Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

RORC Caribbean 600 - Record fleet expected on the start line

by Louay Habib on 4 Jan 2013
Hetairos takes 2012 RORC Caribbean 600 line honours. © Tim Wright / Photoaction.com http://www.photoaction.com
The RORC Caribbean 600 is still defying the financial crisis with a record fleet expected on the start line when the fifth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 kicks off on February 18th 2013. With the northern hemisphere in the grip of winter, racing 600 miles around eleven Caribbean islands in warm trade winds and surfing in ocean swell is proving to be very appealing.

'We had 30 confirmed entries at the end of 2012 which is twice as many entries as we had the same time last year,' confirmed RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott. 'It is encouraging to see that the race has captured the imagination of all sizes of yachts with a significant number of entries from yachts less than 50ft as well as much larger yachts, including superyachts, which you would expect to see in the Caribbean. Antigua Yacht Club will be hosting the event once again and since our last race, the club has made many improvements to shore side facilities for yacht crews. All in all, the fifth edition of the race looks all set to be a fantastic event.'

Last year's Line Honours victory went to the magnificent 216ft carbon ketch Hetairos, in a time of two days, two hours, 39 minutes 32 seconds. Of the current confirmed entries for 2013, the 100ft Farr Maxi ICAP Leopard is the hot favourite to be the first monohull to finish the course.

'We didn't compete last year because Leopard was undergoing a major refit,' commented ICAP Leopard's owner, Mike Slade. 'Even though we have added a couple of tons with a full interior, Leopard has lost none of her pace. In 2011, we completed the course quicker than Hetairos in 2012 and Leopard has just demolished the IMA Transatlantic Race record, which was set by Hetairos. We know that we are in fine form for the RORC Caribbean 600. George David's Rambler 100 holds the outright course record and that will be very tough to beat, but ICAP Leopard will be giving it their all, as always.'

Two of the world's largest schooners are set for a marvellous battle. The 182ft Adela which competed against Windrose last year will have the mighty Athos as competition. Athos is making her RORC Caribbean 600 debut and a fascinating encounter is expected. Athos at 203ft has a greater overall length, but the two schooners are evenly matched and both yachts have enjoyed a friendly rivalry throughout the 2012 superyacht season.

In addition to Adela and Athos are a significant number of the world's most impressive maxi yachts including Peter Harrison's Farr 115, Sojana and Filip Balcaen's 112ft supermaxi Nilaya, who are very evenly matched. Both yachts competed in the IMA Transatlantic Race and after more than nine days at sea, Nilaya and Sojana were less than five hours apart. The 100ft Maxi, Liara and Didier Lacombe's 92ft Med Spirit are also set for the start.

At least nine yachts from the Nautor Swan range are expected to take part in the race and besides racing in their respective classes they will also be competing for the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy, awarded to the best Swan overall racing under IRC.

Last year's overall winner Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán will not be competing and this year's favourite must come from America in the shape of Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente. Last summer, Bella Mente was crowned Rolex Mini Maxi World Champion, defeating Rán by the narrowest of margins and the RORC Caribbean 600 is the start of an offshore race season for Bella Mente that will also includes RORC's flagship event the Rolex Fastnet Race in August.

An overall win for Bella Mente is far from certain. Rán's winning time of three days, 11 hours 49 minutes was beaten by seven yachts in the 2011 race. The strength of the trade winds and conditions experienced at different parts of the course can be a big factor in winning overall, as well as taking the right tactical decisions. Last year, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Logic came very close to winning the race. Ross will be competing again and expects a close encounter with Philippe Falle's Deep Blue Racing Team on Trustmarque Quokka. Making his third appearance in the race is Ron O'Hanley in his Cookson 50 Privateer and could be a good outside bet to win as Adrian Lee's Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners won the inaugural RORC Caribbean 600 in 2009.


Joining the battle is the winner of the RORC Racing Division of the ARC 2012, the Austrian, Christof Petter in his Class40, Vaquita. He will have other Class40s to play with including Peter Harding's 40 Degrees and Marc Lepesqueux's Sensation.

The race has always attracted UK members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and this year is no exception. RORC Commodore Mike Greville has chartered CM 60, Venomous for the race and RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine will be part of the crew of the Najad 57, Weir Kraken, which is skippered by former RORC Commodore, David Aisher. The Weir Kraken crew is entirely made up of members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Yacht Squadron.

Olivier Vigoureux, boat captain of Peter Aschenbrenner's ballistic trimaran, Paradox has confirmed that the 63ft Nigel Irens-designed flyer will be competing:

'We can definitely go faster this year, given the right conditions. Ideally we would like 20 knots of wind, then we might just be able to keep up with Leopard,' suggested Olivier. 'The course record set by Region Guadeloupe in the first race will be very difficult for Paradox to beat as we have more weight and less sail area, but who knows, if we get the right conditions, anything can happen.'

Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66, Phaedo returns to RORC Caribbean 600 action, having won the Multihull Class in 2011. For the 2013 edition, Jules Verne record holder, Brian Thompson will be part of a stellar crew. However, Phaedo should have a close battle on the water with the latest Gunboat 66 to be launched, Slim, skippered by South African, Travis McGarry.

The action in Antigua starts on 18th February 2013 with live tracking and regular updates from the course. For more information visit the RORC Caribbean 600 website.

Wildwind 2016 660x82PredictWind.com 2014Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Vendee Globe – Thomson races towards the finish against French rival
British sailor Alex Thomson is in second place with just 40 nautical miles behind French rival Armel Le Cléac’h. With just 390 nautical miles left to the finish port of Les Sable d’Olonne and less than two days until the leading duo are expected to complete the solo, non-stop, around the world race, British sailor Alex Thomson is in second place with just 40 nautical miles behind French rival Armel Le Cléac’h.
Posted today at 11:15 am
City of Perth Festival of Sail inc Warren Jones Youth Regatta preview
The City of Perth Festival of Sail is coming to Perth Waters with a bonanza of sailing and social activities The City of Perth Festival of Sail is coming to Perth Waters with a bonanza of sailing and social activities taking place from Sunday 29 January - Friday 3 February.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - One tack holds key to Vendée Globe glory
Victory in the solo round the world race now comes down to one crucial last manoeuvre. With less than 40 miles separating Vendée Globe leader Armel Le Cléac'h from second-placed Alex Thomson this morning and under 400 nautical miles left to the finish line, victory in the solo round the world race now comes down to one crucial last manoeuvre.
Posted today at 6:57 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2 action-shots by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:08 am
Platoon battle in the trenches, but hold out for Key West lead
Even among some of top teams in 52 Super Series nerves had a negative effect on Monday, the first day of the new season Even among some of the top teams in the 52 Super Series, the world’s leading grand prix monohull circuit, nerves and elements of self-doubt had a negative effect on Monday, the first day of the new season and the opening races of the Quantum Key West Race Week.
Posted today at 3:46 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Azzurra hangs on to third place
Azzurra is still in third place after a difficult day on water. Quantum moves up to second place behind leader, Platoon Azzurra is still in third place after a difficult day on the water. Quantum moves up to second place behind the leader, Platoon, who is just five points ahead of Azzurra.
Posted today at 3:07 am
Setting a new standard for not only solo sailing, but monohull sailing
Doyle Sailmakers is enjoying the down to the wire pace of this years 2017 Vendée Globe unfolding this week. Doyle Sailmakers is enjoying the down to the wire pace of this years 2017 Vendée Globe unfolding this week. With UK sailor, Alex Thomson, on board Hugo Boss, and Armel LeCléac’h just 42.2 nautical miles ahead, we have seen seamanship, racing skills, and the sheer skills of both sailors.
Posted today at 2:13 am
Vendee Globe - Thomson cuts 33nm out of Le Cleac'h with 48hrs left
Britain's Alex Thomson sailing Hugo Boss has made a big reduction in the lead of Armel Le Cleac'h Britain's Alex Thomson sailing Hugo Boss has made a big reduction in the lead of Armel Le Cleac'h in the final stages of the Vendee Globe Race. The official margin of just 45nm - a gain of 30nm in the last 24 hours was confirmed using the weather routing function of Predictwind. Most of Thomson's gain has come on the last seven hours.
Posted on 17 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan