Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 728x90

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.

Giacomo Yacht SaleAncasta Botin Fast40 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Lunven triumphant winner of La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro
A bold decision on the English coast, opting for the more offshore route saw Hardy tumble 20 places down the leaderboard Justine Mettraux (Teamwork) retains her place in the top 10 standing of the fourth stage finishing in ninth position, this result enough to take the seventh place position in the General standings beating her closest rival by under three minutes. Mettraux takes the highest ranked International competitor and also the top female competitor in the 2017 edition!
Posted today at 5:04 pm
Audi Sailing Week - TP52 Super Series – Day 3 images by Max Ranchi
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races four and five
Posted today at 3:44 pm
KZ Racefurlers make mark on Volvo Ocean Race, GC32's, TP52's and more
KZ Racefurlers has had a busy first half of the year in 2017. KZ Racefurlers has once again been selected as the Furler of choice for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017/18. This news builds on our longstanding relationship with the Volvo Ocean Race, and we look forward to working with the Boatyard and the teams again to ensure that they have the best furling gear available to race around the world with the confidence in a strong and reliable product.
Posted today at 2:07 pm
Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to the beautiful Madeira Islands
12 two-man teams will compete in the first stage of their 2017 season, which will continue throughout the year. Alongside the main GC32 Stadium Racing action, for the first time in the Series' history, the Flying Phantom Series will take flight as part of the on-water line-up, promising a festival of foiling for locals and tourists that is not to be missed.
Posted today at 1:08 pm
Launch schedule of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild announced
It is always the way with build projects whatever the size of boat! In the last weeks, activity has doubled in intensity For the members of Gitana Team, who have stepped things up another gear again, they’re into their last month of build and suffice to say that given the scale of the manufacture time required by this large, latest generation, offshore trimaran, these few weeks seem like a mere drop in the ocean.
Posted today at 12:50 pm
La Solitaire URGO Le Figaro – Race leaders decided in Dieppe
At two o'clock this morning, the fleet sailed downwind in 20 knots of wind along the cliffs of the Alabaster coast. Upon passing the last mark of the course ‘Antifer’ at 2:40am it was Alexis (Custopol) who held the lead. With a dense race full of twists and turns, Alexis had taken the lead several times, especially when passing the island of Sein and before the Four channel, is winning his bet.
Posted today at 12:29 pm
A Few Rays – Moisturising, Anti-Aging Action …
Consistent moisturising sun protection has an anti-aging action Consistent moisturising sun protection has an anti-aging action Out on a boat, sailors are exposed to extreme conditions for their skin. There are UV rays from the sun, hopefully some wind if you are a sailor, and the drying effects from wet and dry cycles during the course of your day
Posted today at 9:39 am
Kiel Week - What a difference a day makes
After opening day was blessed with gorgeous sunshine and breeze, albeit shifty, Thursday was a massive contrast. After the opening day of the 2017 Para World Sailing Championships was blessed with gorgeous sunshine and a seven - nine knot breeze, albeit shifty, Thursday was a massive contrast.
Posted today at 3:37 am
Highlights from the 'Racing Forward' forum
The highlights from the 'Racing Forward' forum at the Hamilton Princess brought to you by PwC Bermuda and America's Cup The highlights from the 'Racing Forward' forum at the Hamilton Princess, Bermuda on Tuesday 20 June, brought to you by PwC Bermuda and the America's Cup. The panel featured two fantastic sailors, who also happen to be women and part of the core group from The Magenta Project, Abby Ehler and Libby Greenhalgh. I was lucky enough to be the moderator for the panel,
Posted today at 2:31 am
Audi Sailing Week - 52 Super Series – It's a difficult day for Azzurra
Winners of the day’s races were Quantum and Ran, who is currently at the lead of the event’s provisional scoreboard The Swedish team aboard Ran again showed their excellent boat speed sailing downwind and got to the first gate head to head with Azzurra. Ran managed to inch past and take the lead. Azzurra was right behind, then at the final top mark chose to split off with a gybe set.
Posted on 22 Jun