Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

RORC Caribbean 600 - Sensational conditions predicted for 5th edition

by Trish Jenkins on 17 Feb 2013
ICAP Leopard in action ICAP Leopard http://www.leopard3.com
Only 48 hours before a record breaking fleet sets sail for the fifth RORC Caribbean 600, weather forecasts are unanimously predicting sensational conditions, ideal for record-breaking pace, and there is every possibility that this will be the fastest RORC Caribbean 600 on record. Twenty knots or more of warm trade winds are anticipated for the start, with the wind and the Caribbean swell building during the course of the race, perhaps piping up to thirty knots on day two.

Mike Slade's canting keel Maxi, ICAP Leopard, is the out-and-out favourite to scorch around the 600-mile course to take the first gun. Navigator Hugh Agnew has been keeping a close eye on the weather forecast for several days. In the meantime, the shore crew have been hard at work, meticulously preparing the boat for the wild ride to come.

'At the moment, the forecasts seem to be quite stable,' commented Agnew. 'We can expect 20-26 knots of easterly wind, maybe slightly to the south of due east for the duration of our race. The longest leg of the course is from St.Barths to Guadeloupe and with this wind direction, coupled with the apparent wind created by Leopard, it will be forward of the beam, so we will be unlikely to fly a spinnaker. This will slow us down, but the other side of the coin is that this wind direction may be beneficial on a crucial part of the course - the south side of Guadeloupe. If we get a one-sided beat, requiring few tacks, this could really work in our favour. It is a long beat between Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante and in my view the race for a record could be won or lost there.'

Leopard held the RORC Caribbean 600 course record for two years, however George David's Rambler 100 eclipsed that in 2011, setting a benchmark of 40 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds.

Dockside in Antigua, Leopard's skipper Chris Sherlock was keeping his cards close to his chest but he admitted that there was a possibility of winning back the record. Something Leopard's owner, Mike Slade, has set his heart on.

'Our routing software is showing 40 hours at the moment, so there is not much fat on it, but we have a chance,' hinted Sherlock. 'There are three things that will stop us from breaking the record. Firstly if we go the wrong way and get out of big breeze, the other factors are maintaining the yacht and boat handling; just one bad furl on a sail can cost us 15 minutes and breakages can put an end to it totally.'

'In my opinion, our time could be half an hour either side of the record, we will just have to see how it pans out. Record or no record this looks like it will be a fantastic race with awesome conditions. Every time we do this '600, we learn more. Even when we are out on charter, we often sneak a look at a part of the race track, we have a lot of knowledge of what goes on behind those islands. Leopard is in great shape, we have a very capable crew and it would top off a great season if we got our record back.'

The RORC Caribbean 600 programme starts in earnest today with the Skippers' Briefing followed by the official opening party. It will be standing room only for invited guests, jam-packed shoreside at Antigua Yacht Club. Owners and their crew are set to enjoy a Caribbean drinks party and canapés accompanied by a traditional steel band. RORC Commodore, Mike Greville, competing in the race for the second time with CM60, Venomous, will open the proceedings.

The fifth RORC Caribbean 600 will start at 1100 local time (1500 GMT) on Monday 18th February.
Caribbean 600 website
Barz Optics - FloatersInSunSport - NZNorth Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club dominates Hinman Trophy Team Race
Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. 2016 Hinman Trophy Team Race - Sailors often say it’s the little things that make the difference between winning and lose. This was the case for Noroton Yacht Club as they won the Invitational Team Race Regatta for the Commodore George R. Hinman Masters Trophy for the second straight year, though maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Posted on 22 Aug
Drama Queen - Goransson wins Melges 32 National Championship
Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship - After a weekend of challenging, moderate conditions in Newport, RI, Richard Goransson and his Inga from Sweden team have claimed the 2016 US Melges 32 National Championship hosted by Sail Newport. Capping a weekend full of tight racing with lead changes around the track, it was fitting that the final race had three teams fighting for the regatta win
Posted on 22 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Reading Australia’s Rio 2016 Sailing Report Card
Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. Pre-event, Australian Sailing officials predicted there would be between three and five medals at Rio 2016. So Tom Burton's Gold in the Laser, and then Silver for the 470 Men’s sailors, Matt Belcher and Will Ryan, London 49er Gold Medallists Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, and then lastly Nacra 17 first time campaigners, Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin, was a good result.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 U.S. National Championship - Argo advance
The Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course 2016 U.S. National Championship - As the breeze remained in the ESE direction overnight and began bucking an outgoing tide in the morning hours, the Melges 32 fleet at the 2016 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport was greeted with a lumpy, streaky race course, rewarding those teams that started clean and minimized maneuvers.
Posted on 21 Aug
2016 Melges 32 Nationals - A daily dose of Vitamina
The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours The 2016 Melges 32 Nationals hosted by Sail Newport began with a whimper as racing was postponed for a couple of hours allowing the northerly drainage breeze to give way to the impending northerly sea breeze.
Posted on 20 Aug