Dutchman wins the transatlantic

At 0510 hrs UT this morning (0110 hrs Newport time), Dutchman Jankees Lampe, sailing his Open 40, La Promesse, sailed into Newport, Rhode Island, and was officially announced the Winner of OSTAR 2009 in just 17 days, 17 hours and 40 mins. He broke the previous record for a 40′ boat set by Simon Van Hagen in “Seatalk” in 1992 of 19 days, 11 hours and 19 minutes.

JanKees, 40, is a happily married father of two boys and an entrepreneur from Amsterdam in Holland. He is a passionate sailor and loves to be out at sea. He believes the that The Royal Western Yacht Club OSTAR has it all – a mostly heavy start, sailing through at least three depressions, and the challenge of thick fog and lighter winds during the last part of the race. He finished fourth overall in the classic Royal Western Yacht Club Round Britain & Ireland Race in 2006 and took line honours in the Azores and Back Race 2007.

The remaining 24 competitors are still battling their way to the finish line with British Rob Craigie, skippering ‘JBellino’ expected next into Newport. Following him is Italian Roberto Westerman, skippering ‘Spinning Wheel’. Geoff Alcorn, from Northern Ireland, skippering ‘Wind of Lorne’ is at the rear of the group with 1,500 nautical miles still to sail.

The competitors had a very tough first few days with gale force winds and, as a result, several retired including the two trimarans. This was followed by strong reaching winds. The final 1,000 nautical miles became a tactical battle with calms, headwinds, an adverse Gulf Stream, ice and dense fog.

Although Jankees Lampe will be crowned the overall winner other prizes will be awarded to competitors based on corrected time in each class*. There will also be a prize for the overall IRC** handicap winner on corrected time.

David Southwood, Race Director of OSTAR 2009, commented: “This has been a nail biting race with a number of twists. We expected the trimarans to do particularly well and it was a shame to lose them so early in the race. Congratulations go out to Jankees Lampe for being the first to reach Newport. We look forward eagerly to the arrival of the next brave competitors.”

Trackers have been fitted to all boats and can be viewed on the OSTAR 2009 website (www.ostar2009.com/www.ostar2009.com/> ). Keep watching to see who will be next to shore.

The competitors are also blogging on popular website Blogstar (www.blogstar.org.uk/www.blogstar.org.uk/> ) so keep visiting the site to hear the latest adventures.