02 Feb A record-breaking start for Canada Ocean Racing on their journey to the Vendee Globe in 2028.
A record-breaking start for Canada Ocean Racing on their journey to the Vendee Globe in 2028.
The Canadian flagged team, led by President & Skipper Scott Shawyer from Ontario, has broken the Royal Ocean Racing Club Transatlantic (RORC) Transatlantic Course Record in the doublehanded class by more than 8 hours. The annual RORC Transatlantic race, which takes competitors from Lanzarote, Canary Islands, to Grenada, Caribbean, saw co–skippers Scott Shawyer and Alan Roberts race 3000 miles to cross the line in 9 days 12 hours and 26 minutes, leading to a record breaking corrected time of 16 days 3 hours and 39 minutes.
The International Rating Certificate System (IRC) allows boats of different shapes and sizes to compete for the same records. Record attempts are calculated from a boat’s elapsed time on the course, and their measured ‘handicap’, the boat’s IRC TCC figure. This allows a relative corrected time to be determined which serves as a true demonstration of skills on a level playing field.
This record-breaking achievement is a milestone victory for the Canada Ocean Racing team in their first ever race. Being newly launched in August 2022, the team had a goal to finish safely and competitively in their first official race. So, to be breaking records this early in the team’s history, is a great sign for things to come.
President & Skipper of Canada Ocean Racing, Scott Shawyer, shared his thoughts following the confirmation of the record. “I could not be happier with the results in our first ever race as a team. Now to have the confirmation that we have broken this IRC double handed record is an excellent addition to an already great race!” he said with a smile.
Shawyer continued, “Coming out of the gate like this is a great morale boost for everyone in the team including myself. We have set ourselves ambitious targets and this shows that we are on the right track towards having the first ever Canadian finish the Vendée Globe, it’s still a long way off and there is plenty to do but it’s definitely achievable.”
The team will now take the boat back to the UK where, under the management of 5 West Ltd and previous Vendée Globe skipper and team mentor Alex Thomson, it will undergo a service ahead of a busy year of racing to come. This will consist of a combination of regular maintenance as well as several performance upgrades.
“Having Canada Ocean Racing back to the base in Gosport allows us an opportunity to come together and really advance into the next steps of performance that we have planned. Working with both the team’s official partners as well as our trusted technical suppliers gives us the confidence to carry out the maintenance and upgrades.”
Following this early success, the team have now decided to add a further two fixtures to the 2023 calendar. The Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race a 1200-mile sprint held in Brest, France which takes place in May will see Scott once again sail doubled handed. The second addition to the calendar is the Défi Azimut – Lorient Agglomeration which takes place in September as a four-day festival of speed, the highlight of which being the 48-hour offshore sprint race.
Shawyer added “Adding two more races to the calendar for us is a fantastic opportunity to increase the learning and to continue to climb towards the 2028 Vendée Globe. I feel that these shorter distances will really help me dig into the challenge that is offshore sailing. The physical and mental challenge of being at sea coupled with the technical requirements to sail these boats is something I find myself ever more engaged with and to be breaking records means we are heading in the right direction.”