Please select your home edition
Edition 2014

RORC Caribbean 600 day 2 - Hetairos takes pole position

by Trish Jenkins on 22 Feb 2012
RORC Caribbean 600 - 2012 © Tim Wright /
On day two of the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600, the supermaxi, Hetairos, claimed poll position at 1500 local time. Passing to leeward of George David's 90ft maxi Rambler off the east coast of Montserrat. Hetairos let loose on a broad reach, blasting through the Caribbean surf at a speed in excess of 22 knots.

Hetairos has twice the water line length and more than double the sail area of Rambler but the American maxi with RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen on board, is not giving up without a fight. Rambler has put up every sail they can to 'send it' and Hetairos are finding it difficult to shake them off.

Hetairos and Rambler will probably make the northwest corner of Guadeloupe well before dark and they are expected to finish the race tomorrow morning. However they are both unlikely to finish the race by Wednesday 0340 to break the course record set by Rambler 100 last year.

Rambler's navigator, Peter Isler blogged this from the boat:

'Hi from the weather rail of Rambler. We've been watching a sail on the horizon creep up on us over the past five hours - we are on the race's longest (145 mile) leg and it's a fast jib reach. The boat coming up from behind is of course Hetairos, the giant ketch. This is a leg perfectly suited to her strength; straight line reaching speed. It's only a matter of a few hours and she'll be past us unless things get tricky, which appears unlikely until our next turning mark Guadeloupe, one of the trickiest parts of this race track, as we sail below (downwind) of the biggest and tallest island on the course. Last year on Rambler100 we drifted for a few hours in Guadeloupe's wind shadow and that sort of tricky sailing might give us a chance to make some gains on Hetairos... time will tell.'

Isler continues: 'Beautiful sailing on deck, T-shirt, shorts and everyone but the helmsman grinders and trimmers hiking out. Lots of flying fish going aerial to get away from our bow wave. It's plenty hot down below though; as most hatches are shut to keep spray from coming in. We just enjoyed our first freeze-dried meal, beef stew that was popular amongst the crew. The watch system is being strictly adhered to now; no sail changes in the last few hours so hopefully everyone will be charged up for the battle under Guadeloupe and the rest of the race. We've seen much shiftier and lighter winds than last year when the Rambler100 set the monohull course record that record is definitely secure until 2013 at the earliest.'

Niklas Zenstrom's JV72, Rán is the new handicap leader after time correction. However, Rán is likely to arrive on the northwest corner of Guadeloupe after dark and experience a significant wind shadow. Second overall is Amanda Hartley's Swan 56, Clem, which was rounding St.Martin at the top of the course at 1500 local time. Third overall is Scarlet Oyster, which is in good breeze south of St.Martin.

The weather forecast for the next 48 hours shows a significant increase in wind strength, freshening to over 20 knots. This may well favour Scarlet Oyster and Clem but both yachts are heavy displacement and are unlikely to plain. Jaime Torres' First 40.7, Smile and Wave is lying fourth overall and lining up for a wild sleigh ride tomorrow. As the Puerto Rican team come off the breeze and turn south for what promises to be a ballistic 150-mile surf to Guadeloupe.

Jonty and Jack Layfield are racing two-handed on J/39, Sleeper. The father and son team were approaching the Anguilla Strait at the top of the course at 1600 local time today. No doubt Jonty and Jack will be looking forward to a long reaching leg and possibly the first real rest they will have had since starting the race nearly a day and half ago. Perhaps Sleeper will be a very apt description of what the Layfields will be looking forward to the most.

The RORC Caribbean 600 has two magnificent schooners racing: Greg Perkins, skipper of Adela and Windrose of Amsterdam, skippered by Alex Howard have barely been apart since the start of the race. Hugh Agnew, Adela's navigator called in by satellite phone as the two Spirit of Tradition yachts rounded Tintamarre. Adela was on a tight reach, all 300 tons of her doing 13 knots:

'I don't think there has been more than two miles between us since we began. It has been a fascinating encounter and one that is all about boat on boat tactics,' said Hugh. 'We had an heroic tacking duel through the Anguilla Strait. The leg down to Guadeloupe looks like a tight reach in building breeze, classic conditions for these awesome yachts. We have just cracked off after rounding Tintamarre. We have an enormous amount of sail up and we have opened up a ¾ mile lead but no doubt Windrose will catch us up and we will have another bout of energy sapping sail manoeuvres on the south side of Guadeloupe in the early hours, I have to say this is a truly epic race.'

RORC Caribbean 600 website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNorth Technology - Southern SparsNaiad

Related Articles

The Countdown on to the 33rd Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race
In 100 days you could be sailing out of Biscayne Bay and heading out towards the Gulf Stream with the competitors' fleet Have you planned your 2017 Winter Escape yet? In just 100 days, you could be sailing out of Biscayne Bay and heading out towards the Gulf Stream with the fleet of competitors in the 33rd edition
Posted today at 12:53 pm
Top Chinese solo sailor missing on record attempt to cross Pacific
Top Chinese solo sailor Guo Chuan has gone missing while trying to break the record for crossing the Pacific alone The first Chinese sailor to sail single handed around the world alone, Guo Chuan has gone missing while trying to break the record for crossing the Pacific alone. He was a few days into a voyage from San Francisco to Shanghai sailing alone on a large transoceanic trimaran.
Posted today at 10:35 am
Exit interview with Josh Adams, US Sailing's Olympic boss, part one
I caught up with Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing at US Sailing, for a two-part job-exit interview. While the USA is a historically strong sailing nation, the team suffered a medal-ceremony shutout at the London 2012 Olympics. A planned leadership change transpired and Josh Adams was named Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. Unfortunately, the job requires constant travel, which doesn’t mix with raising kids and Adams recently resigned. I talked with him for a two-part job-exit interview.
Posted on 26 Oct
Vendée Globe – Master of the School of Hard Knocks
Jérémie Beyou ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition. His two last attempts ended in early abandons. Triumphant in the summer's warm up New York – Vendée Transatlantic Race and three times winner of La Solitaire du Figaro, the incredibly competitive solo one design classic stage offshore race which is sailed each summer in 32-foot one design Bénéteau Figaro 2s, Jérémie Beyou on Maître CoQ ranks as one of the favourites to win this eighth edition
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Overall winner announced
The Royal Malta Yacht Club announced that Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino is the overall winner This race crew was a mix of Italians and British sailors who have raced all over the world under the Mascalzone Latino banner and with great success.
Posted on 26 Oct
The Gitana Team Series – Awakening the senses – Smell
This week, Sébastien Josse has left the Vendée to hook up with his Breton way of life, at home, not far from Lorient. It is just eleven days until the start of the eighth Vendée Globe. In Port Olona, the public is out in force, the village and the pontoons are always full and the pressure mounts a little more each day for the twenty-nine solo sailors, who will set sail on 6 November 2016.
Posted on 26 Oct
Melges 24 World Championship in Miami – 30 days to go
This championship is anticipated to be the most crowded event of the international one-design sailing scene this year. With the day of the first start quickly approaching, the organizing machine is working in full swing: for an event of such importance, everything from race management to the on-shore activities must be organized down to the smallest detail.
Posted on 26 Oct
Rolex Middle Sea Race – Will they, won't they?
Tension was heightened as the door opened by Rambler 88’s finish in the early hours was widened further by more arrivals It was a trickle of finishers rather than a flood, but there was drama all the same, where the battle to secure class wins and post a claim to the overall title raged throughout the day. With the forecast suggesting a period of fading breeze on the course area, the race pendulum was swinging in favour of the bigger, faster yachts. The incentive to keep pushing to the finish was evident.
Posted on 26 Oct
2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race - The big picture
107 yachts started 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy 107 yachts started the 2016 Rolex Middle Sea Race with 94 yachts racing for the overall prize of the Rolex Middle Sea Trophy, awarded to the best yacht racing under the IRC Rating system.
Posted on 26 Oct
Atlantic Cup is first sports event in U.S. to be ISO 20121 Compliant
The Atlantic Cup announced that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing announced today that the 2016 race is the first sports event in the United States to be ISO 20121 compliant. In addition, the Atlantic Cup’s official carbon offset supplier, We are Neutral, announced it has calculated and offset the carbon footprint of the 2016 race.
Posted on 25 Oct