COULD top Island sailors Richard Palmer and Jeremy Waitt repeat their incredible David and Goliath act by winning the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy, which gets underway tomorrow (Saturday)? 

When they won the title just over two years ago, following their monumental 3,000-mile transatlantic effort, they had the smallest boat in the race.

To win it again, they are going to have to do it the hard way.

Just to get to the starting point in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote, they had an epic journey on board Richard’s JPK 10.10 yacht, Jangada, through treacherous seas.

Isle of Wight County Press: Jeremy Waitt, left, and Richard Palmer lifting the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy in 2019. Photo: RORCJeremy Waitt, left, and Richard Palmer lifting the RORC Transatlantic Race Trophy in 2019. Photo: RORC

Competing in the IRC two-handed class, in the smallest vessel in the entire fleet, it will be their first appearance in the race since they won it in 2019. 

Team Jangada will be part of a record-size fleet — taking on some of the world’s fastest pro yacht racing teams in a traditionally tough Atlantic battle. 

Jangada will take nearly double the time of the fastest boats, but that does not bother the Cowes-based sailors, who have developed a successful formula — and who are equally pleased with all their planning and preparation ahead of the race.

“Being the smallest gives us a number of challenges, but it is my third time doing the race and we feel better prepared than ever,” said Richard.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“It’s great to see the size and quality of the international fleet gathered. We will be out there to win but, more importantly, finish safely. 

“We have planned it to take us between 16 and 20 days, depending on how the wind holds up.”

Getting to the start line was tough.

“We’ve already had a tough and challenging time, with our shipping option failing to materialise in Malta, giving us a challenging 1,500 nautical mile sail from Malta to Lanzarote at a difficult time of year.”

Isle of Wight County Press:

The Mediterranean weather did not hold back, which saw the pair take on treacherous wind and waves, with up to 40 knot gusts and big swells.

Jeremy added: “We are just getting sight of the weather we might expect, which always gets the butterflies going in the stomach. 

“We try and keep the non-racing sailing miles down on the boat. It’s the equivalent to Lewis Hamilton driving his race car to the start of the race. 

“The quality of the racing boats we are up against is staggering.

Isle of Wight County Press:

“As a small double-handed team, it feels like a David and Goliath type of race. 

“We have to remind ourselves it felt like that a few years ago when we won.
“All in all, we feel excited and positive about the race — and we look forward to representing the Island in a tough international race.”

To follow their progress in the race, go to: