Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

Seize the opportunity: Youth in the RORC Caribbean 600

by Louay Habib 29 Jan 06:00 PST 18 February 2019
Bernie Evan-Wong has some 'secret weapons' on board his Antiguan carbon-flyer RP37 Taz in the form of seven promising 18-22 year-old sailors - RORC Caribbean 600 © Paul Wyeth

Young up-and-coming sailors will be racing alongside and against some of the world's best professionals in next month's RORC Caribbean 600. The race is a huge opportunity for their growth, to learn and master the sport.

"Any young sailor who has been given the opportunity to do this race is clearly already a good sailor, so now it's up to them to see where this talent will take them," commented Mike Sanderson (NZ), crew boss of Maxi 72 Bella Mente (USA) and twice winning skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race. "My advice is be the hardest worker on the team, both on the water and on the shore. Do the jobs nobody else wants to do, be the first on the bow for a sail change, be the first to bail out the bilges and tidy the boat. Don't be the one who turns up at the boat having had a late night. Too often I see young people get the opportunity and then just immediately hang out with the guys who have been there forever. Take a local Antiguan, Louis Sinclair who is now a Volvo and America's Cup legend. Still to this day he is always one of the hardest workers on the boat and ashore - it's worked pretty well for him!"

Pete Redmond (GBR) is the project manager for the British TP52 Tala for the RORC Caribbean 600. The 24 year-old will be trimming main and also one of the drivers. Pete has already taken part in two editions of the race, four Rolex Fastnet Races and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. On board Tala for the race is a wealth of talent including Volvo Ocean Race sailors, Campbell Field (NZ), Paul Wilcox (RSA), and a number of highly experienced sailors.

"It's a really fun race with plenty of reaching and down wind that you can really let rip; the boat will be doing 20 knots and surfing for long periods," commented Pete Redmond. "Having said that, with all the corners and the amount of trimming required, it is the hardest and wettest 600-miler I have done by a long way. I have sailed with a lot of top 'pros' and they all do little things that make the boat go faster and that's what makes the difference. For my role as a trimmer and driver I need to focus to make sure I am doing everything I can to keep Tala going fast."

Bernie Evan-Wong (ANT) will skipper RP37 Taz for the 11th edition of the race. Bernie is the only sailor to have competed in every RORC Caribbean 600 as skipper. This year, the Antiguan dentist has some "secret weapons" on board his Antiguan carbon flyer in the form of seven promising sailors, all around 18-22 years old with ambitions to get into the Volvo Ocean Race under 35 category. They are: Elad Jaegermann (ISR), Jelmer Van Beek (NED), Rosalin Kuiper (NED), Jorden Van Roiijen (NED), Niels Van Raam (NED), Joakim Romell (SWE) and Nicolas Hein (USA).

"I am really the only old person aboard!" smiled Bernie Evan-Wong. "I look for young people who are willing to be team players, not rock stars. They need to be dependable, well-mannered and fun to be with, and have a good attitude towards learning. I can teach sailing skills, but the rest is beyond my control!"

"It is important for me to learn as much as possible from more experienced crew; how they behave, react and work together and with the elements." says Elad Jaegermann who will be racing on Taz. "It is great to see how the theory turns in to practice and I collect as much as possible for my personal growth. I try to do my role the best that I can, and give all I have to the team so they will know they can count on me."

Greg Williams (GBR) is just 18 years old and will be racing as part of his traineeship on Performance Yacht Racing's British Grand Soleil 43 Quokka 8. Supported by his parents, Greg took a job delivering milk to fund the investment for the course with the Cowes-based yacht racing school.

"I think the most important thing for me is a willingness to listen to the skipper and to learn from what I am told," explained Greg Williams. "Everyone has to start somewhere, but the only way you can get better is by paying attention to the advice you're given and acting on it."

Jorge Madden (ESP/USA) completed the 4,200nm Mini Transat in 2011 and will be racing his Marsaudon Composites 525 Level 3 Fun in the RORC Caribbean 600 multihull class. America's Cup sailor and Maxi world champion Carlo Castellano will also be on board. Level 3 Fun's crew include three young and passionate sailors training to become professional racers: Brian Reilly (USA), Alexander Lulewicz (POL) and Ben Fletcher (USA).

"Our crew is a mix of young passionate athletes dreaming of becoming professional sailors who will race alongside expert coaches," commented Jorge Madden. "The great importance of young blood in a racing crew is their energy and stamina, especially in long distance races. Another good quality is being humble and good team members. Having a chance to do a big regatta with a good team is a privilege. Even if they are really talented and passionate, it's important to follow orders from the afterguard and be proactive by asking 'what can I do to help?' One of the most valued qualities to join Level 3 Fun is don't take yourself too seriously! Volvo Ocean Race sailor David Vera once said during trials: "You're mad as a hatter if you think I'm going to sail around the world without telling jokes!"

Alexander 'Firefly' Lulewicz commented: "When you get the chance to sail with an exceptional team it can be truly magical. There is no 'I' in the word team, and sailing is no exception. Everybody on the boat relies heavily on everyone else. Each member of the crew brings their own strengths and it's important to harness these to the team's advantage. When the gun for the start goes off, I know I am on a crew that I can trust and it is important for me to fulfil my role."

Burton, Hector and Bachmann's French Class40 BHB will be taking part in their second RORC Caribbean 600, having come second in last year's race with the same crew. Arthur Hubert (FRA) is the young sailor on board who project managed the build of the Verdier design. He raced solo in the 2018 Route du Rhum, coming 15th and has twice finished in the top ten of the Transat Jacques Vabre. One of the owner's, Louis Burton has competed in the Vendee Globe, three editions of the Transat Jacques Vabre and the Route du Rhum.

"It is Important to learn from experienced sailors, particularly on how to manage a race," commented Arthur Hubert. "The weather, the length and the competition are all important. Louis (Burton) has taught me a lot about taking care of the sails and of the boat. You don't need to push too much in order to be able to finish, but you need to push as much as possible to be on the top line! Moreover, you need to manage yourself; when to sleep, when and what to eat. In the team, I try to adopt a model role so that the owners bring me on many other experiences! As a young sailor, I need to take these opportunities as it is a golden bridge to go on future adventures!" concludes Hubert.

For more information, please go to: caribbean600.rorc.org or contact the RORC Race Team: E:

Entries to date: caribbean600.rorc.org/Entries/race-entries

Related Articles

Argo, Maserati, PowerPlay set
For 2020 RORC Caribbean 600 Multihulls have competed in every edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 and for the first time in the history of the race, the 2020 edition is set to feature three equally matched 70ft carbon flyers. Posted on 7 Oct
It's a wrap - 2019 RORC Caribbean 600
Very much on the bucket-list of any offshore sailor The 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 attracted 76 teams from 21 countries and crews from six continents. The highly diverse fleet were challenged by the tough conditions and captivated by the beauty of a stunning race course. Posted on 24 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600: Top of the Class
Prizewinners get the rum The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Prize Giving will be held tonight, Friday 22nd February and it is a special evening celebrating a premier race in the world yacht racing calendar. Posted on 23 Feb
Wizard wins the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy
David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 scores best IRC corrected time David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 Wizard has won the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, scoring the best corrected time under IRC. Wizard put in a near faultless performance to complete the 600 mile non-stop race in 43 hours 38 minutes and 44 seconds Posted on 22 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 - Class40 fight to the finish
Class40 Eärendil won Line Honours for the Class40 Division In the early hours of Thursday 21 February, after two and a half days and nights of intense competition and over 600 miles of racing, it all came down to just a few minutes. Posted on 21 Feb
Monohull line honours for Wizard
Magic Moment in the RORC Caribbean 600 David & Peter Askew (USA) racing their Volvo 70 Wizard have taken Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Caribbean 600 crossing the finish line on Wednesday 20 February at 07:08:44 AST in an elapsed time of 1d 19h 38m 44s. Posted on 20 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 Record for Maserati Multi70
The extraordinary events will be remembered for years to come Maserati Multi 70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini (ITA) crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 at 20:49:00 AST on Tuesday 19 February 2019 in an elapsed time of one day, 06 hours 49 minutes and 00 seconds Posted on 20 Feb
RORC Caribbean 60 day 2
Multi70 Maserati and MOD70 Argo have been ripping up the race track Maserati, skippered by Giovanni Soldini led at Guadeloupe by 12 miles, but in terms of time, that is less than 30 minutes ahead of Jason Carroll's Argo. The two rocket ships are expected to finish the race around sundown today. Posted on 19 Feb
Blast off for the RORC Caribbean 600
2019 RORC Caribbean 600 kicked off in spectacular conditions The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 kicked off in spectacular conditions off the south coast of Antigua with the magnificent fleet starting the 600 mile non-stop offshore race in bright sunshine, full-on gusting tradewinds and two-metre high waves. Posted on 19 Feb
Get set for a cracker
There has already been high drama ahead of the RORC Caribbean 600 start The weather forecast is suggesting that moderate trade winds at the start will strengthen during the race, giving classic Caribbean sailing conditions of warm trade winds from the east with a moderate sea state. Posted on 18 Feb
SOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 BottomGul 2019 Carrier FOOTERPandB 2019 Autumn Sale - Footer