I love the fact that it’s not just a race, but sort of an adventure,” said Mele, a gregarious skipper with a strong affinity for offshore racing. “It takes a tremendous amount of coordination to build the crew and manage the logistics. You’re out there for an extended period of time, and there’s tremendous camaraderie when you’re lucky enough to put together a good crew where you feed off each other and improve.”
Mele’s program focuses almost exclusively on point-to-point racing aboard his Cookson 50 Triple Lindy (above). He’s logged more than 8,700 nautical miles offshore since 2003, and next summer he plans to add another 3,000 to his resume by participating in the granddaddy of them all, the Transatlantic Race 2019.