You have to take your hat off to Eric de Turckheim. Having grown up in a sailing family in France, he fantasized from an early age about offshore racing. Now after forging a hugely successful business career, he’s quite literally living his dream through his series of Teasing Machine yachts.
“The Sydney Hobart was the child’s dream I had in the 1970s,” says de Turckheim, now 68. “I would see all the guys going off to do it and I was thinking ‘one day, if I can, I would love to do that race.’” And so, he has.
After returning to competitive yachting in 2009, he raced his first Rolex Sydney Hobart in 2015 and was leading until falling becalmed on the Derwent River just short of the finish line. He returned again last year and, despite the race being on the other side of the world from his native France, he plans to return for a third attempt this year.
One of the most serious, privately campaigned British offshore race boats will be on the start line of the Transatlantic Race 2019 when the fleet sets sail from Newport, R.I., bound for Cowes, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, June 25.
Despite only being three years old, Giles Redpath’sPata Negrahas already completed two Atlantic laps. Last year alone she competed in the Newport Bermuda Race and the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta to Hamburg, Germany, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the German yacht club Norddeutscher Regatta Verein. The 46-footer then went on to win the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s grueling Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race before returning westbound in the RORC Transatlantic Race.