OSTAR 2013 Official Prize Winners

OSTAR 2013 Line Honours Winner

Andrea Mura Vento Di Sardegna

OSTAR 2013 Winner Overall IRC 

Jonathan Green Jeroboam

OSTAR 2013 Multihull Class 1st

Roger Langevin Branec IV

OSTAR 2013 Gypsy Moth Class 1st

Richard Lett Pathways to Children

OSTAR 2013 Gypsy Moth Class 2nd

Andrea Mura Vento Di Sardegna

OSTAR 2013 Jester Class 1st

Jonathan Green Jeroboam

OSTAR 2013 Jester Class 2nd

Charles Emmett British Beagle

OSTAR 2013 Eira Class 1st

Geoff Alcorn Wind of Lorne


Ladies and Gentlemen:

I hope that you all managed to reach your desired destinations after the OSTAR and that you enjoyed a great summer. While Alex Burgis sailed “British Beagle” back to Falmouth from Newport Jill and I spent two months on our boat “Summerbird” in North West Spain in brilliant weather. As far as I know, everyone who took part in OSTAR 2013 is safe and sound.

The Race Committee is now busy setting up the Prize Giving Dinner due to be held at the Royal Western Yacht Club in Plymouth on Saturday 26th October 2013. We plan to gather for a welcome drink at 19:00 for dinner at 19:30.

This will be a great occasion, not only to honour the prize winners, but for all of us to exchange stories of our OSTAR experience. This includes, of course, those who sadly did not make it to Newport. If you crossed the start line you are a member of the Half Crown Club family and are most welcome. It would also be very nice if Kass Schmitt and Rupert could join us and indeed anyone who has been involved in OSTAR 2013 ashore or afloat. I hope you will all come and we look forward very much to seeing you again.

The cost of the dinner will be £25 per head. Feel free to bring your partners and friends if you wish. Please call Claire in the RWYC office on 44 (0)1752 660077 to tell her how many tickets you require. You may pay for them by debit/credit card.

The dress for the dinner will be smart casual.

With best wishes,

David Southwood
Chairman OSTAR 2013 Race Committee

Geoff Alcorn presented with Newport Sailing Medal

WP_000062Geoff Alcorn was presented his Sailing Medallion by Mayor Harry Winthrop yesterday afternoon in the Newport Yacht Club’s lounge.
Pictured beside Geoff is Commodore Lauren Anton, Past Commodore Norm Bailey and Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop.
Many of the NYC members and quests were on hand for the presentation recognizing Geoff’s accomplishment.

Geoff Alcorn – Wind of Lorne II – Finished July 24th 19:20 UTC

“Yesterday, I had the privilege of finishing the last competitor in this classic single handed transatlantic sail boat race off of Castle Hill here in Newport, Rhode Island. Geoff Alcorn on board Wind of Lorne ll, a Saltram 36, completed this gruelling event in 58 days.
Geoff (from Northern Ireland) may not have had the fastest boat in the fleet, but without a doubt he helmed one of the toughest, He endured the most suffering as he was out there the longest. Yesterday, he entered Newport Harbour taking the final cannon salute of the New York , Ida Lewis and Newport Yacht Club’s. Thus ending the OSTAR 2013.
Geoff Alcorn, if you ever decided to do this race again in a new boat. I recommend naming it Tenacious. The name suits you.
From Tom Bandoni, Billy Black and myself to you, Well Done Geoff, you honor all that raced this year across the Atlantic, alone.
Norm Bailey”

Jac Sandberg and Spirit’s OSTAR Journey

Published on Jul 16, 2013

Short travelogue about Jac Sandberg, Skipper of ‘Spirit’, during his OSTAR single handed Trans-Atlantic crossing from Plymouth, UK to Newport, Rhode Island, USA in 22d, 20h and 10 minutes in 2013

Images used with permission from:
Photos during the Start: ©Neil Marshall
Dynamic Map: ©Yellowbrick Tracking
Photos of Jac’s Finish: ©Billy Black Photography

Music licensed via creative commons via ccmixter.org
Footage: ©De Wolf Images

Sound Engineering: VoodooVox Studios
Editing and Production: De Wolf Images

OSTAR 2013 – Race Results


1st Vento Di Sardegna Andrea Mura ITA     17D 11H 12M


1st Jeroboam Jonathan Green USA      22D 4H 25M


Multihull Class 1st Branec VI Roger Langevin FRA
2nd Cabrio 2 Asia Pajkowska POL
IRC Class 1 (Gypsy Moth) 1st Pathway to Children Richard Lett GBR
2nd Vento Di Sardegna Andrea Mura ITA
3rd Spirit Jac Sandberg NED
4th sec. Hayai Nico Budel NED
5th Ntombifuti Ralph Villiger SWI
IRC Class 2 (Jester) 1st Jeroboam Jonathan Green USA
2nd British Beagle Charles Emmett UK
3rd Sunrise Krystian Szypka POL
4th Tamarind Mervyn Wheatley UK
5th Suomi Kudu Pether Crowther UK
IRC Class 3 (Eira) 1st Wind of Lorne II Geoff Alcorn UK

As of 26th July 2013

Race Update – Tuesday 9th July

Geoff Alcorn aboard Wind of Lorne II is now less than 790NM from the finish in Newport, Rhode Island. He is nearly across the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and just on the edge of the French territorial waters of St Pierre and Miquelon, a remnant of French colonialism which lies some 2,373 NM west of Brest. Geoff is the last competitor in the Eira Class in this OSTAR; Anarchy, Olbia and Lexia all retired which means that he is guaranteed the first place prize if he can finish his race before the 26th July. Weather conditions south of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia are light and confused making for slow progress. The Race Committee from the RWYC have now packed up shop, David and Jill Southwood have returned to the UK and handed over Race Office duties to the Plymouth team for the remainder of the race. Geoff will be finished and welcomed by Norm Bailey and Dianne Stewart of the Newport Yacht Club, they will extend the same warm welcome to Geoff as was received by all the other competitors.


David and Jill Southwood, Ralph Villiger, Dianne Stewart and Norm Bailey

Ralph Villiger of Ntombifuti is now preparing for the next leg of his summer adventure with a plan to head up to Greenland where he will meet a friend and enjoy climbing among some rarely seen landscapes. Ralph was presented the Newport, RI yachting achievement medal on Friday 5th by past NYC Commodore Norm Bailey and current Vice Commodore Stewart Abramson in front of a large crowd of fellow sailors in the Newport Yacht Club.

Race Director David Southwood will now enjoy a few days of R&R before he too sets off on his own sailing adventure. On Thursday 11th July, David will sail singlehanded from Plymouth down to NW Spain where he will be met by his wife and family for a well earned holiday. Bon Voyage David!

Alex Burgis will be following many of the other OSTAR boat’s eastward track back to Europe aboard Charles Emmett’s 36′ British Beagle. He will be sailing short handed with his mother in preparation for a planned Round Britain and Ireland campaign in 2014.

Ralph Villiger – OSTAR 2013 Aboard Ntombifuti

Written by Jill Southwood, Photos by Megan Beauchemin

Living in landlocked Switzerland, keeping his boat in the south of England, was just one of the enormous challenges that were to face Ralph on this epic journey.

He has owned Ntombifuti since 2003. The name means “The Other Mistress”. She was built in 1983 specifically for the 1984 OSTAR race.  He has sailed extensively around the Mediterranean Sea, from Barcelona to Croatia and Venice, and many places in between.  It was on his return journey to England that the idea of singlehanded racing began to formulate in his mind.  With all sorts of problems he put into Albufeira for repairs but his friend, who was sailing with him, was forced to return home leaving Ralph alone with his boat.  Why not have a go at singlehanded sailing and bring the boat home himself?

070113ROTA-1206He was soon back in Britain, at Cowes, having made a fair crossing of the Bay of Biscay and up the English Channel.This voyage served as a qualifier for the Azores and Back Race.  Not being a racing man, this was to be his first race singlehanded!  This was a comfortable race for him. It encouraged him to take on his even greater challenge – the OSTAR.  By completing the AZAB he had now qualified for the OSTAR!

This would turn out to be something totally different and unimaginably hard.

He enjoyed a good start in Plymouth crossing the start line amongst several other boats. He had rounded the Eddystone Lighthouse, and was heading toward The Lizard near Falmouth, when the autopilot started playing up and steering him off his set course.  Water also leaked in from somewhere and was soon above the bottom boards.  This was a disaster in the making after Ralph had taken over 18 months to prepare the boat to the best of his ability.  This in itself had not been easy, living so far away from her, and doing all the work himself.

Then the engine began to make a worrying sound – the fresh water pump was not working properly.  After two days he realised he could not carry out repairs himself so he took the agonizing decision to turn back towards France and the nearest large port of Brest.  He had to have engine power for all the electronics on board and had no alternative wind vane for self steering.  At around 0300 hrs the engine completely failed and the French Navy came to his rescue. They towed Ntombifuti into Brest.  This was to be a huge setback and he was utterly downcast.  He had to wait days for parts to arrive for the autopilot, bilge pumps and engine.  He was on the verge of giving up all together but his friend Uwe Röttgering (OSTAR competitor in 2009) encouraged him to carry on.

070113ROTA-1290At last after six days he was away again and out into the Atlantic. However, the rest of the fleet was hundreds of miles away. He was very alone. There was still a chance he could catch Wind of Lorne and possibly even Suomi Kudu if all went well.  His race would become more of an ocean passage than a race but his friends kept urging him on. Soon he was optimistic again.   Half way across the Atlantic Ocean he caught up and overtook Wind of Lorne.  This really spurred him on but realistically Suomi Kudu was too far ahead to catch.

When nearing Newfoundland he lost his internet connection.  He suffered increasing back pain clambering around the boat like a monkey on all fours.  He felt so isolated and alone and the weather was relentless in its dreadfulness.  It was cold, wet and foggy. The wind was constantly against him. Only once did he manage to use his astronavigation skills in the night sky.  Still he pressed on finding an inner strength he did not know he had. This was the agony and the ecstasy of ocean racing!

He had seen no life at all since leaving France but suddenly there was a school of dolphins, a good omen, which raised his spirits. This tiny event made an enormous difference in such dire circumstances.

He was off the Nantucket shoals when he managed to make radio contact with Asia Pajkowska aboard Cabrio 2 on her way home to Poland. Asia had sailed Ntombifuti in OSTAR 2000.  It was really good to chat to someone…. anyone just for a few minutes.

At last he was around Nantucket Island and a fabulous stretch to the finish followed.  This was the best sail of the entire journey, skimming along on a fast reach at 8 knots!

070113ROTA-1295After 35 days and 8 hours since the start in Plymouth, but only 27 days and 11 hours after leaving Brest, he was over the line at Castle Hill, Newport, Rhode Island.

It had been a monumental achievement in only his second race ever!  It had been a hugely testing experience which brought out every emotion possible in a normally very calm and mild mannered man.  He had made it and was tremendously happy. He had done it all completely alone.

He is the FIRST Swiss German to have completed an OSTAR and the FIRST amateur Swiss to have completed this Corinthian race in a monohull.

Would he do it again?   Yes, maybe, and aim to have a better race next time!

Meanwhile his adventure continues. Ralph is soon sailing for Greenland where a friend will join him to form a rope party in order to undertake a few first ascents of the granite mountains of South Greenland.

Ralph Villiger – Ntombifuti – Finished 1st July 15:12 EDT

Photos by Meagan Beauchemin

After 35 days, 8 hours and 12 minutes, Ralph Villiger crossed the finish line in Newport, RI and became the first Swiss German to complete the OSTAR. The early stages of Ralph’s race were plagued with difficulty forcing him to turn back to Brest, France to make repairs to his aluminium sloop Ntombifuti. Determined not to be knocked out the the race because of engine problems, Ralph spent an agonising 8 days in France as he watched the fleet extend their lead westward. Ralph was encouraged by friends to continue on and received a great number of messages of support. He plans to enjoy a week of R&R in Newport, RI before sailing home via Greenland.

Congratulations Ralph!