How to Follow the Race
An unprecedented fleet featuring the world's most spectacular yachts and crews are gathering in Antigua for the start of the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. The race starts on Monday 22 February.
To keep up with all the news and to follow the fleet, please see full details below.
RECORD FLEET - WORLD'S MOST SPECTACULAR RACING YACHTS
The Race Team from the Royal Ocean Racing Club, based at Antigua Yacht Club is busy preparing for the start of the 8th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 on Monday 22 February. Since 2009, the only offshore race in the Caribbean has grown in popularity and this year a record fleet of 70 yachts from around the world will compete.
The quality of the fleet is second-to-none. Some of the world's fastest racing machines with sailors who have flown in from all parts of the world to secure the silverware and the prestigious RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, will be on the same race course as corinthian sailors in a diverse fleet with crews from over 30 different countries.
Fort Charlotte, Antigua will be the starting and finishing point for this sensational 600 mile non-stop yacht race around 11 Caribbean Islands.
THE START: MONDAY 22 FEBRUARY
1050 (First warning signal)
A myriad of 70 yachts will take the start on Monday 22 February. The First Warning Signal is at 1050, but yachts will leave the dock much earlier to make their way to the start area. The start sequence with nine different classes will take 40 minutes to complete.
Spectators are in for a treat. The 8th edition of the race will showcase an astounding fleet of yachts: from record-breaking high performance racers to a magnificent 213ft (65m) three-masted schooner, elegant classic and fast production yachts.
Due to the size of the yachts and the sheer number competing, considerable sea room is needed to manoeuvre and a team of highly experienced volunteers will act as on-the-water marshals maintaining an Exclusion Zone to keep spectator boats at a safe distance from the yachts racing.
WATCH THE START, HOW TO FOLLOW THE RACE
FROM THE SHORE:
The yachts will be starting south of Fort Charlotte on Monday 22 February. Those left on land can get a wonderful view from there, or from Shirley Heights. The starting line is formed between an orange triangle on Fort Charlotte and an orange cylindrical Outer Distance Mark approximately 0.50nm south of Fort Charlotte. The Race Committee may adjust this position with reference to the wind direction on the day of the start. Fort Charlotte is at the eastern entrance to English Harbour above the Pillars of Hercules and below Shirley Heights.
There's also a chance to catch a glimpse of the boats leaving Falmouth Harbour from Pigeon Beach and the boats leaving English Harbour from Galleon Beach from 0930 onwards. Boats will be gathering in the start area from around 1000, so get there early to get the best view. The start sequence begins at 1050.
CLASS START TIMES:
1100 CSA, IRC 2, IRC 3
1110 IRC 1 & Class40
1120 IRC Zero and CK
Note: A Warning Signal will be given 10 minutes before the Starting Signal
RACE MINISITE: Follow the race on the minisite: http://caribbean600.rorc.org
Keep up to date with all the news. There will be blogs from the boats themselves on the race course, images, video and daily race reports. Follow the action as it unfolds on the RORC Caribbean 600 website.
Facebook. Follow the race on: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalOceanRacingClub
Twitter: #rorcrc600 - Follow @rorcracing
TRACK THE FLEET:
Every yacht is fitted with a race tracker and their progress can be followed on the race website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Tracking/2016-fleet-tracking.html
FROM THE WATER:
PLEASE NOTE: EXCLUSION ZONE FOR THE START
For those wishing to watch the race from the water, please note that there will be an Exclusion Zone around the starting area effective from 1030 to 1200 on Monday 22 February 2016.
The safety of spectator vessels and competitors is paramount and therefore Marshal Boats displaying a white flag with a red "M" will be policing the exclusion zone as per the diagram below.
JOIN THE RACE
PLAY THE GAME - VIRTUAL REGATTA:
If you can't make the race but want to compete against thousands of 'armchair sailors' around the world, join the RORC Caribbean 600 Virtual Regatta now. Test your skills, but beware, you will be hooked as the delights and frustrations of the course become apparent.
Join the Virtual Regatta HERE: http://click.virtualregatta.com/?li=4559
A WORD FROM THE RORC RACING MANAGER:
"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 and new volunteers 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," says RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott.
"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," continues Elliott.
For more information visit the RORC Caribbean 600 mini-site: www.caribbean600.rorc.org
Start: Antigua, West Indies - Monday 22 February 2016
Course: Approx. 600nm non-stop around 11 Caribbean Islands