In the RORC Caribbean 600, the closest finish in the six year history of the event is playing out on the last leg of the course for the IRC Zero leaders. At 0700 on day three, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente, George David's Rambler and George Sakellaris' Shockwave were approaching the last island of the course in fighter formation, readying themselves for a battle royale.
Bella Mente and Rambler in action
After exiting the Stealth Zone at Guadeloupe, the American trio, lit the afterburners, at times sending it at 20 knots of boat speed, towards Barbuda. A hair-raising reach to reach gybe, in darkness, at Barbuda and then the battle resumed as they blasted to Redonda.
As dawn broke on what will be the last day for the leaders race, torrential rain has engulfed the area, reducing visibility but soaking away the salt of a ballistic reach to Barbuda and a broad spinnaker reach to Redonda. The adrenalin levels on board will be peaking, as the teams work their stations to maximize the performance, all three yachts are speeding at over 15 knots, but it will be a cold beat on the rail back to the finish in Antigua. After an incredibly demanding 40 hours of non-stop action, the teams will be exhausted but digging deep to summon the energy for a last push to victory.
Rambler should be quicker than both of the Mini Maxis on the beat back to Redonda and George David's team will throw everything at the last leg of the race to take Line Honours. With the speed of all three yachts, one handling error or wrong tactical decision will prove very costly. The Line Honours Prize is most definitely on.
Although Shockwave is behind Bella Mente, on corrected time, George Sakellaris' team is ahead after time correction, but by a slender five minutes. The beat to finish will be a titanic struggle between three world class teams. It's every hand to his sheet or winch, where quick's the word and sharp's the action.