19 Jul 2015
Tilmar Hansen's Outsider, Elliott 52 SuperSport has crossed the gruelling 2,800 mile Transatlantic Race 2015 finish line in Cowes, Cornwall second in her division and second overall under IRC. This outstanding result is evocative of the Outsider’s first Transatlantic Race, the HSH Nordbank Blue Race in 2007, in which she claimed line honours, IRC Class 2 and was second overall under IRC. The win also brings other memories to light; “Being back in Cowes is a very emotional moment for me. We have very nice memories from 1983 and 1985 with our [victorious] Admiral’s Cup campaigns with Outsider” reminisced skipper Tilmar Hansen.
Outsider’s performance is rendered even more astonishing given a nearly 50% increase in entries on 2011 and the fact that the satellite communications broke down two days into the race. Despite wearing harnesses big waves hitting the stern washed their mainsheet trimmer and two of the other crew down the rail to the back of the boat inadvertently hitting the sat-antenna. “These days there is so much weather routing and technology, it is a good feeling that you can do it without that help, just like the good old days,” said Hansen. “We had to go back to basics, sticking to the rum line, hoping that we wouldn’t fall into any wind holes.”
Optimism and positivity are clearly characteristics reflected in the rest of the crew with bowman Bo Teichmann commenting “To steer afterwards for two days just with the leeward wheel wasn't that easy as the waves became higher and higher. But to surf down those waves for days and days and keep the average boat speed that high was great fun. We were laying in our bunks waiting till our off-watch was over to then climb back out again and feel the salty spray in our faces with 20 knots boat speed.”
The six starters that failed to finish clearly indicate that racing from Newport, R.I. to The Lizard off the southwestern tip of England is still brutal, demanding and requires a heavy degree of reliance on the performance of the vessel. Teichmann is full of praise for the Elliott craft he knows so intimately “The Outsider is custom made for Offshore racing. She is durable, easy to sail, has great bunks and the best toilet I’ve ever seen on an offshore boat.”
Carbon fibre construction, a well-balanced hull form, low drag with moderate beam and a canting keel that enhances stability are all characteristics that have contributed to the high performance offshore boat’s win. “The super sport model is top of the line in terms of design and specifications” says Greg Elliott, Design Director and Founder of Elliott Marine. “The rig is also optimised to incur no penalties whilst racing in IRC.” Elliott himself has a proven global track record as a race winning ocean skipper and is an active cruising helmsman. He brings over 40 years of yacht design experience, expertise and a lifetime of passion for the sea and sailing with him in his approach to every design.
“We had no major damage, only little stuff, and we were amazed how well the boat sailed and was behaving in a long distance race. I am very, very happy about this amazing race” related Hansen. Recognising that the crew is equally as important as the craft he then went on to commend his team led by Thomas Jungblut, whose tenure on the Outsider team dates back to the Admiral’s Cup campaigns 30 years ago “The crew did a really great job and worked like hell. They kept Outsider running and fighting and racing.”
The Outsider and her crew will participate in the Nord Stream Race from Flensburg to St Petersburg, Russia in September of this year. They currently hold the record for this race – a record they aim to beat.
Photo courtesy of Transpac2015 / Daniel Forster