Sunset and Spinnakers
As the sunsets over the Caribbean, the competitors in the RORC Caribbean 600 are preparing for their first night at sea. At 1700 local time, the leading boats had rounded the North Sails mark off Barbuda and were power reaching west towards the sunset under spinnaker. It doesn't get a lot better than that!
Setting an incredible pace are John Burnie and his crew on ORMA 60, Region Guadeloupe. "We are around the North Sails mark power reaching to Nevis, the speedo has barely dropped below 22 knots since we left Barbuda," explained navigator, Nick Lykiardopulo.
In IRC Class Super Zero, Karl Kwok's Beau Geste is setting the pace, well clear of the North Sails mark and heading to Nevis at a cracking pace. Richard Oland's Southern Cross 52, Vela Veloce is second in class, on handicap but on the water the Canadian boat is having a close battle with Danilo Salsi's Swan 90, DSK Pioneer Investments. The two yachts were literally bow-to-bow at the North Sails mark. Third on handicap is James Grundy's Tripp 75, Bella Pita.
In IRC Class Zero, Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy's Swan 56, Noonmark VI is the early class leader. Behind them, Ondeck's Farr 65, Spirit of Minerva is second in class but winning the private battle with two other Farr 65s. Spirit of Isis, crewed by Lloyds Yacht Club are in third and the BLESMA crew are not far behind.
IRC Class One has a clear leader, after a cracking start Marc Glimcher's J 122, Catapult is in command. Just ten miles from the North Sails mark they are well ahead of the other Class One boats and at this very early stage are third on handicap for the entire fleet.
As the crews get ready for the nightwatch, there will be no need to reach for the wet weather gear, the air temperature is still in the high twenties, they will be hoping that the wind keeps up as well.
You can track the yachts and read the messages that are coming in by accessing the Tracker Page or the Boat Blogs page on the official RORC Caribbean 600 web site.