Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius EU 728x90

2014 RORC Caribbean 600 - Bernie's Back!

by Trish Jenkins on 21 Jun 2013
Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension has competed in all five editions of the RORC Caribbean 600. First to sign up for the 2014 race, he has chartered the Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka Eight for the 6th edition © Tim Wright / Photoaction.com http://www.photoaction.com
Bernie's Back! Two previous competitors have been quick off the mark to confirm their participation in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's (RORC) 2014 Caribbean 600 race, but it was five-times race veteran, Bernie Evan-Wong who got there first.

Carrying the flag for host country Antigua and intent on at least a class win, Bernie Evan-Wong had chartered Peter Rutter's Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka Eight within an hour of docking his Mumm 36, High Tension after the finish of the 2013 race earlier this year:

'I decided I would look for a bigger boat for the next race and realised Quokka - who was docked next to me in Falmouth Harbour - was the best choice for my purposes, so I made a commitment there and then. Signing up early shows my serious commitment to the race and my crew,' said Evan-Wong who has competed in all five editions, achieving two podium positions with High Tension.

'I have really enjoyed every race. Each one has been different, but driving a 36ft boat at hull speed or greater for 600 miles is no easy task. Waterline length is a definite advantage and Quokka is a Grand Soleil 43. We will have 13 crew to share the responsibilities and this is definitely advantageous; more crew can stay alert and will be less fatigued, so it's easier to keep her sailing flat out 100% of the time.'

The crew will include a group of four friends from Dubai who got hooked on the race after following it on the race tracker and decided they wanted to be part of the action. They race a similar, but smaller boat in the Persian Gulf. High Tension's Antigua crew with five years experience of the race, along with Deep Blue Racing's Philippe Falle and possibly past RORC Commodore and boat owner, Peter Rutter will also be on board to help make a potentially winning combination.

'The RORC Caribbean 600 race captured my imagination the first time I heard about it', exclaimed Bernie Evan-Wong. 'The thought of full-on racing, night and day in tropical waters for 600 miles was a challenge and an adventure I just could not resist! If you love sailing and are a serious sailor, you have to put the RORC Caribbean 600 on your itinerary.'


Soldiers seize the opportunity
Next to confirm, The British Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club who has chartered the First 40, Southern Child from Lucy and Christian Reynolds.

Practising some of the same skills required to go offshore racing, soldiers with little or no experience were first introduced to offshore racing through the Corps participation in the last two consecutive events. The opportunity to practise these skills in a different and demanding environment is one to be seized by the soldiers. It is a different and demanding environment, but working together as a team, under time pressure when cold, wet and tired and in difficult conditions is something they are used to.

For the 2014 race however, Lt Col Paul Macro RTR is charged with the selection, preparation and funding of the whole project and, with a hand-picked crew, is looking for a podium finish or first place to emulate the Army team's British Soldier success in 2011 in the highly competitive IRC two division:

'This time I wanted a race-proven boat and I intend to take a team of soldiers who have sailed before; who have an idea of what they are letting themselves in for, and who are up for the challenge this great race represents. However, one of the reasons for taking a more competitive crew and boat next year is that we have an eye on an Army entry in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series in 2015.'

'I have signed up early because I wanted to secure a boat I was happy with and leave plenty of time for preparation. In particular I have a very clear idea who I want on the Royal Armoured Corps Team and I'm now working to ensure they can be released from their units for the race. (A number of the crew are deployed on operations in Afghanistan at present). This time round I will not be taking novices, but I will be taking a number of soldiers who sailed in the previous races and I will also be seeking crew from this year's White Knight six Rolex Fastnet campaign.'

The Royal Armoured Corps sailing is not funded from the public purse, it all comes from charitable funds and the soldiers' own pocket. For the last two years they have been very fortunate to receive generous support from the Army Sports Lottery, the Royal Armoured Corps Central Fund and the Berlin Infantry Brigade Memorial Trust Fund. Additionally in 2012 they received some support from General Dynamics (UK).

The Notice of Race for the sixth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is now available (Click here to download pdf) and expressions of interest are being received, but should you need convincing read these:

Bernie Evan-Wong: 'You can look forward to 600 miles of adventure, exhilaration, excitement and sometimes surprises. We once saw dolphins diving around the boat at night outlined by bright green phosphorescence! It's also common to see whales at that time of year. The race is also an incredibly well organized and I love the pre-race parties and camaraderie ashore as well as the warm welcome and cold beer when you come ashore after a long race in challenging conditions. The prize giving is a must and all the entries receive a beautiful keepsake English Harbour Rum Decanter, engraved with your yacht's name. Beautiful memories, not to be missed! Plus the keep-sake glossy photo book each competitor gets after the race as a memento is a really super touch.'

Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: 'You`ll get a fabulously friendly, but competitive race in a stunning location with a truly international entry field. Antigua's a great destination and the locals know how to party. Quite simply the best 600nm race that's going! Top three things: Guaranteed warm sunshine in February, guaranteed wind, a 600nm race that's as tactically challenging as the Fastnet, but around stunning Caribbean Islands.'



For more information visit the event website

Barz Optics - FloatersZhik Yachting 660x82Hyde Sails Dec2016 660x82

Related Articles

Aon Youth Sailing Worlds - Ups and downs. Winners to underdogs
2016 Aon Youth Sailing Worlds will see the return of inaugural girl's 29er winners who are back to defend their title The 2016 Aon Youth Sailing World Championships will see the return of the inaugural girl's 29er winners who are back to defend their title, but they know it won't be easy.
Posted today at 12:43 am
World Sailing Cup Final - Live video coverage from Melbourne - Day 2
The Medal Races on Sunday 11 December will draw the 2016 Sailing World Cup Melbourne Final to a close. The Medal Races on Sunday 11 December will draw the 2016 Sailing World Cup Melbourne Final to a close. The deciding races will be streamed live on World Sailing TV on YouTube. Coverage started at midday local time or 0100UTC
Posted on 10 Dec
Vendée Globe – Day 35 – Lost weekend
For Thomson and Armel Le Cléach'h the leaders of the race, Sunday morning should provide some time to regroup mentally For Alex Thomson and Armel Le Cléach'h the leaders of the race, Sunday morning should provide some time to regroup mentally, to snatch some rest, to thoroughly check their boats and to somehow prepare for the next battering.
Posted on 10 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 15 – Maverick blasts into Grenada
Infiniti 46, Maverick, skippered by Cotterell crossed the finish line outside Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Infiniti 46, Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell crossed the finish line outside Camper and Nicholsons Port Louis Marina, Grenada. The British yacht, with radical side foils is provisionally the winner of IRC Canting Keel and currently placed second overall under IRC
Posted on 10 Dec
Full day of competition at the Sailing World Cup Melbourne
Every class made it out onto Port Phillip Bay on the penultimate day in conditions very different to the last two days. Finally every class made it out onto Port Phillip Bay on the penultimate day in conditions very different to the previous two days. Flat seas and sou’west winds struggling at five knots in fact made the going hard for the Invited and Olympic opening session that began at midday.
Posted on 10 Dec
Extreme Sailing Series™ to go down to the wire after penultimate day
The battle for the ESS™ title took a new twist today as Red Bull Sailing Team squeezed in between Alinghi and Oman Air The battle for the Extreme Sailing Series™ title took a new twist today as Red Bull Sailing Team squeezed in between Act 8 leaders Alinghi and overall table toppers Oman Air on the penultimate day of the 2016 season finale in Sydney.
Posted on 10 Dec
All to do on final day of Extreme Sailing Series for Team Oman Air
Points proved elusive for Team Oman Air on the third day of racing in Sydney as the Act 8 leaderboard was rejigged ahead Points proved elusive for Team Oman Air on the third day of racing in Sydney as the Act 8 leaderboard was dramatically rejigged ahead of the crucial final day of the 2016 Extreme Sailing Series.
Posted on 10 Dec
Meet the 2017-18 Crew - Daniel Clifton
NSW, Australia, Computer Operator Daniel Clifton never dreamed he would one day be a part of the Clipper Race. Growing up in the country in Forbes, NSW, Australia, Computer Operator Daniel Clifton never dreamed he would one day be a part of the Clipper Race.
Posted on 10 Dec
Vendee Globe - Nandor Fa remembers some of the old days
The wind had increased and turned but not continuously. At night there was big drop in wind speed then it came back soon The wind had increased and turned, but not continuously. At night there was a big drop in wind speed, then it came back soon. I saw on the AIS that Stéphane’s speed went down to seven knots. I started worrying about him, then I met the reason too: there was a massive fog - just as if we were sailing by Ireland. I could see only 50 metres, which means one and a half waves.
Posted on 10 Dec
Aon Youth Sailing Worlds - One door closes, another one opens
When Aon Youth Sailing Worlds gets underway there will be a new class and a new opportunity for the young sailors When the 2016 Aon Youth Sailing World Championships gets underway there will be a new class and a new opportunity for the young sailors to prove themselves in.
Posted on 10 Dec