Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

2014 RORC Caribbean 600 - Bernie's Back!

by Trish Jenkins on 21 Jun 2013
Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension has competed in all five editions of the RORC Caribbean 600. First to sign up for the 2014 race, he has chartered the Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka Eight for the 6th edition © Tim Wright / Photoaction.com http://www.photoaction.com
Bernie's Back! Two previous competitors have been quick off the mark to confirm their participation in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) 2014 Caribbean 600 race, but it was five-times race veteran, Bernie Evan-Wong who got there first.

Carrying the flag for host country Antigua and intent on at least a class win, Bernie Evan-Wong had chartered Peter Rutter's Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka Eight within an hour of docking his Mumm 36, High Tension after the finish of the 2013 race earlier this year:

'I decided I would look for a bigger boat for the next race and realised Quokka - who was docked next to me in Falmouth Harbour - was the best choice for my purposes, so I made a commitment there and then. Signing up early shows my serious commitment to the race and my crew,' said Evan-Wong who has competed in all five editions, achieving two podium positions with High Tension.

'I have really enjoyed every race. Each one has been different, but driving a 36ft boat at hull speed or greater for 600 miles is no easy task. Waterline length is a definite advantage and Quokka is a Grand Soleil 43. We will have 13 crew to share the responsibilities and this is definitely advantageous; more crew can stay alert and will be less fatigued, so it's easier to keep her sailing flat out 100% of the time.'

The crew will include a group of four friends from Dubai who got hooked on the race after following it on the race tracker and decided they wanted to be part of the action. They race a similar, but smaller boat in the Persian Gulf. High Tension's Antigua crew with five years experience of the race, along with Deep Blue Racing's Philippe Falle and possibly past RORC Commodore and boat owner, Peter Rutter will also be on board to help make a potentially winning combination.

'The RORC Caribbean 600 race captured my imagination the first time I heard about it', exclaimed Bernie Evan-Wong. 'The thought of full-on racing, night and day in tropical waters for 600 miles was a challenge and an adventure I just could not resist! If you love sailing and are a serious sailor, you have to put the RORC Caribbean 600 on your itinerary.'


Soldiers seize the opportunity
Next to confirm, The British Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club who has chartered the First 40, Southern Child from Lucy and Christian Reynolds.

Practising some of the same skills required to go offshore racing, soldiers with little or no experience were first introduced to offshore racing through the Corps participation in the last two consecutive events. The opportunity to practise these skills in a different and demanding environment is one to be seized by the soldiers. It is a different and demanding environment, but working together as a team, under time pressure when cold, wet and tired and in difficult conditions is something they are used to.

For the 2014 race however, Lt Col Paul Macro RTR is charged with the selection, preparation and funding of the whole project and, with a hand-picked crew, is looking for a podium finish or first place to emulate the Army team's British Soldier success in 2011 in the highly competitive IRC two division:

'This time I wanted a race-proven boat and I intend to take a team of soldiers who have sailed before; who have an idea of what they are letting themselves in for, and who are up for the challenge this great race represents. However, one of the reasons for taking a more competitive crew and boat next year is that we have an eye on an Army entry in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series in 2015.'

'I have signed up early because I wanted to secure a boat I was happy with and leave plenty of time for preparation. In particular I have a very clear idea who I want on the Royal Armoured Corps Team and I'm now working to ensure they can be released from their units for the race. (A number of the crew are deployed on operations in Afghanistan at present). This time round I will not be taking novices, but I will be taking a number of soldiers who sailed in the previous races and I will also be seeking crew from this year's White Knight six Rolex Fastnet campaign.'

The Royal Armoured Corps sailing is not funded from the public purse, it all comes from charitable funds and the soldiers' own pocket. For the last two years they have been very fortunate to receive generous support from the Army Sports Lottery, the Royal Armoured Corps Central Fund and the Berlin Infantry Brigade Memorial Trust Fund. Additionally in 2012 they received some support from General Dynamics (UK).

The Notice of Race for the sixth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is now available (Click here to download pdf) and expressions of interest are being received, but should you need convincing read these:

Bernie Evan-Wong: 'You can look forward to 600 miles of adventure, exhilaration, excitement and sometimes surprises. We once saw dolphins diving around the boat at night outlined by bright green phosphorescence! It's also common to see whales at that time of year. The race is also an incredibly well organized and I love the pre-race parties and camaraderie ashore as well as the warm welcome and cold beer when you come ashore after a long race in challenging conditions. The prize giving is a must and all the entries receive a beautiful keepsake English Harbour Rum Decanter, engraved with your yacht's name. Beautiful memories, not to be missed! Plus the keep-sake glossy photo book each competitor gets after the race as a memento is a really super touch.'

Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: 'You`ll get a fabulously friendly, but competitive race in a stunning location with a truly international entry field. Antigua's a great destination and the locals know how to party. Quite simply the best 600nm race that's going! Top three things: Guaranteed warm sunshine in February, guaranteed wind, a 600nm race that's as tactically challenging as the Fastnet, but around stunning Caribbean Islands.'



For more information visit the event website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82

Related Articles

Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted today at 3:52 am
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted today at 3:36 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - LIVE Coverage - NOW SAILING
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted today at 3:25 am
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig - First images
New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. New Zealand solo sailor Conrad Colman has finished the Vendee Globe race under Jury rig. Here are the first images from the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne
Posted on 24 Feb