News RORC Caribbean 600: Bigger than Ben Hur

RORC Caribbean 600: Bigger than Ben Hur

Antigua, West Indies, Sunday 18 February

The 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with Antigua Yacht Club,  is likely to be the fastest and possibly toughest race in the ten year history of the Caribbean 600-mile classic. Over 20 knots is predicted for the first three days, with gusts in excess of 30 knots. A moderate to rough sea state is also forecast, which will add to the exhilarating conditions. The tenth birthday for the awe-inspiring race is set to be bigger than Ben Hur.

Exhilarating conditions are predicted for the first few days of the RORC Caribbean 600 starting from Antigua tomorrow, on Monday 19th February. A briefing for skippers and navigators was held two days before the start at the Antigua Yacht Club, where around two hundred sailors - including the glitterati of the sport sailing - were in attendance. The RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone highlighted references to World Sailing Special Regulations, as well as details of the RORC Prescriptions for the use of harnesses and lifejackets. With a record fleet, competitors were also reminded to stay clear of the starting area until their scheduled start. For spectator boats an exclusion zone has been created

At the briefing, a weather update was presented by world class navigator Wouter Verbraak, Head of Sevenstar Racing Yacht Logistics. He confirmed that weather models predict that the first three days of the race will see strong trade winds: "Strong high pressure over the North West Atlantic is squeezing the trade winds and accelerating the wind speed," explained Verbraak. "We could see 22-26 knots of gradient winds for three days with a slight decrease forecast on Thursday 22nd February. Competitors should be aware of the potential for squall activity during the race. On Monday evening, squalls could bring 30 knots of wind down to the surface. A significant wave height is predicted with two metres at the start of the race, building to three metres by Wednesday."

Steve Hayles, navigator on George Sakellaris' Maxi 72 Proteus commented after the Skippers Briefing: "Wouter is spot-on, especially about the squall activity. Understanding what is going on in the upper level of cloud around 850 metres is going to be very important in this race. On a boat like Proteus we are fast enough to have more options, but on some of the other boats they will not have that advantage to avoid the squalls. So my advice is keep a good look out for cloud activity and be ready, especially first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon."

Following the race briefing, the RORC Caribbean 600 Welcome Party took place at Antigua Yacht Club. Special guests included the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Rodney Williams and Lady Williams, and representing the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority was Operations Manager Ms Donyelle Bird-Browne. At the welcome party Eddie Warden Owen, RORC Chief Executive Officer introduced RORC Commodore Steven Anderson who will be competing in the race for the first time in his own yacht Gemervescence. The RORC Commodore wished all the competitors a safe race, before introducing Arthur Thomas, Chairman of National Parks, who gave a warm welcome and a rousing speech to the congregation.

The flamboyant rhythm of the Panache Steel Orchestra opened the musical entertainment, while the massive crowd enjoyed a complimentary bar and food. The six piece Antiguan cover band 1761º really got the party going with top hits from the world of Reggae, Soca, Pop, R&B and Dance a bit of Rock "n" Roll!

The RORC Caribbean 600 starts on Monday 19th February.

To follow the race and keep up to date with all the latest news go to:

- Website: For more information and to follow the race, please go to:

- Tracker:

- Virtual race:

- Social media:

- Twitter: Follow @rorcracing  - Hashtag: #Caribbean600 #rorcrc600

- Instagram:

- Facebook:

High Resolution images for media use:

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Trish Jenkins

RORC Press Officer 

Antiguan cell: +1 268 717 0273

M: +44 (0)7880 518689


Skype: trish jenkins 



Louay Habib

Antiguan cell: + 1 268 717 1811

M: +44 (0)7801 800521



RORC Race Enquiries:

Chris Stone, Racing Manager

Royal Ocean Racing Club

T: +44 (0) 1983 295144




Royal Ocean Racing Club:

20 St James's Place

London SW1A 1NN

Tel: 020 7493 2248

Fax: 020 7493 2470



MEDIA TEAM: On site in Antigua from 12 February: Trish Jenkins (Press Officer), 

Louay Habib (Race Reporter), Roddy Grimes-Graeme (Video), Tim Wright (Photographer), Arthur Daniel & Mags Hugdell (Photography). Race team based at Antigua Yacht Club.

INTERVIEWS/MEDIA REQUESTS: Please get in touch if you have any requests or wish to interview one of the organisers or competitors before, or after the race. (Contact:


IMAGES: High resolution, copyright free images for editorial use will be available

VIDEO: Preview, start, early arrivals and a wrap up highlights edit will be available. Let us know any requests for broadcast quality footage.

FEATURES: if you would like a specific feature for your magazine on the race, or certain boats within it, we'd be pleased to help.



RORC Caribbean 600 minisite:

The 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts from Antigua on Monday 19th February 2018. The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth's . 87 yachts have entered the race to date


(Best best corrected time under IRC)

2017 - Hap Fauth, Bella Mente, JV72 (USA)

2016 - George Sakellaris, Maxi 72, Proteus (USA)

2015 - Hap Fauth, JV72, Bella Mente (USA)

2014 - George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA)

2013 - Ron O'Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA) 

2012 - Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán (GBR)

2011 - George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA) 

2010 - Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)

2009 - Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL) 



Established in 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) became famous for the biennial Fastnet Race and the international team event, the Admiral's Cup. It organises an annual series of domestic offshore races from its base in Cowes as well as inshore regattas including the RORC Easter Challenge and the IRC European Championship (Includes the Commodores' Cup) in the Solent. 

The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success. The 10th edition will take place in 2018. The RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014. This year, the RORC Transatlantic Race is part of the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta.

The club is based in St James' Place, London, but after a merger with The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes, now boasts a superb clubhouse facility at the entrance to Cowes Harbour and a membership of over 4000.

RORC website:

Twitter: #rorcracing @RORCracing






The RORC has also been a leader in yacht handicap systems and in co-operation with the French offshore racing club, UNCL, created IRC - the principal yacht measurement system for the rating of racing yachts worldwide. The Spinlock IRC rating rule is administered jointly by the RORC Rating Office in Lymington, UK and UNCL Centre de Calcul in Paris, France. The RORC Rating Office is the technical hub of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and recognised globally as a centre of excellence for measurement. For Spinlock IRC rating information in the UK please see:

IRC rating globally:

Social media:

Twitter @RORCrating @IRCrating



The Royal Ocean Racing Club has partnered with Rolex SA, adding the RORC Caribbean 600 to the leading Swiss watchmaker's prestigious roster of yachting events around the world. 


Sevenstar Yacht Transport - Official Logistics Partner to the RORC Caribbean 600. Sevenstar Yacht Transport is the world's leading provider of yacht shipping services. A global network of destinations, ranging from the familiar to the exotic, and our own fleet of more than 100 independent carriers have propelled Sevenstar to the peak of its sector for more than 25 years. For race yachts, Sevenstar offers a unique package to the teams which includes all logistics of boat and spares.

Sevenstar Yacht Transport Enquiries: 

Wouter Verbraak - Direct:  +44 238 021 5063, Mb: +44 755 752 6451 


International Maxi Association
Legal Headquarters: c/o BfB Société Fiduciaire Bourquin frères et Béran SA - 26, Rue de la Corraterie - 1204 Genève - Switzerland