The 8th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started in spectacular style with the record 70-yacht fleet gathering in the starting area outside English Harbour, Antigua. Under the Pillars of Hercules, the magnificent collection of yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands. Five highly competitive starts thrilled hundreds of spectators lining the cliffs at Shirley Heights and Fort Charlotte. Not only was this a record fleet for the RORC Caribbean 600, it was undoubtedly the highest quality of participants since the inaugural race in 2009.
The RORC Caribbean 600 came to its traditional conclusion with a memorable prizegiving party at Antigua Yacht Club. Winners were presented with a fine array of silverware, decanters, medallions and an engraved English Harbour Rum decanter for every boat. The RORC were delighted to have the Hon. Asot Michael (Minister for Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy), the Hon. Chet Greene (Minister for Sports) and His Excellency The Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams at the proceedings to present the trophies to the winning crews. The party continued late into the night with dancing to the sounds of Itchy Feet
On the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600 three yachts were still racing: RORC member, Peter Hopps, skipper of British Sigma 38, Sam was just five miles from completing his eighth RORC Caribbean 600. Aleksandra Jankowska's Polish team racing Dufour 40, Porfavor was 15miles from the finish and Girls For Sail's British First 40.7, Hot Stuff, skippered by Sophie O'Neill was 56 miles from the finish. The RORC Caribbean 600 prize giving will be held tonight and all of the class winners have now been decided.
Hear what the crews on the fastest yachts have to say about this year's race. A new course record for Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3, a near record for Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's, VPLP/Verdier 100, Comanche and Hap Fauth's JV 72, Bella Mente is forced to retire. Plus a look at VO65, Team Brunel rounding the deserted island of Redonda - the last mark rounding in the RORC Caribbean 600.
George Sakellaris’ Maxi72, Proteus (USA) has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the afternoon of Thursday 25 February the remaining teams will be unable to better Proteus’ corrected time under IRC. Sakellaris was awarded the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best corrected time under the IRC Rating rule.
DAY 4 AM UPDATE 1000 AST
The magnificent 213ft schooner, Adix finished the RORC Caribbean 600 at 0703 AST on Thursday 25 February in an elapsed time of 2 days 19 hours 33 minutes 5 seconds to win the Spirit of Tradition Class. Gonzalo Botin's Class40, Tales II finished at 0336 AST, over three hours before Adix. Both yachts are sailed by the same Spanish family and no doubt Gonzalo would have been delighted to win the Spanish duel in a boat that could fit on the stern of the spectacular schooner. Tales II was also the winner of the Class40 division for the third year in a row. The joy of Botin's Tales II team was complete when they crossed the line, breaking their own Class40 record by 11 minutes and 23 seconds to set a new Class40 record of 2 days 16 hours 26 minutes 29 seconds.
A thrilling race between four Maxi72s came to a conclusion on the third day of the RORC Caribbean 600. With the lead changing hands on numerous occasions, George Sakellaris' Proteus was the first Maxi72 to finish the race, just over 20 minutes ahead of Dieter Schön's Momo with Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou third. Last year's overall winner, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente retired with keel problems.
“We have beaten some great boats and the sailing was great and we had a beautiful venue,” smiled George Sakellaris, Proteus’ owner. “During the race we had boat-on-boat action with all of the Maxi72s; Bella Mente, Jethou and Momo, and their teams are all great sailors. Proteus is a powerful boat which helps, but it is all down to the team.”
Jim Clark & Kristy Hinze Clark's American VPLP-Verdier 100 Comanche crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 at 03.45 on Wednesday morning with an elapsed time of 40 Hours 53 Minutes 2 Seconds taking monohull line honours for the race, and only 33 minutes outside the record time set by George David's Rambler 100 in 2011.
NEWSFLASH: Jim & Kristy Hinze Clark's VPLP-Verdier 100 Comanche, crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 24 February at 04 13 02. Taking monohull line honours for the race in an elapsed time of 40hours 53mins 02seconds.
Hurtling around the Caribbean at speeds in excess of 30 knots and topping out nearer 40, often barely a boat length apart, the epic duel between MOD70s Concise 10 and Phaedo3 came to a conclusion after 32 hours of hot racing. Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson crossed the finish line at Fort Charlotte in an elapsed time of 31hours, 59minutes, 04seconds, breaking their own multihull race record set last year by 1hour 34minutes 26seconds.
Line honours victory and Multihull race record for Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 co-skippered by Brian Thompson, completing the 600nm RORC Caribbean 600 at 19:39:04 AST on Tuesday 23 February. Phaedo3 beat their existing 2015 record of 33hours, 35mins, 30 secs by 1hour 34minutes 26seconds. New Record: 31hours, 59mins, 04seconds.