Blast off for the RORC Caribbean 600Antigua, 18 February 2019
The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 kicked off today Monday February 18, 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. The 11th edition of the race featured 76 starting yachts from 20 different countries. The Caribbean Classic made headline news before the start; MOD 70 Argo flipped during practice on Friday, but miraculously made the start line just three days later. The majority of the fleet are racing under IRC for the overall win and the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, plus a record Class40 Division and one of the finest multihull fleets ever assembled for the race. Early in the race for the overall win, Volvo 70 Wizard, TP52 Tala, and Botin 65 Caro are estimated to be the top three after IRC time correction. Bella Mente was the shock early retirement.
In IRC Zero, Volvo 70 Wizard owned by David and Peter Askew (USA) got a great start and powered up the beat to be the first in class to Green Island. Fully launched downwind in a show of immense power, Wizard pulled out a substantial lead on superyacht JV115 Nikata. Wizard was caught on the YB Tracker speed camera doing well over 20 knots on a screaming reach. Hap Fauth's Maxi72 Bella Mente (USA) was a shock early retirement, pulling up just after passing Willoughby Bay to return to Antigua. In the big sea state, the new design showed phenomenal speed, but the pounding proved too much, and having shipped a ton or more of water down below, turned for home. All of the Bella Mente crew are safe and well.
Showing enormous respect for their opposition, Giovanni Soldini's Maserati Multi70 (ITA) agreed to a delay to the race by just two hours to allow Jason Carroll's Argo (USA) just enough time to finish repairs to their MOD 70. The match race kicked off two hours after the rest of the fleet. At the start, Argo got away well, but Maserati was soon snapping at their rivals, playing the bays along the coast of Antigua. Snarling into an epic duel with the gloves full off. At Green Island, Maserati hit the after-burners, aided by their fully-foiling set up, screeching away at over 30 knots of boat speed. Maserati made Barbuda in 107 minutes, averaging an astonishing 26 knots.
The Multihull Class racing under the MOCRA Rule got away well with the two Gunboats, Chim Chim, owned by John Gallagher (USA), and Arethusa owned by Phil Lotz (USA) hitting the line with pace. Beiker 53 Fujin, owned by Greg Slyngstad (USA) showed the fleet the way and at Green Island, Fujin was substantially ahead, unfurling downwind sails to blast towards Barbuda at over 20 knots of boat speed. Falcon skippered by Shannon Falcone (ANT) was in the mix at Green Island, having overhauled the two Gunboats on the water.
In the ten-strong Class40 Division, four French teams dominated the start. Catherine Pourre's Eärendil and Halvard Mabire's Campagne de France, skippered by Miranda Merron started on port. Smashing to windward in a ball of spray, Eärendil nearly cleared the fleet on port but had to bear away as Luke Berry's Lamotte - Module Création's red-hot hull headed them off. Berry and his team made a cracking start and was ahead of the two port flyers at Green Island. The chasing peloton includes Aymeric Chappellier's Aïna Enfance Et Avenir.
In IRC Two, after a text book start controlling the fleet inshore, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) revelled in the upwind conditions and was the first to Green Island. Pamala Baldwin's Antiguan based J/122 Liquid skippered by Julian White (GBR) was going well. Performance Yacht Racing's Grand Soleil 43 Quokka, skippered by Christian Reynolds (GBR) was third to the first corner of the course.
In IRC Three, Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep owned by Trevor Middleton (GBR) nailed a very crowded pin end, but the lightweight flyer could not hold on upwind to Jonty and Vicki Layfield's Swan 48 Sleeper (GBR), blasting upwind to make Green Island first in class. Andy Schell and Mia Karlsson (USA) racing Swan 48 Isbjorn was third on the water.
"The RORC Race Team realise the great importance of professional race management and it was fantastic to see all of the fleet get away to a clean start," commented RORC Racing Manager Chris Stone. "Up at Fort Charlotte the line was set for a 090 wind direction, and although we saw a shift during the sequence of about 10 degrees, the team did a good job, providing a good line with fair starts. The breeze was a little up on forecast with about 18-22 knots of wind. We will be tracking the fleet 24-7 via the YB Tracker and wish them all a safe and memorable race."
ENDS (Race report: Louay Habib)
How to follow the RORC Caribbean 600
Check out the new LIVE page on the race minisite:
RACE MINISITE: For all the latest race reports and news go to: http://caribbean600.rorc.org
The new LIVE page on the website will be updated throughout the race with blogs from competitors, photos, video, audio and much more.
REPEATED - THE START WAS LIVE ON FACEBOOK TODAY. YOU CAN WATCH IT AGAIN:
LIVE BLOG DURING THE RACE:
SOCIAL MEDIA: Keep in touch via RORC social media channels: #Caribbean600
RORC YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RORCRacing - videos: Preview, start, first arrivals, winners & wrap-up + VNR available to broadcasters on request.
Twitter: Follow @rorcracing
TRACK THE FLEET: All yachts will carry a tracker so you can follow the progress of the whole fleet, particular class or individual boat: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Race-Information/Tracking/
Plus, you can download the YB Races App.
PLAY THE VIRTUAL GAME:
If you're not on the start line in Antigua, join the virtual race. Be prepared for some sleepless nights - it's addictive! http://click.virtualregatta.com/?li=4865
IMAGES: Facebook albums will show a selection of images and you can also go to the RORC Photo Gallery to view folders.
Media can request specific images or direct download high resolution images: Gallery: http://gallery.rorc.org/v/2019/
NOTES TO EDITORS
Multihull record (2016)
Lloyd Thornburg, Phaedo3, MOD70 (USA)
31 hours, 59 minutes, 04 seconds
Monohull record (2018)
George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA)
37 hours, 41 minutes, 45 seconds
THE RORC CARIBBEAN 600:
RORC Caribbean 600 minisite: http://caribbean600.rorc.org
The 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts from Antigua on Monday 18th February 2019. 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 .
PREVIOUS WINNERS: RORC CARIBBEAN 600 TROPHY - IRC OVERALL
(Best corrected time under IRC)
2018 - George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA)
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)
THE ROYAL OCEAN RACING CLUB:
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 in the Solent.
The RORC Caribbean 600, based in Antigua and the first offshore race in the Caribbean, has been an instant success. The 11th edition will take place in 2019. The RORC extended its organisational expertise by creating the RORC Transatlantic Race from Lanzarote to Grenada, the first of which was in November 2014.
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 4,000.
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: www.rorcrating.com
IRC rating globally: www.ircrating.org
Social media: www.facebook.com/rorcratingwww.facebook.com/ircrating
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. http://www.sevenstar-yacht-transport.com/racing-logistics.aspx
Sevenstar Yacht Transport Enquiries:
Wouter Verbraak - Direct: +44 238 021 5063, Mb: +44 755 752 6451
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