Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

RORC Caribbean 600 - Phenomenal action continues on day 2

by Trish Jenkins on 20 Feb 2013
Bella Mente - 2013 RORC Caribbean 600 © Tim Wright / Photoaction.com http://www.photoaction.com
On the first night of the RORC Caribbean 600, there was virtually no letup in the phenomenal pace for the competing yachts. Warm Trade Winds gusting up to 28 knots was the norm. Downwind under spinnaker, the broad reach to the magical island of St. Kitts was spectacular as Andreas Hanakamp on board Class40, Vaquita, explained by satellite phone:

'Just amazing racing, all the crew were grinning from ear to ear as we blasted downwind with the sunset lighting up the spinnaker. It was so special, we decided to have a-la-carte dinner with each crewman choosing his favourite freeze dried dish, it was beef stroganoff for me. The racing is really close, Sensation did well at the North Sails mark, sailing higher but we got back at them after turning downwind. However, we have less righting moment than 40 Degrees, so I expect them to come back at us on the beat to St.Barths, we will just try and sail as fast as we can.'

Andreas' forecast was spot-on, Peter Harding's Class40, 40 Degrees has taken the lead with Vaquita back in second place.


In the Multihull Class Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66, Phaedo, threw the dice at about 2200 last night by taking a more northerly route than Peter Aschenbrenner's Paradox ahead of them. However, the move did not pay off with Paradox extending their lead. Paradox is now blast reaching south and has nearly made Montserrat. The volcanic island marks the halfway distance (in miles) for the course. Paradox completed 300 miles in 20 hours, which is on course for the multihull record set by ORMA 60 Region Guadeloupe in 2009 and never beaten.

Mike Slade's British Maxi, ICAP Leopard has, for now, lost sight of its imaginary prey. Leopard is now 30 miles behind Rambler 100's position in 2011. However all is not lost. Before the race, Leopard's navigator, Hugh Agnew predicted that this year's wind direction would slow them on the route south to Guadeloupe but the Palma Blue Maxi Leopard is still trucking along at a VMG of 15 knots. If they can maintain that pace, the record could still be broken.

Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50, Privateer, leads the IRC fleet overall but only just from Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente. At 0700, Privateer was at the very top of the course, beating into 24 knots of easterly breeze. Soon they will clear St.Barths for the second time and launch downwind. Privateer has a fractional Code Zero and a Jib Top in their armoury, ideal sails for blast reaching.

In the Superyacht category Filip Balcaen's Belgian Baltic 112, Nilaya, leads on the water, having successfully negotiated the Anguilla Channel and is about to unfurl her downwind sails to head south at a rate on knots. Meanwhile, behind Nilaya, the two goliaths of the RORC Caribbean 600 have been enjoying a moonlight match race. Geert Pepping's 208ft schooner, Athos and the 180ft schooner Adela, skippered by Greg Perkins have been virtually side by side all of the first night. However, Adela seem to have won the sparring match having kept themselves to windward of Athos on the tricky beat up to St.Barths. However, Athos should have a distinct advantage when the two mighty schooners crack off south later today.


Hap Fauth's American JV72, Bella Mente, is currently leading IRC Zero and is very much in contention for the overall prize. The Mini Maxi World Champion is on a tight reach south and going extremely well. Although conditions are faster this year, it is impressive to note that Bella Mente are currently 60 miles ahead of the position of Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán 2, when taking the overall win last year.

In IRC One Simon de Pietro's Irish Briand 76, Lilla, and Colin Buffin's British Swan 62, Uxorious IV, are still out in front. However Lilla made just one extra tack last night on the beat to Saba, which looks to have paid off giving Lilla a slender lead on the water and also class lead, after time correction.

In IRC Two reigning class champion, Oyster 48 Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, have opened up a three mile lead on the approach to St.Barths. The tough beat will have suited the vintage Oyster more than her close rival, Grand Soleil 43, Quokka LLYC.


Several other yachts put in a great performance over night, notably Boyd, Cunningham and Dowling's First 40, Lancelot II. RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine, sailing Weir Kracken is having a great race, as is local hero Bernie Evan-Wong on High Tension. The Antiguan dentist turned 60 just before the race and is putting in a performance fit for a man half his age. In feisty conditions with one of the smallest yachts in the race, Bernie is punching well above his weight.

In IRC Three Jonty Layfield's British J/39, Sleeper, has opened up a ten mile lead on the water and leads after time correction, but Adrian Lower's Swan 44, Selene, and Valerio Bardi's Italian Swan 46, Milanto, are revelling in the tough conditions. They may be astern of Sleeper, but hard upwind conditions at the top of the course may well see the two heavy displacement Swans close the gap.

Adrian Lower: Swan 44, Selene: 'Morale is high and Selene is in good shape, our AIS tells us we are in touch with Quokka with mates from Lloyds of London Yacht Club on board with whom I did this race last year. Quokka is a fast, well-sailed boat who just beat us in the ARC, so we are pleased to be close to them.

There are a couple of other bigger boats still well in sight and we were close enough to enjoy the spectacle as the fleet gybed round North Sails mark off Barbuda and began the down wind leg to Nevis. We saw Adela and Athos bowling along under full sail looking magnificent as they ploughed through the fleet.'

'It feels a bit lonely now that they are all pushing on, but that is what we expect as the slowest boat in the fleet. Our mission is to stay as close as we can and at the moment our boat speed is very good. For now it is something of a procession and waterline length is key. We hope to manage the next important tactical phase which will be the beat from Saba up to St.Barths. We should see something of the faster boats making their way south after rounding St Marten. That will be a bit exciting as we shall be on reciprocal courses with a closing speed of over 30Kn, so eyes peeled then!'

Overnight retirements were received from Whisper and Haspa Hamburg, both with torn mainsails. All are well on board the boats and they are heading back to Antigua.'
2013 Fleet Tracking
RORC Caribbean 600 website

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
T Clewring AC72Schaefer 2016 660x82Southern Spars - 100