Buzzing in English Harbour
The RORC office at Antigua Yacht Club is a hive of activity today. The racing team are working hard with the competitors to ensure that the yachts competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 are fully prepared for the race starting in just three days.
RORC members Niall Dowling and Michael Boyd are taking their performance in the Class 40, 40 Degrees very seriously. This morning they left English Harbour for a proper shake down and will be spending the night at sea, getting acquainted with the boat.
Danilo Salsi's Swan 90, DSK Pioneer Investments, has arrived and the crew is busy preparing the boat for the race. Amongst the crew is round the world sailor, Lucas Brun. Principle helmsman, Andrea Casale, took time to explain some changes to the magnificent Swan. " We are very happy with the design of the boat but we have removed the bow sprit and have made our spinnakers smaller. DSK Pioneer Investments is a very powerful boat but we have found that the new configuration does not effect our downwind speed but does reduce the loads and our rating under IRC."
Karl Kwok's Beau Geste has been in Antigua for some time and the carbon fibre Farr 80 has clocked up an amazing 12000 miles in just 8 months. The boat captain, Cameron Ward, has hinted that they will be sailing with as many as 25 crew. During the race the hundreds of litres of water required will be supplied by a desalination plant on board and the crew will be eating freeze dried meals with a little bit of chocolate as a luxury.
The only multihull in the race, Region Guadeloupe, was on the water with the crew, putting her through her paces and gaining valuable training time. Joining John Bernie for the race is Nick Lykiardopulo who is no stranger to the Caribbean, having won Antigua Sailing Week a number of times.
Philip Munday's Great Escape of Southampton are making good for the race and the RORC Caribbean 600 is something of a reunion, as Phil explains: "Many of the crew were on the boat for the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race which we were unable to finish. It's great to be in Antigua, we sailed here from Grenada and can't wait to get back out there."
The Skipper's briefing is set for Saturday, 20th February at 1700 hours and after the official partners of the RORC Caribbean 600, Lee Overlay Partners, will provide a welcoming party for all of the crews.