by Louay Habib
At 0900 on day five of the RORC Caribbean 600, four yachts are still racing following a surge of arrivals last night and early this morning. With all of the class winners now decided, there will be a fantastic atmosphere at tonight's RORC Caribbean 600 Prize Giving, which will start at 1800 at Antigua Yacht Club.
Winner of IRC Two: Scarlet Logic, Ross Applebey & Tim Thubron’s British Oyster 48 - 2013 RORC Caribbean 600
In IRC Two, Scarlet Logic was the clear winner. Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron's British Oyster 48 took line honours and the class title for the second year running by over three hours.
Dockside at English Harbour, Ross Applebey was quick to praise his co-skipper.
'I have complete confidence in Tim and that means a hell of a lot. Basically, one of us was always on deck allowing the other to rest and that trust kept both of us alert for a good period of the race. Many of the crew has sailed with Sailing Logic in the past and they were magnificent. I couldn't have asked more of them,' said Ross.
'Probably the low point in the race was getting stuck for four hours behind Guadeloupe and watching Triple Lindy close a massive gap, but we picked ourselves up and got away well.' Asked about the high points in the race? 'Well that would have to be trucking along at 17 knots at night with the kite up heading for Nevis. That is the kind of sailing you can dream about all your life.'
British Swan 53, Northern Child crossed the finish line two hours behind Scarlet Logic and Joseph Mele's Swan 44, Triple Lindy, racing under the burgee of the City Island Sailing Club in New York, was next. However after time correction under IRC, Triple Lindy was second in class and Northern Child third.
Arthur Prat's Guadeloupe Grand Large 11 won the battle of the Figaros, finishing the race last night, two hours ahead of Baptiste Maillot:
'The student has beaten the teacher,' explained Arthur. 'We have been side by side the whole race, but at Barbuda I saw a cloud we could use and we got a terrific lift towards the mark to open up a lead for the first time in over 48 hours of racing. After Redonda, we went to the north trying to work the wind shifts off the top of Antigua but we didn't manage to stay in the pressure and I was really worried that Baptiste was going to sail through us. All of the crew is delighted to be the first Figaro home and can I say a big 'thank you' to the RORC for the race and especially the volunteers who brought us plenty of cold beer when we finished!
In IRC Three, Jonty Layfield's British J39 Sleeper VIII finished in the early hours of the morning to win the class title by a significant margin. Valerio Bardi's Italian Swan 46, Milanto finished at dawn to lay claim to the runner up position. However, Adrian Lower's British Swan 44, Selene is still racing. Although the British team can no longer beat Sleeper VIII, a second place is still a possibility.
British Swan 48, Patriot is mounting a rearguard action and the Royal Armoured Corps Offshore Racing Team is highly unlikely to make tonight's Prize Giving.
Captain Richard Luckyn-Malone is leading the team this year. The bulk of the crew has recently returned from an arduous summer tour of operations to Afghanistan fulfilling a wide variety of roles. As with last year, some members of the crew have never set foot on a race boat before, however many essential skills such as teamwork and working under immense pressure are practiced throughout their working lives as crewman in armoured vehicles. The opportunity to practice these skills outside of normal comfort zones is an essential and widely supported activity within the Royal Armoured Corps.
'The Royal Armoured Corps requires from its people a spirit that is similar to that required to go offshore racing. Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle,' Capt Richard Luckyn-Malone.
Caribbean 600 website