Day 1 afternoon update: A Day of Suprises
The shifty squally conditions at the start were the beginning of a few surprises on Day One of the RORC Caribbean 600. George David's Rambler leads the entire fleet on the water but Amanda Hartley's Swan 56, Clem was the overall handicap leader at 1630 ECT. The lighter than usual conditions provided a tranquil reach to the North Sails Mark at Barbuda. The mark rounding was a calm wind affair for many but as the wind shifted from north to south on approach to Barbuda it became fraught with difficulties. The larger yachts can take several minutes to gybe and the 180' twin masted schooner Adela needs an army of 12 just to work the four runners.
In the Superyacht class, Peter Harrison's Farr 115, Sojana passed Gerhard Andlinger's P2 shortly after rounding Green Island. Sojana's ketch rig has been further enhanced by a brand new retractable bowsprit built into a now redundant anchor locker. The additional sail area looks to have improved reaching speeds. Hetairos leads the class on the water by some distance, but Sojana lead on corrected time just ahead of P2.
In the Spirit of Tradition class, Adela are leading on the water by less than a mile, however the drop in wind speed may well continue, especially after dark. Windrose of Amsterdam is significantly lighter than Adela and has water ballast which may make for a change over night.
Multihull class: Olivier Vigoureux's trimaran Paradox has opened up a three-mile lead against Alain Delhumeau's Rayon Vert and leads on corrected time.
In IRC Zero, George David's RP90 Rambler has put in a class performance and leads the entire fleet on the water. The 90ft maxi passed Paradox with a stunning rounding of the North Sails Mark off Barbuda. Rambler judged the approach to perfection, getting the layline bang-on in the shifting breeze to take up pole position. However, Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán are the current IRC leaders on the water. The Mini Maxi is just two miles behind Rambler but Rán is an astonishing two hours ahead on handicap. After time correction, Mick Cotter's RP78, Whisper is second. A close battle for third is developing between Swan 80, Selene and Bryon Ehrhart's TP52, Lucky. Rán look to be in control of the class, but Lucky should be relishing a light airs reach tonight and may well be in a better position by the morning.
The Class40s are enjoying some close racing. Hannah Jenner, co-skipper of 40 Degrees and Tim Fetch's Icarus Racing have taken up the early running. 40 Degrees is leading but the difference in VMG between all four yachts is less than half a knot. The downwind leg to Nevis could see some interesting tactics come into play, especially if tonight's predicted rain squalls come into play.
In IRC One, Amanda Hartley's Spanish Swan 56, Clem has started extremely well, taking a half-mile lead against Colin Buffin's Swan 62, Uxorious IV. Clem has an interesting blend of crew, including round the world yachtman Guillermo Altadill and TP52 MedCup's Nacho Postigo. Good friends to have if you like offshore yacht racing! Global Yacht Racing's First 47.7 EH01 is currently lying second after time correction with Frank Eberhart's Nielsen 59, Hound lying third.
The clear leader in IRC Two is Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster chartered by race coach specialist, Sailing Logic. It is early in the race but Scarlet Oyster could be a real dark horse for the overall handicap win, especially if the breeze picks up on Wednesday, as predicted. The current overall handicap leader is the Swan 56 Clem and the RORC media team back in Antigua has decided to vote Clem as 'performer of the day'. The beat to Green Island and reach to Barbuda will have suited the Swan. Clem should enjoy the broad reach to Nevis as the yacht uses a conventional spinnaker pole.To follow the RORC Caribbean 600 go to the live tracking page