No OSTAR? No problem! Corinthian sailors have set up their own transatlantic

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After the postponement of this year’s OSTAR race, a group of Corinthian skippers completed their own transatlantic challenge “NOSTAR”

Following the postponement of this year’s OSTAR and TwoSTAR transatlantic races to 2022, a small group of determined solo and doubles skippers embarked on their own challenge, the NOSTAR transatlantic.

The transatlantic race was initiated by Charlene Howard, who entered the TwoSTAR 2021 race on her Sun Odyssey 45.2 AJ Wanderlust with co-skipper Bobby Drummond. When it became apparent that the official races hosted by the Royal Western YC were likely to be postponed for another year, Howard and a small group of other participants decided to cross together. She was joined by Scottish lone Jock Hamilton on his 32 foot Freya, Ertan Beskardes on his Rustler 36 Lazy otter, and Guido Cantini on his Vancouver 34 Anne of Cowes, the latter two being entered as part of their preparation for the Golden Globe Race.

“We all left together, on the exact day and time that OSTAR / TwoSTAR was supposed to leave,” Howard explained. “We were able to get the sailing instructions for the 2017 race just to confirm the course, which is very simple: you leave the Plymouth breakwater, leave the Eddystone light to starboard and then finish at Castle Hill, Newport 3000 miles later. “

The ‘NOSTAR’ departed from Plymouth on the original OSTAR / TwoSTAR route to Newport, USA

A difficult transatlantic

As is often the case with the official OSTAR, the NOSTAR transatlantic fleet had to face a difficult crossing. “When we left, it was blowing quite hard. The decision we made off the southwest coast of Ireland was that I didn’t want to go straight to the big seas.

“The unintended impact of this was that we ended up in the middle of a secondary trough that didn’t show up on any of the charts, which forced us to go north because that was where we could go. the best progress, ”says Howard.

“It helped our run a lot because we ended up going around the lows and having tailwinds as the other guys decided to take a more rhumbline route and I think they ran into more sea condition. bad because of it.

“We actually had a pretty good crossing the first 10 days or so because we were over the lows. We went up to 56N, then we had to descend again and went through five days of almost gales and fairly heavy seas.

Howard and his co-skipper Bobby Drummund

On board AJ Wanderlust they suffered a broken inner stay, a torn mainsail and a destroyed wind turbine, but were able to continue on to Newport, arriving after 31 days.

Meanwhile, Jock Hamilton dismasted. “Jock did about half of the track when he dismasted and then showed very good seamanship and makeshift rigging. [to sail back to] Scotland, ”explains Howard,“ Ertan on Lazy otter had three rollovers in one night and lost their homing, so they went to the Azores for treatment.

The article continues below …


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The competitors in the Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) 2017 experienced the worst conditions since the start of the race in 1960 …

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It was a little before midnight in the eastern fringe of the Atlantic Ocean, about 200 kilometers southwest of Cape Finisterre.…


Guido Cantini aboard the Vancouver 34 Anne of Cowes © Guido Cantini / Hannah Racing

“And Guido started with us, but immediately had problems with his hydrovane as well as his electric pilot. So he returned to Plymouth and then started again. Cantini then withdrew to the Azores, leaving Howard and Drummond the default winners of the inaugural NOSTAR race.

NOSTAR Transatlantic Challenge

Howard, who is American but lives on the Isle of Man, initially entered the race in memory of his mother, Charlotte. “Since we didn’t have a sponsor, I made the trophies and bought a bottle of Port Charlotte whiskey which was to be our prize for this very Corinthian race,” she recalls.

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American sailor Charlene Howard tries to tick off as many great ocean races as she can

Howard is the archetypal Corinthian ocean racing sailor. She has sailed some 100,000 miles on her production yacht, which she describes as “fairly standard but considerably beefed up,” with modified chain plates and tie rods, and increased internal structures, as well as a new reinforced rudder after a saw. electric fire AJ Wanderlust lose power and hard ground in January of this year. In 2018, she even competed in back-to-back Round Britain races.

“I love being at sea, I like long crossings. I love racing because no matter how slow you go you can’t get the engine going. So you just have to challenge yourself to move 11 tonnes of boat forward in 3 knots of wind. And I love the self-sufficiency to go out and know that it’s just yourself and your boating partner and your skills that need to get you to the other side.

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