Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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

T Clewring One DesignWildwind 2016 660x82upffront 660x82

Related Articles

SB20 Short Course Championships at Royal Torbay Yacht Club
The first race started in a Force 4-5 and a lift shortly after the start aided the boats on starboard. The first race started in a Force 4-5 and a lift shortly after the start aided the boats on starboard. On Uber, Class Chairman, Adrian Peach had ceded the helm to James Peters and was in the unfamiliar position of bow.
Posted today at 5:57 pm
Kialoa patriarch, Jim Kilroy dies at 94 years
One of the legends of sailing Jim Kilroy died on September 29, 2016 at the age of 94 years. Jim Kilroy died on September 29, 2016 at the age of 94 years. Former Kialoa crew member Peter Allison gives a personal perspective on what it was like to be involved in the Kialoa team and sailing with Jim Kilroy.Then he and Andy Rose give their impressions of the big crash between Kialoa and Windward Passage ahead of the 1977 Sydney Hobart. Includes audio interview with Jim Kilroy
Posted today at 2:17 pm
Les Voiles de St Tropez France – Crash sequence images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from crash sequence Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from crash sequence
Posted on 30 Sep
Didac Costa to take part in Vendee Globe despite lightning damage
Dídac Costa has shown today he is absolutely determined to overcome one more obstacle on his way to the start line. The Spanish sailor Didac Costa has reaffirmed that he will be taking part in the Vendee Globe despite lightning damaging part of his boat’s electronics. His team has called for new sponsors to overcome this latest difficulty. Costa will be the fourth Spanish sailor who has attempted to complete this gruelling race
Posted on 30 Sep
Vendée Globe – Kito de Pavant heading for Les Sables d’Olonne
Conditions look ideal for the delivery trip for the Bastide Otio monohull, which is due to arrive in seven to 10 days. The start is drawing near and Kito de Pavant is already on his way to Les Sables d’Olonne. On Monday in Port Camargue, the crowds were out on the quayside and on the water to offer their best wishes to Kito and his IMOCA 60 Bastide Otio.
Posted on 30 Sep
The Azimut Challenge, a useful rehearsal before the Vendée Globe
The event was an opportunity for some of those about to take part to see how they measured up against each other. Starting from Lorient, the event was an opportunity for some of those about to take part to see how they measured up against each other.
Posted on 30 Sep
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Wind and tide ask hard questions on Day 3
Mother Nature had some surprises in store for the 68 boats on the Berkeley Circle, San Francisco Mother Nature had some surprises in store for the 68 boats on the Berkeley Circle, San Francisco for the third day of racing at the Alcatel J/70 Worlds, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club. Wind and tide combined to ask some hard questions of the crews - on both their light and heavy-air skills, as well as their patience.
Posted on 30 Sep
First all-female Extreme Sailing Series™ team to compete in Lisbon
First all-female GC32 team will make its debut at the penultimate event of the year in Lisbon in just one week’s time. The first all-female GC32 team, Thalassa Magenta Racing in partnership with the Magenta Project, will make its debut at the penultimate event of the year in Lisbon in just one week’s time.
Posted on 29 Sep
Sébastien Josse's lead up to the Vendée Globe
The skipper of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is setting sail on his fifth round the world in 14 years. The skipper of the Mono60 Edmond de Rothschild is setting sail on his fifth round the world in 14 years. As such, the sailor can rely on a vast amount of experience, bolstered by all the expertise of the Gitana Team, the offshore racing stable founded in 2000 by Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild
Posted on 29 Sep
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Clipper 70 fleet makeover begins
Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race. After clocking up an average of 41,000 miles each during their tenth edition race circumnavigation, the Maintenance Team at Race HQ is now hard at work to refit the Clipper 70s in preparation for the 2017-18 race.
Posted on 29 Sep