The 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 featured close completion right through the 70-boat fleet. Nearly 600 crew from 30 different countries raced the ‘600, which is now well established as the ‘must-do’ offshore race in the Caribbean.
Antigua, West Indies – Results are now in for the first-ever Royal Ocean Racing Club Nelson’s Cup Series. Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán was the overall winner and OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno was the winner of IRC Two.
The six-race regatta, including the RORC Caribbean 600 offshore race is the first to be run by the RORC with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club. Teams from all over the world took part including: Antigua & Barbuda, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.
Two days of windward leeward racing in moderate trade winds was followed by a lay day before the teams were back in action for a high-velocity Antigua 360 Race (about 50-miles around Antigua). After a two-day break, the sixth and final race of the Nelson’s Cup Series was the RORC Caribbean 600. Daily informal prize givings at the Antigua Yacht Club gave the teams the opportunity to rub shoulders with the competition.
The top three overall were racing in IRC One. Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán (SWE) was the overall winner of the RORC Nelson’s Cup by a single point from Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 Corum (FRA). Third overall was RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim’s NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA).
In IRC Two, the winner was decided by the narrowest of margins. OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno (ANT), skippered by David Hanks won on countback from Marie Tabarly’s 1973 ketch Pen Duick VI (FRA). Szymon Kuczynski’s Figaro Hultaj (POL) was third.
“Our first Nelson’s Cup Series has been a great success,” commented RORC CEO Jeremy Wilton. “We have learnt a lot and we have had really good constructive feedback that we were looking for from owners, crew and our stakeholders. Many of the teams that competed this year have said it’s a no brainer if you want to do well in the RORC Caribbean 600, you have to do the Nelson’s Cup Series. The regatta prepares teams for the weather conditions and gives them experience in the actual race area for the RORC Caribbean 600.
“For teams looking to compete next year we would ask you to please get in contact with the RORC. A big thank you to the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, Antigua Yacht Club, Carib Beer, English Harbour Rum and Axxess Marine. The RORC is looking forward to staging the second edition next year and making the Nelson’s Cup Series bigger and better,” concluded Wilton.
The second edition of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series will be held 13th-23rd February 2024. Two days of inshore racing on 13th-14th February, the Antigua 360 Race on 16th February, and the big race will be the RORC Caribbean 600 on 19th February.
On the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600 all of the IRC Classes have been decided and plenty of teams that have finished the race are enjoying the hospitality of Antigua’s beaches, bars, and restaurants. Seven boats are still racing with a big incentive; to make tonight’s RORC Caribbean 600 Closing Party at the Antigua Yacht Club.
RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) has won the highly competitive class placing second overall under IRC to Pyewacket 70.Second in IRC Zero and fourth overall was Kate & Jim Murray’s Pac52 Callisto (USA). Third in IRC Zero and fifth overall was Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet – 3 Corum (FRA).
“The Caribbean 600 is one of the most fantastic 600 mile races in the world, it’s non-stop action with plenty of wind,” commented Eric de Turckheim. “The whole RORC fleet is an amazing sight at the start with such a variety of boats in one race: Volvo 70s, Classics like Pen Duick VI and the Class40s. This year we had a fantastic battle in IRC Zero with four highly competitive boats that Teasing Machine was in contact with all the time. We finished within 30 minutes of each other, that is exciting as well as the sailing itself. Callisto sailed really well and was always a threat. Further back because they are 46ft was Daguet, in the last race they beat us, this year we beat them. So well done to Callisto and Daguet for making this class very hard to win.”
Teasing Machine Crew: Eric de Turckheim, Laurent Pages, Aymeric Chappellier, Alexandre de Girval, Bertrand Castelnerac, Christian Ponthieu, Gabriele Olivo, Jerome Teillet, Paco Lepoutre, Quentin Bouchacourt, Quentin Le Nabour, Tony Brochet.
Dan Litchfield’s Classic Hound (USA) put in a great last beat from Redonda to the finish to win IRC One. The Aage Nielsen 59 sloop was built in 1970, the oldest boat in the race. Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA) skippered by Phillippe Falle was second by just 24 minutes after IRC time correction. In third place was Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR), just six minutes behind Yagiza after IRC time correction.
“We got pushed really hard by the other boats in our class, somehow we pulled it out at the end and it feels great,” commented Hound owner Dan Litchfield. “It was only when we were rounding Redonda that we thought the win was possibly for real and then we sailed right into a wind hole BUT it picked up again and we were back in business. The Hound crew is the best I have ever sailed with.” Dan Litchfield was quick to praise two long standing RORC members on the Hound crew. “A big thank you to Ed Cesare who did a great job as navigator and Richard du Moulin for superb preparation. The RORC Caribbean 600 is our big race of the season, Hound will be heading back to Newport Rhode Island and I know our two daughters will have missed cruising her, as we will do in the summer.”
Hound crew: Tom Stark, Adam Klyver, Chris Murray, Daniel Litchfield, David Rosow, Devin Santa, Edward Cesare, Glenn Cook, Jason Black, Lyndsey Gibbons-Neff, Nicholas Horbaczewski, Owen Johnson, Peter McGrath, Rich du Moulin, Sumner Fisher, Taylor North
Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA) has won IRC Two by just under two hours from J/133 Vamoose (USA) skippered by Bob Manchester. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR) was third.
“It feels fantastic, it has been great to get around the course with a wonderful crew, I can’t thank them enough. It is an all-round crew we all drive and trim and the work has been outstanding,” commented In Theory’s Peter McWhinnie. “It was a relief to get through the last beat as the wind got a little fluky and make the finish which was a very happy moment. One of the highlights of this race has been the close competition from other boats, we were always mixing it up with Vamoose, J Bella and EH01. There were a lot of great moments and a lot of hard sailing; it was pretty full on. The run down to Nevis from Barbuda on the first night was really beautiful. Compared to 2020, this time we passed most of the islands during day time which was nice and an incentive to come back and do it again.”
In Theory Crew: Peter McWhinnie, Com Crocker, Erin Sprague, John Slattery, Peter Fackler, Simon Karstoft Jensen.
Still out racing at 08:10 AST on Friday 24th February: Bluejay of Portsmouth, Escapado, Montana, Spirit of Venus, Purple Mist, Hultaj, Charisma. The magnificent seven are hoping to make the spectacular closing party. L’Esprit d’Equipe, Lifgun and Discoverer Of Hornet have already started the party!
The Royal Ocean Racing Club announce that the overall winner of the 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is Roy P. Disney’s Pyewacket 70 (USA). None of the teams still racing under IRC has any realistic chance of beating Pyewacket 70 after time correction. The Pyewacket 70 team will be presented with the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy at the Prize Giving on Friday 24th February.
Pyewacket 70 Crew: Ben Mitchell, Peter Isler, Tony Mutter, Brad Jackson, Brian Janney, Daryl Wislang, David Tank, Jan Majer, Mark Callahan, Matt Mialik, Robbie Kane, Rodney Daniel, Tristan Louwrens.
“We are super-excited about winning overall,” commented skipper Ben Mitchell. “With Pyewacket 70 we don’t go into these races necessarily thinking that a corrected time win is our goal, we go for Line Honours and potentially to set a new record. So, when a handicap win comes that is fantastic and we are excited that we were able to achieve that.
“The Caribbean has been a popular destination for American sailors for a long time, but the hard core Southern Californian racers do not come here that often,” continued Ben Mitchell. “When you come here you realise how beautiful this course is, with fabulous wind conditions combined with warm water and weather. It’s a fantastic race area. As we saw with Wizard and now with Pyewacket 70, the Volvo 70s are well heeled for this course, which has plenty of windy reaching conditions.”
“For me personally, I feel very fortunate,” continued Ben Mitchell. “I am very lucky to be put in the position by Roy (Pat Disney) with the support of Robbie Haines. This win is right up there with the biggest victories and Pyewacket has had a lot of success with the programme. In recent years the RORC Caribbean 600 victory is right up there with our record in the Cabo Race. This is a great course, but it is also very tricky. In Southern California we are more use to point-to-point distance races. The course designers were definitely using their imagination when they came up with the RORC Caribbean 600.”
By dawn on day four of the RORC Caribbean 600, 29 teams had finished the race with nearly all of them crossing the finish line in a hectic overnight period. The army of Antigua Yacht Club volunteers rolled up their sleeves to congratulate every crew with a warm smile, cold Carib beer and a team photo to savour. With the number of finishers approaching half the RORC fleet, class winners are emerging. Results link HERE
Gunboat 68 Tosca (USA) skippered by Alex Thomson has won the MOCRA Class after time correction. Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 was second with MOD70 Zoulou, sailed by Erik Maris in third.
“Apart from a few squalls we had plenty of steady breeze, which is great for Tosca - a perfect boat to do this race. You have the comfort of a superyacht and the speed of a Volvo 70,” commented Alex Thomson dockside. “Tosca has a great crew and together we are really understanding how to improve the boat’s performance. The MOD70s that were in front of us are amazing boats and there are great boats right through this class. We are really chuffed to win the MOCRA Class; it is a milestone for this boat. Now we are really looking forward to the Rolex Fastnet Race later this year.”
RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) has won the highly competitive class. Kate & Jim Murray’s Pac52 Callisto (USA) is second, with Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 – Corum (FRA) in third. Racing in IRC Zero is the Verdier 54 Notre Mediterranee - Ville de Nice (FRA), sailed by Fabien Biron & Pim Nieuwenhuis, which is the first IRC Two-Handed team to finish the race in an elapsed time of 02 days 17 hrs 15 mins 15 secs.
Albi Bona’s IBSA (ITA) held off a strong challenge from Ambrogio Beccaria’s Alla Grande – Pirelli (ITA) to win the 13-strong Class40 Division by one mile after 61 hours of racing. Completing the Class40 podium was Axel Trehin’s Project Rescue Ocean (FRA), just twenty minutes behind Alla Grande – Pirelli.
“We are very happy to win in a very good fleet. Brogio (Ambrogio Beccaria) comes from the North of Italy like me, so it is great to have two Italian boats at the top. This is the first time I have done this race. It is a great course for Class40 and it has been special to race with a team that knows it so well.”
IBSA crew for the race was an international team, skipper Albi Bona (ITA) was joined by Pablo Santurde (ESP), Luca Bertacchi (ITA) and Luke Berry (FRA).
All of the teams in IRC One and IRC Two are still racing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Conditions out on the racecourse are generally nothing short of fabulous, with tropical heat, moderate sea state and stable easterly winds of about 15 knots.
Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) is about to round Redonda. Pata Negra is leading the class after IRC time correction by 30 minutes from First 53 Yagiza (FRA) skippered by Phillippe Falle. Yagiza is just a mile astern of Pata Negra. The two teams know each other very well, but there will be no quarter taken or given for the gruelling beat to the finish. Dan Litchfield’s classic Aage Nielsen 59 Hound (USA) is ranked third, but only by five minutes. Hound is very much in the game if their water-line length and displacement come into play for the upwind slog to Antigua.
J/133 Vamoose (USA) skippered by Bob Manchester leads on the water and is the only boat to have passed Barbuda for the second time. About 30 miles behind three boats are in close combat with each other with one eye on the clock to win the class. Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA) still leads class after IRC time correction, but the two-hour time correction lead at Guadeloupe is now down to 37 minutes from Vamoose. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR) is still in the hunt but has dropped to third in ranking for IRC Two.
With line honours decided for both Multihull and Monohull boats in the RORC Caribbean 600, the focus turns onto the Class Winners and the ultimate prize; the Overall Win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.
Roy P. Disney’s Pyewacket70 (USA) has taken Monohull Line Honours in the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600 in an elapsed time of 42 hours 45 mins 06 secs. Two generations of the Disney family have raced boats under the Pyewacket name. The latest Pyewacket 70, is a turbo-charged Volvo 70 with a taller mast, lighter hull and deeper keel than the original box-rule. Pyewacket 70 is the fastest of Disney dynasty and the first to take Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Caribbean 600.
MOD70 Zoulou sailed by Erik Maris (FRA) has taken Multihull Line Honours in the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600 in an elapsed time of 30 hours 55 mins 45 secs. Zoulou’s time was under two hours outside the Multihull Race Record.
Organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and supported by Antigua Yacht Club, the 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started on time at 11:00 AST on Monday 20th February. Seventy boats racing under IRC, Class40 and MOCRA Rules, with crew from 30 different countries, started the epic race.
The 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts on 20th February at 11:00 AST (UTC-4). Seventy boats from all over the world are ready in Antigua for the non-stop 600nm race around 11 Caribbean islands.
With 25 knots of wind and a three metre swell, the fifth race of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series was a full-on foam up. The Antigua 360 Race was a blast from beginning to end, with numerous squalls screeching in from the Atlantic, giving the RORC fleet a hosing from above and below.
The international fleet enjoyed two more races on the second day of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. Compared to the first day, the wind speed in the combat zone was up to 20 knots from the east-nor-east. Race winners on Day 2 were Marie Tabarly’s 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI (FRA), OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno (ANT) skippered by David Hanks, and Niklas Zennström’s CF 520 Rán 8 (SWE).
Antigua Yacht Club, Monday 13 February 2023 - The Skippers’ Briefing for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series was held at the Antigua Yacht Club. PRO Stefan Kunstmann welcomed the competitors to the Event Centre at the Antigua Yacht Club.
Two races are scheduled for Race Day One of the Nelson's Cup with the first start scheduled for 1000 AST. For those lucky enough to be in Antigua, the RORC fleet will be starting from a line off Fort Charlotte with a great view also available from Shirley Heights. Weather forecasts are predicting a steady north easterly breeze, coupled with up to two-metres of swell. The first day of the RORC Nelson’s Cup look set to be a thriller.
A huge variety of raceboats will be racing under the IRC Rating Rule to decide class and the overall winner of the inaugural Nelson’s Cup Series. The RORC fleet includes a stunning fleet of carbon-fibre raceboats, vintage ocean racers, Class40s and performance cruiser/racers. For the Antigua 360 Race, high-performance Multihulls racing under MOCRA Rules are expected to join the IRC Fleet.
Antigua, West Indies - Racing at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Nelson’s Cup Series starts on February 14th in Antigua. Teams from three continents will compete, with entries from Antigua, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.
Tuesday 14th February marks the start of a new Caribbean Racing Series organised by the RORC in association with the Antigua Yacht Club. The Nelson’s Cup Series is composed of three days of inshore and coastal racing, plus the established 600-mile classic: The RORC Caribbean 600. The Final Prize Giving will be held at Antigua Yacht Club on Friday 24th February.
On Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th of February, from 10:00 local time (UTC-4), the RORC Race Committee will run multiple Coastal or Windward/Leeward Races. A Lay day is planned for Thursday 16th February. On Friday 17th of February, from 08:00 local time (UTC-4), the RORC will run the Antigua 360 – the 52nm Round Antigua Race. The final race of the Nelson’s Cup Series will be the big event; the RORC Caribbean 600, starting on Monday 20th of February.
A huge variety of raceboats will be racing under the IRC Rating Rule to decide class and the overall winner of the inaugural Nelson’s Cup Series. The RORC fleet includes a stunning fleet of carbon-fibre raceboats, vintage ocean racers, Class40s and performance cruiser/racers. The boats are crewed by top professional sailors and passionate corinthians from all over the world.
For the Antigua 360 Race, high-performance Multihulls racing under MOCRA Rules are expected to join the IRC Fleet, including MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) with Erik Maris at the helm, Rob Merwin’s Gunboat 60 Cui Bono (USA), and Guy Chester’s much travelled 45ft trimaran Oceans Tribute (AUS).
An extraordinary array of raceboats will be tearing through the wind and waves of Antigua for the Nelson’s Cup. Six full-on racing machines will be in action that have never raced in the Caribbean before: Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán (SWE), Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN), ClubSwan 50 Balthasar (BEL), sailed by Louis Balcaen, RORC Commodore James Neville with HH42 Ino XXX (GBR) and Thomas Rich’s GP42 Settler (USA). The design debutants are joined by three carbon flyers returning to top-flight racing in Antigua: RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim’s NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA), Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 Corum (FRA) and Bernie Evan-Wong’s RP37 Taz (ANT).
Marie Tabarly’s 1973 ketch Pen Duick VI is the largest boat racing in the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series and the second largest is OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno (ANT). The smallest in the series is Szymon Kuczynski’s Figaro Hultaj (POL). Two Class40s will be in action; Marek Culen & Miroslav Jakubcik’s Sabre II (SVK) and Tquila (GBR) skippered by Brian Thompson. Bob Manchester’s J/133 Vamoose (USA) will be competing with a team from the Barrington Yacht Club, RI. With the Nelson’s Cup Series starting on Valentine’s Day, charter yacht First 40.7 Spirit of Venus (ANT), skippered by Edward House, will naturally have a sweetheart theme!
Antigua, 7 February, 2023: Sponsors of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s RORC Caribbean 600 and new Nelson’s Cup Series in Antigua are busy preparing for the annual influx of boats and teams from around the world. With just one week to go until the first race in the Series and two weeks until the only 600-mile offshore race in the Caribbean kicks off, the 14th edition - organised in association with Antigua Yacht Club - is raced around 11 Caribbean islands, forming one of the most complex and stunning offshore racecourses in the sport.
“We are grateful to the long list of race sponsors, partners, supporters and volunteers who make the organisation of the RORC Caribbean 600 possible, and who contribute directly to the benefit of the teams coming to Antigua,” explains RORC Racing Manager, Steve Cole. “These include Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, along with the continued support of a number of Official Partners and Supporters: Connectivity Partner - Axxess Marine; Logistics Partner - Sevenstar Yacht Transport; Official Rum - English Harbour Rum; Official Lager - Carib Lager, and The Inn at English Harbour.”
Axxess Marine - Official Connectivity Partner
After a successful collaboration in last year’s race, Axxess Marine will once again provide and support essential internet connectivity services required by the RORC Race and Media Teams. They will also provide Live Stream connectivity for the start of the RORC Caribbean 600, to enable race fans around the globe to follow all the action as it happens. The winning Class40 will also be presented with the Axxess Marine Trophy, whilst crews will be able to keep online whilst in the Race Village at Antigua Yacht Club, via the Axxess Marina Competitor Wifi Zones.
Founder of Axxess Marine, Dennis Henri shares his motivation for partnering with the Race: “The RORC Caribbean 600 has always had an impressive number of participants, with an unmatched calibre of yachts, and has been an integral supporter of the Antigua and Barbuda yachting sector for numerous years. This race has assisted with growing our niche market through the influx of yachts who require products and services from local businesses during the season. Axxess Marine has made it a focal point within our company to support any organisation that is closely related to the yachting sector of Antigua (the home of our main office branch), and internationally. This is our second year as the connectivity sponsor and the exposure has been a phenomenal experience thus far. Axxess Marine has definitely developed a long-standing relationship with the RORC Committee and look forward to continuously working together.”
Sevenstar Yacht Transport – Official Logistics Partner
Following another successful Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race in 2022, longterm RORC race supporter, Sevenstar Yacht Transport will partner once again for the RORC Caribbean 600, offering discounted yacht transport and providing skippers bags and competitor gifts. Race Yacht Manager, Sander Speet is also looking forward to competing in the race himself on board Niklas Zennström’s CF-520 Rán, in the highly competitive IRC Zero.
“We make it possible to do more racing; that’s our purpose for the racing community, and the reason why we have a strong commitment to the RORC Caribbean 600, the leading offshore race of the Caribbean circuit,” says Sander Speet. “Sevenstar always thinks ahead before the start and beyond the finish line. The first step is not the registration for the race, it’s the step to get your yacht to the event. Teams participating in worldwide races like the RORC Caribbean 600 need a logistic teammate too. At Sevenstar we make a winning we make a winning team complete with a teammate in bespoke transport solutions.”
English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum – Official Rum
No visit to Antigua would be complete without sampling some local rum. Thanks to the Official Rum - English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum, crews will get plenty of chances to enjoy their favourite tipple at the Welcome party and final Prizegiving, where beautifully engraved, named rum decanters and other prizes are awarded.
“The Antigua Distillery Ltd, through its brand English Harbour Rum is honoured to continue our partnership with the Royal Ocean Racing Club during the annual hosting of the RORC Caribbean 600. We have been a supporter of the event since its inception and have watched it grow into one of Antigua and Barbuda’s premier regattas. We thank the RORC Team for their continued faith in our brand to help deliver a memorable and enjoyable experience for all its participants,” comments Calbert Francis, Global Export Manager, Antigua Distillery Ltd.
Carib Lager - Official Lager
Every boat is met on the dock after finishing the RORC Caribbean 600 by the RORC Race Team and welcome volunteers. Whatever time of day or time the team arrives back on the dock, a case of ice-cold Carib Beer is presented to them and is one of the things the crews are looking forward at the end of the 600nm race. Thanks to Bryden’s distribution company, dozens of cases of Carib lager is made available for the finishing yachts and for the Welcome and Closing parties. Along with branded gifts in the skippers packs given out at registration and giveaways at the parties, branded hampers will be given at the overall prizegiving.
The Inn at English Harbour
The afternoon before the start, the RORC Commodore holds a cocktail party, hosted by The Inn at English Harbour for the skippers/owners of the competing yachts at the exclusive hotel's Reef Restaurant on Galleon Beach. This informal occasion has been a popular distraction for many years now, from all the last minute race preparations before the start.