Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

RORC Caribbean 600 - Sensational conditions predicted for 5th edition

by Trish Jenkins on 17 Feb 2013
ICAP Leopard in action ICAP Leopard http://www.leopard3.com
Only 48 hours before a record breaking fleet sets sail for the fifth RORC Caribbean 600, weather forecasts are unanimously predicting sensational conditions, ideal for record-breaking pace, and there is every possibility that this will be the fastest RORC Caribbean 600 on record. Twenty knots or more of warm trade winds are anticipated for the start, with the wind and the Caribbean swell building during the course of the race, perhaps piping up to thirty knots on day two.

Mike Slade's canting keel Maxi, ICAP Leopard, is the out-and-out favourite to scorch around the 600-mile course to take the first gun. Navigator Hugh Agnew has been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast for several days. In the meantime, the shore crew have been hard at work, meticulously preparing the boat for the wild ride to come.

'At the moment, the forecasts seem to be quite stable,' commented Agnew. 'We can expect 20-26 knots of easterly wind, maybe slightly to the south of due east for the duration of our race. The longest leg of the course is from St.Barths to Guadeloupe and with this wind direction, coupled with the apparent wind created by Leopard, it will be forward of the beam, so we will be unlikely to fly a spinnaker. This will slow us down, but the other side of the coin is that this wind direction may be beneficial on a crucial part of the course - the south side of Guadeloupe. If we get a one-sided beat, requiring few tacks, this could really work in our favour. It is a long beat between Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante and in my view the race for a record could be won or lost there.'

Leopard held the RORC Caribbean 600 course record for two years, however George David's Rambler 100 eclipsed that in 2011, setting a benchmark of 40 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds.

Dockside in Antigua, Leopard's skipper Chris Sherlock was keeping his cards close to his chest but he admitted that there was a possibility of winning back the record. Something Leopard's owner, Mike Slade, has set his heart on.

'Our routing software is showing 40 hours at the moment, so there is not much fat on it, but we have a chance,' hinted Sherlock. 'There are three things that will stop us from breaking the record. Firstly if we go the wrong way and get out of big breeze, the other factors are maintaining the yacht and boat handling; just one bad furl on a sail can cost us 15 minutes and breakages can put an end to it totally.'

'In my opinion, our time could be half an hour either side of the record, we will just have to see how it pans out. Record or no record this looks like it will be a fantastic race with awesome conditions. Every time we do this '600, we learn more. Even when we are out on charter, we often sneak a look at a part of the race track, we have a lot of knowledge of what goes on behind those islands. Leopard is in great shape, we have a very capable crew and it would top off a great season if we got our record back.'

The RORC Caribbean 600 programme starts in earnest today with the Skippers' Briefing followed by the official opening party. It will be standing room only for invited guests, jam-packed shoreside at Antigua Yacht Club. Owners and their crew are set to enjoy a Caribbean drinks party and canapés accompanied by a traditional steel band. RORC Commodore, Mike Greville, competing in the race for the second time with CM60, Venomous, will open the proceedings.

The fifth RORC Caribbean 600 will start at 1100 local time (1500 GMT) on Monday 18th February.
Caribbean 600 website
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Introducing the Melges World League - Ultimate One-Design Competition
Melges Performance Sailboats is proud to introduce the MWL, a racing platform that will unite multiple Class circuits Melges Performance Sailboats is proud to introduce the Melges World League (MWL), a racing platform that will unite multiple Class circuits for the 2017 season. Designed to increase rivalry and enhance the overall racing experience, the League will include the Melges 20 and Melges 32 spanning the North American, European and Asian regions.
Posted today at 2:53 am
Variety, inclusion and National Sailing League at Kieler Woche
A huge variety, never seen before, inclusion in real life with the Para World Sailing, the first competition of Nacra 15 A huge variety, never seen before, inclusion in real life with the Para World Sailing Championships, the first competition of the Nacra 15, the Eurocup of the junior class 29er, the European Sailing Series of the Melges24, the rendezvous of the classics
Posted on 23 Jan
Vendée Globe – Day 79 – Beyou due, Thomson talks of 2020 vision
Jérémie Beyou is expected to cross the finish line of the solo round the world race this evening to take third place Jérémie Beyou is expected to cross the finish line of the solo round the world race this evening to take third place after spending three days slowed by extremely light winds, arriving in Les Sables d'Olonne from the north west.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
Miami World Cup challenge awaits British crews
The 39-strong British cast of both seasoned Olympians and new pairings will be competing against more than 450 sailors The 39-strong British cast of both seasoned Olympians and new pairings will be competing against more than 450 sailors as the 2017 World Cup series kicks off.
Posted on 23 Jan
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series closing ceremony
Hundreds of competitors, guests and local dignitaries were treated to a sumptuous banquet at the glitzy Beach House Hundreds of competitors, guests and local dignitaries were treated to a sumptuous banquet at the glitzy Beach House, St James last night to mark the conclusion
Posted on 23 Jan
Team Al Mouj sets sights on victory in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
Team Al Mouj Muscat were the new kids on the block with ambitious plans to spring a surprise, which they duly did Team Al Mouj Muscat were the new kids on the block with ambitious plans to spring a surprise, which they duly did when they finished on the podium in the opening round of the epic two-week quest for honours.
Posted on 23 Jan
Alinghi return to defend Extreme Sailing Series™ title
Last year's season-long battle with Oman Air saw the fight go right down to the wire with the Swiss team's victory Last year's season-long battle with arch-rivals Oman Air saw the fight go right down to the wire with the Swiss team's season victory only confirmed in the penultimate race of the final Act, and now the team return for another slice of the action.
Posted on 23 Jan
World Sailing News - February 2017 and December 2016
Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition Catch the latest World Sailing month video magazine - February 2017 edition is just out featuring a wrap-up of the main sailing events of the December-January period including Thomas Coville’s new world record; the 2016 AON Youth Worlds; Rolex Sydney Hobart, Vendee Globe updates and a spectacular 49er crash while training in 27kts plus and big seas.
Posted on 23 Jan
You spin me right round
Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Vinyl records went the way of the dodo with first CDs, and then now with the likes of MP3 and streaming. Recently, we have had unbelievable records set by Thomas Coville and then Armel Le Cléac’h. Soon (with over 1200nm in the bank as it were), it would seem to be the turn of the crew on board IDEC Sport for a record after their spin right round, as well. This is quite simply, terrific stuff.
Posted on 23 Jan