Getting the Show on the Road
The RORC Caribbean 600 is hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club (AYC) and their support is a crucial part of the success of the event. Last night, the club organised a planning meeting for the RORC Caribbean 600. Over 50 volunteers will provide assistance to ensure that the race will be well managed and above all enjoyable for the hundreds of competitors taking part.
AYC co-coordinator Helen Spooner has worked her magic for every edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, leading the team of volunteers and running shoreside logistics: "Most of the volunteers are members of the Antigua Yacht Club but all of them are sailors and they take great pride in getting involved and get a real buzz out of greeting the yachts. I can tell you, the competitors are very happy to see them as well!"
Through careful planning, every yacht competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 will be greeted dockside by the volunteers. No matter what time they finish the race, every yacht will be given a warm welcome back to Antigua and a case or two of cold Carib beer to quench their thirst. What's more, the bar at the Antigua Yacht Club will be open when the first warning signal sounds on Monday 20th February and will not close until after the Prizegiving on Friday 24th.
Many of the volunteers are highly experienced having worked on many other regattas and include superyacht captains and race officials. This part of the team will be the core group to ensure a safe and well-managed start to the RORC Caribbean 600.
This year, the RORC Caribbean 600 has 13 yachts competing over 70' and five yachts over 100'. These yachts need considerable sea room to manoeuvre and several of the highly experienced volunteers will act as on-the-water marshals maintaining an exclusion zone to keep spectator boats a safe distance from the yachts racing.
The RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race will be starting south of Fort Charlotte on Monday 20th February between 1100 and 1200. For those wishing to watch from the land, the best view will be from Shirley Heights. During the race, every yacht is fitted with a Yellowbrick Tracker and their progress can be followed from the RORC Caribbean web site: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/
For those wishing to watch the race from the water, please note that there will be an exclusion zone around the starting line effective from 1000 until 1200, local time.
The safety of spectator vessels and competitors is paramount and therefore Marshall Boats displaying a white flag with a red "M" will be policing the exclusion zone as per the diagram at the bottom of this page.
RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott, commented at the meeting:
"The support of the members of the Antigua Yacht Club plays a vital part in the success of the RORC Caribbean 600. The fact that we see so many familiar faces helping us each year, with their vast experience of the local area and conditions, gives the RORC the confidence to be able to organise this demanding offshore race with a small RORC team from the UK."
"We are very pleased that ABSAR, the Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue team will be on hand to help with the many aspects of safety and fleet management required to run an offshore race. ABSAR's highly trained team and safety network throughout the islands on the Caribbean 600 course, is vital to the safe running of the race. ABSAR will also be on hand to help identify any boats finishing in the hours of darkness."