RORC Caribbean 600 - Swans commence Challenge Series battle
by Jennifer Hall on 19 Feb 2013
The fifth edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Caribbean 600 is now underway with eight Swans set to compete for the first of six Swan Challenge Trophies, as part of the prestigious Swan Challenge Series which includes the world’s most demanding offshore races.
Swan 60 Nefertiti © Nautor's Swan - Alberto Cocchi
The Swan Caribbean Challenge will be presented to the top placing Swan competing in the RORC Caribbean 600, a 600 mile race starting and finishing in Antigua having rounded the islands of Nevis, St Kitts, St Barth and St Maarten to the North, before heading South to round Guadalupe.
In 2012, the first Swan to complete the RORC Caribbean 600 and to be awarded the 2012 Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy was Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80 Selene, who finished third in IRC overall.
With 47 entries on the starting line, the eight Swans are well suited to long distance racing in open waters. This year, the largest Swan competing will be Anders Nordqvist’s Swan 90, Nefertiti. Patriot, an original Sparkman and Stephens designed Swan 48 with hull number two, helmed by Richard Luckyn-Malone is one of the smaller Swans to enter this year’s race.
Swan 62 Uxorious IV from the United Kingdom returns to compete again this year, having enjoyed an incredibly close race in 2012, finishing second in class by just 21 seconds to Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 Clem.
Colin Buffin, owner of Swan 62 Uxorious IV commented; 'We just finished a lovely ten day cruise through the Grenadines. Once the barbecue and dodgers were off, we sailed to Antigua arriving at the end of last week. Most of the crew flew in from the UK; they have raced with me for a long time including the Rolex Fastnet Race, St Malo - Dinard Race, Newport – Bermuda Race and of course the RORC Caribbean 600 last year. We have some unfinished business after our second place last year. Having taken the time to review the race tracker, we now know where we made up and lost ground last time, so have learned a lot!'
The RORC Caribbean 600 annually attracts a wide variety of yachts from across the world with crews from 27 nations having entered this year’s race. It is the only offshore race in the Caribbean and is scheduled to start at 11.00 local Gazprom Swan 60 Class