Success for Antigua
St. John's dentist, Bernie Evan Wong said he would be back for his 6th RORC Caribbean 600 with a bigger, faster boat and Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8 delivered, taking Line Honours in IRC Two. The first time in the six year history of the race, that an Antiguan skippered yacht has taken line honours in any class.
"We pushed the boat to its limits; it was the hardest race I have done and so satisfying. The Quokka crew is very, very, experienced and although we had our differences, we all had one goal; to be the first to finish in our class and we have achieved that. It has been a privilege to sail with a truly great team and we have all contributed to our success; there is mutual respect between us all and a friendship that will last forever."
Jonty Layfield's Azuree 46, Sleeper is a brand new boat taking part in its first offshore race. Antiguan Laser sailor, Sean Malone was on board as a principal driver for the RORC Caribbean 600. Sleeper was second in class and only beaten by an hour by the highly experienced and successful Dutch team on Tonnerre de Breskens 3, a former RORC Yacht of the Year.
Sean Malone was all smiles dockside at the Catamaran Club in Falmouth Harbour, after completing the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands; it was Sean's first '600: "It was a brilliant race and with the most magnificent crew I've ever sailed with in my entire life - they are all fighters, they never give up," he said. The course was brilliant, just always keeping you on your toes - it's just the most magnificent race I've ever done in my entire life. It's brilliant - doesn't get any better than that."
Sean came ashore wearing a fisherman's rope around his neck and explained the significance: "I was at the wheel when we caught an Antiguan lobster pot on our rudder...so I'm wearing the line from it as a punishment as it looks like it cost us dear. We got beaten by just one hour and that lobster pot really slowed us down. Antigua owes Sleeper a lobster dinner tonight!"