by Louay Habib
Hot off the RORC Caribbean 600 press - the first finishers are expected in the early hours of tomorrow morning (Wednesday 20 Feb), with every possibility that at least one record will be broken and possibly two.
Paradox shows record pace in 5th RORC Caribbean 600 race
Peter Aschenbrenner's American trimaran, Paradox, has virtually rounded Guadeloupe and is close to laying Les Desirades, the most westerly point of the course. Paradox, with multihull legend Cam Lewis on board, is still on record pace and is expected to arrive back in Antigua in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Paradox need to cross the line before 03:11:05 on Wednesday morning, to beat Region Guadeloupe's 2009 record. Paradox needs to cover 190 miles in 12 hours, which is very achievable.
In the Multihull Class Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66, Phaedo, took a big gamble this morning and rolled straight sixes. Leaving Montserrat to leeward meant that the team had to sail many more miles but the 'Buffalo Girls' manoeuvre had Phaedo smelling of roses, nearly catching up with ICAP Leopard and cementing their position as leaders of the Multihull Class.
British Maxi ICAP Leopard's attempt to eclipse George David's Rambler 100 monohull record looks to be slipping away; Leopard needs to finish by 04:10:02 on Wednesday morning and their current ETA is 0500. However Mike Slade, owner of ICAP Leopard, is one of the sport’s most colourful characters and sent this message from on board Leopard via satellite link.
'Well here we are, flat out racing sitting at 18-20 knots of boat speed, covered in salt and even in the best offshore gear, still very sodden,' laughed Mike Slade.
'We are trying to reclaim the monohull record for this super Caribbean 600 RORC Race. Set by us is 2009 and subsequently stolen by Rambler 100. Rambler as you will recall is now no more, having capsized in the Rolex Fastnet but lo and behold, we can see her on the tracker, returning like Lazarus! We are now just an hour behind Rambler's record time and we are giving it our all,' continued Slade.
In IRC Zero Hap Fauth's JV72, Bellla Mente, has seared downwind from St.Barths and at 1500 local time was beginning their approach to round Guadeloupe leading in IRC Overall. However Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50, Privateer, is just 20 minutes behind Bella Mente on corrected time. Bella Mente has slowed significantly on the north east corner of Guadeloupe and may have fallen into an area of light air. Privateer is very much in the running for the overall prize and look set to catch up their rivals.
Weir Kraken: 'The motley crew of eight on board Weir Kraken are all doing swimmingly well as we corner the headland of St Barths. The heat is certainly a challenge for the fair Celtic skin on board, with many now looking redder than the red dragon herself. Chef Llywelyn has been extremely busy in the galley serving scrumptious food for all and keeping morale high. As a result we're cracking along,' reports RORC Admiral, Andrew McIrvine.
Multihull record holder - Region Guadeloupe in 40 hours 11 mins 5 secs (2009)
Monohull record held by Rambler 100 in 40 hours 20 mins 02 secs (2011)
2013 Fleet Tracking
Caribbean 600 website