Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

RORC Caribbean 600 - Final preparations

by Trish Jenkins on 20 Feb 2011
The RORC Caribbean 600 starts in two days and the Antigua Yacht Club is buzzing with excitement, before the start of the 600-mile race around the central Caribbean.

Yacht crews are busy at work making final preparations for the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) Caribbean 600. Falmouth Harbour is an impressive sight with the RORC fleet safely moored up next to the yacht club.


Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens - the RORC 2010 Yacht of the Year - arrived just before dusk on Friday. The delivery crew, all six of whom will also be racing, endured a 1,000 mile beat to Antigua from Jamaica: 'This will be our fourth and final event in the Caribbean.' Explained Piet Vroon. 'This is the first time that I have done this race and it is the main reason that we came to the Caribbean. All of my crew said that this is a race that they want to do and I am very much looking forward to it.'

Tonnerre is one of three boats that competed in the Pineapple Cup, the opening rubber of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. George David’s Rambler 100, Richard Oland’s Vela Veloce and Hugo Steinback’s Dubois 90, Genuine Risk also competed in the Pineapple Cup which Genuine Risk won on corrected time. Vela Veloce is a Southern Wind 52, which cleaned up in Key West race week in January.

Yachts representing 15 Nations have come to Antigua to compete in the 600-mile spectacular, but none have come as far as Chris Bull’s Cookson 50, Jazz. The canting-keel flyer arrived in Antigua on Friday, having made an epic journey by container ship and sail from Australia, after a fantastic performance in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

'It’s been hard work getting the boat here from Australia, but we have done it, which just goes to show it is possible.' Commented Boat Captain, Anthony Haines. Jazz’s journey started on January 8th from Sydney, Australia to Savannah, Georgia. After which the delivery crew sailed 1400 miles to get Jazz to Antigua on time.

'Ever since the RORC conceived the idea of this race I have wanted to do it,' said Chris Bull on he dock in Antigua. 'I am also keen to do the Transatlantic Race and try and win the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series which I think is an excellent initiative which the RORC are involved with.'

From Lithuania, the Volvo 60, Ambersail debuts in the Caribbean and counts veteran round the world sailor Magnus Olsen in their crew. Ambersail is well travelled, having competed in last year’s Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Ondeck’s Farr 65, Spirit of Minerva counts British solo-sailor Hannah White amongst the crew: 'Effectively there are 10 legs and well over 600 miles of racing in fantastic trade wind conditions which I am sure will be a strong test for navigators and crews in equal measure' commented Hannah.

Six Class 40s are expected, possibly more. Tony Lawson’s Concise and Gonzalo Botin are past and current Class 40, world champions. Tony Lawson, owner of Concise expects a close duel with Tales: 'There is no doubt that the Spanish team will be fast and possibly more suited to lighter conditions, but I am confident that the team on Concise will be fully focused and they are in control of a quick, well prepared boat.'

RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine has chartered the elegant and powerful 154 ft schooner, Windrose of Amsterdam. The crew has taken the magnificent yacht through its paces, spending two days practicing manoeuvres: 'It is a very different kind of sailing to my First 40.' Commented Andrew McIrvine. 'The sheer size of the sails and equipment make for extremely physical work and manoeuvres are far more complex. Communication from front to back is only possible by hand signals. We had some good pressure during our practice session, which confirmed that Windrose is a powerful yacht, literally built for Caribbean sailing.'

Brian Benjamin’s Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir has been out testing sails and the crew, visiting the top part of the race course all night Friday. Night sailing makes up close to half the time during the race. Boat captain Shreda Duke confirmed that the exercise was very successful in bedding in the crew to their proposed watch-system. Aegir’s navigator for the race is Ian Moore on loan from the Oracle America’s Cup Team. Moore concurs with Hugh Agnew, ICAP Leopard’s navigator, the prediction of stable trade wind sailing but added: 'The first key area of the race may well come as night falls. Aegir should be approaching Nevis at dusk and the first really tricky part of the course. The islands of Nevis and St Kitts are high, which will throw out quite a wind shadow through this area; there will be a lot of gear changes in between the lulls and puffs of acceleration. The big decision from a navigator’s point of view will be how far off the leeward side of these islands to go.'

In Falmouth Harbour, the air temperature is a balmy 27º C and a fair breeze is flowing in from the northeast, meaning that the trade winds are functioning, but it’s an ever-changing picture. Read John Burnie’s expert summary on the RORC Caribbean 600 web site: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/

ICAP Leopard set the monohull course record in 2009, completing the course in 44 hr 5 min 14 sec and Mike Slade’s team believe that they could beat the record, although they may not be the first home. George David’s stunning Maxi, Rambler 100 is dockside in Falmouth and are favourites to take line honours. George David has secured the assistance of Ken Read to the afterguard and some of Ken’s Puma Volvo Ocean Race crew. It is the first time that these two 100 foot canting keel maxi’s have raced each other with ICAP Leopard having taken an interesting strategy and dropped their rating considerably, in a bid to gain handicap honours.

Local interest comes from Bernie Evan-Wong who is competing in the race for the third time in his Mumm 36, High Tension. From Guadeloupe there is a Class 40, Territoires Attitudes, skippered by David Ducosson.

34 boats are expected on the start line on February 21st February. The RORC Caribbean 600 web site contains regular updates on the race, blogs from the boats and the progress of the boats, which have trackers, can be followed via the website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/
Southern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82

Related Articles

Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar - Back to business
It was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta. From a funky first day of racing when the promising solid morning breeze evaporated to become difficult, shifty and unsettled and then disappeared, it was a return to business as usual for the second day of competition at the 48th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofía Iberostar regatta.
Posted today at 3:18 am
2017 Nanny Cay Cup - Winners in light breezes
A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in Nanny Cay Cup A tauntingly light breeze of five - seven knots out of the south was enough to get 50+ boats starting in the Nanny Cay Cup, the first event of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Rather than the usual Round Tortola race, conditions favoured a 16 NM course starting in the channel off Nanny Cay and taking the fleet around Pelican and Flanagan Islands.
Posted today at 1:43 am
It’s all about time at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta
Several classes were too close to call going into the final day of racing at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta Several classes were too close to call going into the final day of racing at the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta (STIR), held March 24 to 26 out of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The reason? A mix of STIR-signature round-the-island courses combined with conditions that ranged from near breathless calm to blustery gusts over three days of racing that kept competitors on their toes
Posted on 28 Mar
Starting Chicago's racing season the right way
The city of Chicago will be kicking off its racing season with the Skyway Yacht Works COLORS Regatta The city of Chicago will be kicking off its racing season with the Skyway Yacht Works COLORS Regatta June 3-4, 2017 at Columbia Yacht Club. Not only is Columbia’s one level offshore racing series regatta the first major event of the season on lower Lake Michigan, but it is also one of the largest with its sights set on breaking 100 entries in a time when racing is perceived
Posted on 28 Mar
Seattle returns as host and partner in Clipper Round the World Race
The announcement that the Seattle will feature on the global route and enter a team, was made by Official Tourism Board Making its debut in the 2015-16 edition of the race, which saw the city’s name and iconic skyline emblazoned on one of the race’s twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts, Visit Seattle promoted the city as a destination for leisure, tourism and business during its eleven month, 40,000 nautical mile journey around the globe.
Posted on 28 Mar
The America's Cup Superyacht Program – A true highlight
The 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda will feature the fastest yachts in the 166 year history of the competition Superyachts are a very important part of the America’s Cup and, reflecting the high value of their role in the events that will take place in Bermuda in May and June, a dedicated America’s Cup Superyacht Program was created by the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA), in conjunction with BWA Yachting.
Posted on 28 Mar
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Tristan Brooks
Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills Tristan Brooks first took to the water at the age of ten, spending his childhood fine tuning his dinghy skills on the Menai Strait in North Wales, and has spent the past 13 years working as a professional skipper, mate and engineer.
Posted on 28 Mar
An Int’l fleet race ready for BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival
Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regattamade their way ashore today to register for a racing Many of this year's participants in the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival made their way ashore today to register for a week of world-class racing out of Nanny Cay, Tortola. The Marina is alive with activity - old friends catching up and first-timers partaking of the infamous Mount Gay rum drinks at the beach bar. With the breeze looking light for Tuesday's annual Round Tortola Race
Posted on 28 Mar
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian images by pressure-drop.us
Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images Single-handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race images
Posted on 27 Mar
Single Handed Sailing Society Corinthian Race – Great day on the bay
With the remnants of the the early flood, most boats mad short work of the downhill ride to Blossom from starting area Greg Nelsen, fresh off a Double Handed Farallones race win, adds another pickle dish to his collection, winning Singlehanded Sportboat Division with an elapsed time of 03:20:37 on his Azzura 1000 Outsider. A pending protest should render that the fastest monohull around the track.
Posted on 27 Mar