The Notice of Race for the 2020 Caribbean 600 has been released and is now available to download from the Race Information section of the website.
David and Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 Wizard has won the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, scoring the best corrected time under IRC. Wizard put in a near faultless performance to complete the 600 mile non-stop race in 43 hours 38 minutes and 44 seconds.
“That's awesome,” commented David Askew on receiving the news. “This is the first time we have done this race and to win it overall is beyond our wildest possible dreams. It's a race we have followed and we have always wanted to be in Antigua, but we wanted to have the right boat to do the really prestigious ocean races; the races we dreamed about when we were younger. We really didn't have any expectations, but we prepared ourselves to perform as best as we could. I am in shock, I really can't believe it.”
To win the race is beyond our wildest dreams" - Wizard Volvo 70 owned by Brothers David and Peter Askew © Arthur Daniel/RORC
“Outstanding, really special,” commented Peter Askew. Both myself, my brother and all the Wizard team are very competitive, so to start the year with a big win and part of our commitment to the Transatlantic Ocean Race Series, is just fantastic.” Peter confirmed that the schedule for Wizard includes the Transatlantic Race, The Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Wizard's crew led by the Askew brothers was skippered by Charlie Enright (USA), Richard Clarke (CAN), Simon Fisher (GBR), Phillip Harmer (AUS), Robbie Kane (USA), Chris Maxted (AUS), Mark Towill (USA), Phil Trinter (USA), John von Schwarz (USA) , Mitchell White (AUS), Daryl Wislang (NZL).
2019 RORC Caribbean 600 winner - Volvo 70 Wizard (USA) © Arthur Daniel/RORC
Team Wizard after completing the race in Antigua © Arthur Daniel/RORC
Maserati Multi 70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini (ITA) crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 at 20:49:00 AST on Tuesday 19 February 2019 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 06 hours 49 minutes and 00 seconds, taking Multihull Line honours and setting a new Multihull Race Record in the 11th edition of the race; beating the previous record by just over one hour.
Maserati Multi 70 crew: Giovanni Solidni (ITA), Vittorio Bissaro (IT), Guido Broggi (IT), Carlos Hernandez Robayna (ESP), Oliver Herrera Perez (ESP), Nico Malingri (IT), Matteo Soldini (IT) Claude Thélier (FRA).
The extraordinary events surrounding the battle for Multihull Line Honours will be remembered for years to come. Just 48 hours before the start of the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600, Jason Carroll's MOD 70 Argo (USA) capsized at high speed in training. It seemed impossible that Argo would be racing, but after a monumental effort by the sailing community in Antigua, Argo's crew and shore team, Argo miraculously made the impossible a reality.
Blasting round the course - Multi 70 Maserati © Arthur Daniel/RORC
On the day of the race start, Giovanni Soldini agreed to a two hour delay at Argo's request. An epic match race was to follow over 600 miles around 11 Caribbean islands, racing day and night, both multihulls recording over 30 knots of boat speed. At Redonda, the final island of the course, Argo made a great tactical move to close the gap on Maserati and an intense match race provided the final twist to this fantastic story. Soldini's Maserati held off Argo to win by just over seven minutes, after 30 hours of explosive action. Both Maserati and Argo broke the race record and the former champion skipper, Lloyd Thornburg congratulated both skippers on their achievements as they arrived back on the dock in Antigua.
"It was amazing that this race even happened. It was the first time in history that a multihull so big came back from a capsize like that - incredible. I was very happy to agree to delay that start, to race against one of the best teams in the world," commented Soldini. "We had a wonderful race, very windy, very fast, with very good manoeuvres from both teams. We had some technical problems at Guadeloupe, we could not use our Solent for five hours and we had a small problem with one rudder, but it was a great fight. After Guadeloupe we could see Argo all the time and they were getting bigger and bigger with our problems, but we had a good lead and we kept calm and solved the problem. From Redonda to the finish we used classic match racing, trying to keep ourselves between Argo and the finish."
"It was a miracle that we managed to recover the boat without any major damage. We had so many people help us out in Antigua and also from Newport, Rhode Island, and my team worked 24-7 to get the boat back together," commented owner of Argo, Jason Carroll.
Jason Carroll's American MOD70 Argo © Arthur Daniel/RORC
"We took it hour-by-hour to see if we could get to a situation that we could race responsibly, and when the sun came up on race day, we were ready to go. The race was awesome. We were a bit disappointed to let Maserati slip away at the beginning, but we came back into them at the end. We wanted to get as much leverage as we could after Redonda. Maserati tacked immediately which is typical for the course, and we headed towards Montserrat, which I think surprised them. We got a reasonable split but they tacked to cover us. After that we tried to separate from them to see if we could make some opportunities. We had been racing for 29 hours and at the end it was pretty close. We gave it 101% even after all those hours of little sleep. This is a great race and Antigua has a great community and the Race Committee and Giovanni were super accommodating for us to make the start. This is an excellent event and I hope to come to many more. Racing Maserati so close at 30 knots of boat speed scares you a bit, but it is very exciting," continued Carroll.
Team Argo: Weston Barlow, Jason Carroll, Charles Corning, Thierry Fouchier, Francois Gabart, Anderson Reggio, Alister Richardson, Brian Thompson © Arthur Daniel/RORC
Argo Team Celebrate the Finish © Arthur Daniel/RORC
"The race was just perfect with a lot of transitions, good speed, good wind and wonderful islands to go around," commented Francois Gabart. "I only met the Argo crew a few days ago, they are a wonderful crew. This was the first time I have sailed after the Route du Rhum. I love to working with the Macif team, but this race was just perfect to get back to sailing on a fast boat and on a beautiful race course. This has been an adventure and something I will remember for all my life. I am really proud of what this team has done. It was a good experience and I think that a sailor needs to capsize once in his life - I have done it and I hope it is just done and I never do it again!"
Magnificent start footage from the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600. Watch all the action on the water including aerial footage and spectacular shots from the start.
The 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 attracted 76 teams from 21 countries and crews from six continents. The highly diverse fleet were challenged by the tough conditions and captivated by the beauty of a stunning race course. The non-stop 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands is unique and very much on the bucket-list of any offshore sailor.
“All the classes had amazing competition and many finished the race just minutes apart, especially in the battle between Maserati and Argo, and the Class40s,” commented RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen. “There were a lot of new boats and faces at this edition and the quality of the fleet and sailors continues to impress every year. The weather served up classic trade wind conditions which makes the race a challenge, but also a fast and exciting one.”
For the 2019 edition, David and Peter Askew's Wizard (USA) is the first Volvo 70 to win the race and the eighth team from the USA to lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. “Awesome,” commented David Askew. “This is the first time we have done this race and to win it overall is beyond our wildest possible dreams. I really can't believe it.”
“Wizard planing at 25 knots - that is what makes this race so great and there is always something going on around these beautiful islands. This is the first time I have been to Antigua and the welcome has been phenomenal,” added Peter Askew.
Maserati Multi 70 skippered by Giovanni Soldini (ITA) crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 06 hours 49 minutes and 00 seconds, taking Multihull Line honours and setting a new Multihull Race Record. Jason Carroll's MOD70 Argo (USA) also beat the previous record, but finished the race just seven minutes behind Maserati. Forty eight hours before the start, Argo capsized in training. A herculean effort got her back into the race, with both multihulls recording over 30 knots of boat speed. At Redonda, the final island of the course, Argo made a great tactical move to close the gap on Maserati and an intense match race provided the final chapter of a fantastic story.
"We had a wonderful race; very windy, very fast, with very good manoeuvres from both teams,” commented Giovanni Soldini. “We had some technical problems and after Guadeloupe, we could see Argo all the time, they just kept getting bigger and bigger. From Redonda to the finish we used classic match racing tactics, trying to keep ourselves between Argo and the finish. We are so very happy to have won."
The overall winner of the MOCRA Class was John Gallagher's Gunboat 62 Chim Chim: "My impression of the RORC Caribbean 600 is like it's an entire Caribbean racing season in two days of sailing! It feels great to win the class. We had a great crew and pushed the boat really hard, which was fun and it is nice to get a good result, have a great time and nobody got hurt," commented Gallagher on the dock in Antigua.
Ten teams from France, Norway and Brazil formed a race record entry for the Class40 Division. After two and a half days and nights of intense competition and over 600 miles of racing, it all came down to just a few minutes. Catherine Pourre's French Class40 Eärendil won Line Honours for the Class40 Division for the second year in a row, defeating two of the rising stars of offshore racing who had both led for parts of the race. Aymeric Chappellier's Aïna Enfance Et Avenir was second by just 3 minutes and 20 seconds. Completing the podium was Luke Berry's Lamotte - Module Création, less than six minutes from victory.
"That was an amazing, intense race,” said Catherine Pourre. “The key factor was having the right sails for the different legs and superb crew work. It was match racing all the way and we were really under pressure all of the time. Last year we were battling against the elements; this year we had really good competitors that we could see all the time. The contest never faltered day or night.”
IRC Zero accounted for the top three yachts overall under IRC. Wizard was first, with two British based yachts filling the podium. Botin 52 Tala was second, with Ker 46 Lady Mariposa, skippered by Nigel King, in third. The magnificent Baltic-built superyacht Nikata was the winner of the Superyacht Class, Will Apold (CAN) racing Southern Wind 96 Sorceress was runner up.
Gibb Kane's Swan 66 Bounty (USA) was victorious in IRC One, with Andrew Berdon's Marten 49 Summer Storm (USA) in second and Pata Negra, chartered by Daniel Heine and skippered by Andy Liss (GBR) was third with a crew from Lake Constance, Germany. “The conditions were really good for Bounty and she is a very comfortable boat, but you still get some aches and pains when you are over 70! It was a fun race. We have sailed a lot together and we have had a lot of experiences where we didn't quite win, so this race is very special,” commented Bounty's Gibb Kane, winner of IRC One.
IRC Two was won by Scarlet Oyster, this is the sixth class win for the Oyster 48 and the seventh for the Oyster 48's skipper Ross Applebey (GBR). Scarlet Oyster was also the winner of CSA 2. Performance Yacht Racing's Beneteau First 47.7 EH01, skippered by Andy Middleton was a close second, with Pamala Baldwin's J/122 Liquid (ANT), skippered by Julian White (GBR) taking third place in the competitive class.
“We had a good tussle with EH01 the whole way round and have never sailed harder in this race. It was like we were tied together with a bit of bungee cord,” commented Scarlet Oyster’s Ross Applebey. “We went inside Cades Reef at the end; I am not sure if it was faster, but we did it anyway! It's flatter water and it's pretty, but I wouldn't do it in the dark!”
Jeremi Jablonski's Hanse 430 Avanti (USA) was racing in IRC Three and scored the best corrected time for teams racing two handed, completing the race in an elapsed time of 3 days, 13 hours, 50 minutes and 47 seconds.
IRC Three was won by Vicki and Jonty Layfield's S&S Swan 48 Sleeper X (GBR). Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep (GBR), skippered by Jake Carter (GBR) was second, and Constantin Claviez's Swan 441 Charisma (GER) was third.
“The crew were superb; a credit to themselves,” explained Sleeper X’s owner, Jonty Layfield. “It's hard work on a boat like this; 16 tons and 50 years old - it's not easy. We are a crew of friends and I wouldn't have it any other way; the atmosphere on board is just fantastic!”
Prizes were presented at the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 awards ceremony held at Antigua Yacht Club by: The Hon. E.P. Chet Greene, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Immigration; Shirlene Nibbs, Consultant to The Ministry of Tourism, and the Commodore of Antigua Yacht Club, Franklyn Braithwaite, GOH. Panache Steel Band opened the evening and competitors danced the night away to Asher Otto and Itchy Feet.
The 12th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will start from Fort Charlotte on February 24, 2020.
The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 Prize Giving will be held tonight, Friday 22nd February and it is a special evening celebrating a premier race in the world yacht racing calendar. Hundreds of passionate corinthian sailors and the world's top professionals will rub shoulders at Antigua Yacht Club. Victorious teams will take to the stage to receive acclaim for their efforts and to be presented with personalised souvenir decanters of English Harbour Rum!
The biggest cheer of the night will go to the overall winners, when David and Peter Askew's Volvo 70 team racing Wizard (USA) will lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best corrected time under IRC. John Gallagher's Gunboat 62 team racing Chim Chim (USA) will receive the Multihull Prize for the best corrected time under MOCRA. Catherine Pourre's Class40 Team racing Eärendil (FRA) will raise the Class40 Rum Barrel for the second time, winning the Class40 division which this year had a record entry.
IRC Zero accounted for the top three yachts overall under IRC. Wizard was first, with two British-based yachts filling the podium. Botin 52 Tala was second, with Ker 46 Lady Mariposa skippered by Nigel King, in third. Superyacht Nikata was the winner of the Superyacht Class, Will Apold (CAN) racing Southern Wind 96 Sorceress was runner up. In the IRC Two Handed division, Jeremi Jablonski, sailing with Marek Mirota on the Hanse 430 Avanti (USA) was the winner, with James Heald and Peter Doggart on the Swan 45 Nemesis (GBR) in second place.
Gibb Kane's Swan 66 Bounty (USA), was victorious in IRC One, with Andrew Berdon's Marten 49 Summer Storm (USA) in second and Pata Negra, chartered by Daniel Heine and skippered by Andy Liss (GBR) was third with a crew from Lake Constance, Germany.
“We are competing for the second time and in the last race we were leading overall going into Guadeloupe when the breeze shut down. This year it was the complete opposite; it was full-on beating into big waves and 25 knots,” commented Bounty's Gibb Kane, winner of IRC One. “The crew work was spectacular; Pete Todd did a great job putting a skilled Bounty crew together and a special mention should go to our crew boss Mike Joubert and navigator Mark Wheeler. We did blow out two kites inside 15 minutes off St Barths, so for a while, the only soft sail we had was our Code Zero, but we were lucky that the angle was suitable for that. The guys were very ingenious, working round the clock. We used our Bounty belts to sew the head back onto the A3, but after a big puff it only lasted 12 minutes! The conditions were really good for Bounty and she is a very comfortable boat, but you still get some aches and pains when you are over 70! It was a fun race. We have sailed a lot together and we have had a lot of experiences where we didn't quite win, so this race is very special.”
IRC Two was won by Scarlet Oyster; this is the sixth class win for the Oyster 48 and the seventh for the Oyster 48's skipper Ross Applebey (GBR). Scarlet Oyster was also the winner of CSA 2. Performance Yacht Racing's Beneteau First 47.7 EH01 skippered by Andy Middleton was a close second. The battle for the class podium was won by Pamala Baldwin's J/122 Liquid (ANT), skippered by Julian White (GBR), holding off a strong challenge from another Performance Yacht Racing entry, GS43 Quokka, skippered by Christian Reynolds (GBR).
“We had a pretty good tussle with Andy Middleton the whole way round and he has certainly raised his game. We have never sailed harder. I have been in my foul weather gear for most of the race. It is a tough race which is hard on the boat and crew. It was like we were tied together with a bit of bungee cord,” commented Ross Applebey, referring to second place EH01. “We were together right up until Guadeloupe and we both hit the beach. It was a bit frustrating getting becalmed for an hour or so; just 100 meters apart - it was very close. It was a rough big beat back from Redonda and the main split, so we put the trysail up and we were still surprisingly quick. We went inside Cades Reef at the end and I’m not sure if it was faster, but we did it anyway! It's flatter water and it's pretty, but I wouldn't do it in the dark!”
IRC Three was won by Vicki and Jonty Layfield's S&S Swan 48 Sleeper X (GBR/ANT). Trevor Middleton's Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep (GBR), skippered by Jake Carter (GBR) was second, and Constantin Claviez's Swan 441 Charisma (GBR) was third.
British couple Jonty and Vicki Layfield are residents in Antigua and their crew is made up of friends and family who live and work in Antigua. This is the second time that the Layfields have won their class.
Jonty Layfield commented: “The crew were superb, a credit to themselves. It's hard work on a boat like this; 16 tons and 50 years old - it's not easy. We are a crew of friends and I wouldn't have it any other way. The atmosphere on board is just fantastic and when you have problems, which you will get with a boat like this, you need people around you that will find the solutions. Our son Jack was lowered over the side with his lifejacket on to bung a leak coming from the anchor locker. We were pumping out the boat manually for the entire race! This was a tough one.”
“Every time I do this race, I say it will not happen again and whoever dreamt up the beat to the finish in 30 knots of wind, needs a good talking to!” smiled Vicki Layfield.
After CSA time correction, the overall winner of the CSA Division was Wizard, Franco Niggeler's Cookson 50 Kuka 3 (SUI), skippered by Chuny Bermudez (ESP) second, and Todd Stuart's Carkeek 47 White Rhino 2 (USA) was third.
RORC Racing Manager, Chris Stone confirmed that all of the 75 participating teams are accounted for: “Safety is the primary concern of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the RORC Race Team has been monitoring the race 24 hours a day, and although we have reports of damage to yachts, we have received no reports of any serious injuries to any of 763 sailors during the race. The RORC recognise the time and effort put in by all of the teams in the RORC Caribbean 600 and look forward to welcoming them all to race with the Club again in the future. Also huge thanks to the huge number of volunteers who help with every aspect of the race finish here in Antigua.”
The 12th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will start from Fort Charlotte on February 24, 2020.
David & Peter Askew (USA) racing their Volvo 70 Wizard have taken Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Caribbean 600 crossing the finish line on Wednesday 20 February at 07:08:44 AST in an elapsed time of 1d 19h 38m 44s. Wizard has set the bar for the overall win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.
The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 kicked off in spectacular conditions off the south coast of Antigua with the magnificent fleet starting the 600 mile non-stop offshore race in bright sunshine, full-on gusting tradewinds and two-metre high waves.
With less than 24 hours to go until the start of the Caribbean’s only offshore race in the Caribbean, teams who have made their way from all corners of the globe are using the last few hours to get in some training out on the water and to make final preparations before the start of this epic 600-miler.
On Monday 18th February, all eyes will be on Antigua as around 80 boats from over 20 countries will start the challenging and tactical 600 nautical mile race around 11 Caribbean islands in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's RORC Caribbean 600.
We are sad to announce that Maxi72 Proteus has officially withdrawn from the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 after breaking her mast during training on Wednesday 13 February 2019.
Seventy-eight yachts have entered the eleventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, where in excess of 700 sailors from six continents and yachts from over 20 nations will compete in the thrilling race around 11 Caribbean islands starting on Monday 18th February.
Young up-and-coming sailors will be racing alongside and against some of the world's best professionals in next month's RORC Caribbean 600.
USA makes up 40% of IRC fleet + Record Class40 entries
With just over a month to go until the start of the RORC Caribbean 600, 77 teams from across the world have already entered the spectacular 600-mile offshore non-stop race around 11 Caribbean islands. The overall win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy over the past decade has been dominated by teams from the United States. This year, at least 17 teams will be flying the Stars and Stripes and the vast majority will be racing under IRC. In the Class40 Division, the 2018 Route du Rhum and the forthcoming 2019 Le Défi Atlantique have assisted in creating a record 10 entries, nine of which will be flying the French Tricolour in the 11th edition.
The RORC Caribbean 600 has been an epic offshore combat zone for the Maxi72 Class and Hap Fauth's Bella Mente (USA) and George Sakellaris' Proteus (USA) have both won overall on two occasions. Both teams are back again this year, and alongside Peter Harrison's British Maxi72 Sorcha, they are among the favourites.
Early arrivals in Antigua + interviews with some of the first finishers in the 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600; including Class40 winner, Catherine Pourre - Eärendil (FRA); Wizard - Line honours monohull, Volvo Open 70 - David and Peter Askew (USA); Superyacht & largest boat in the race, Nikata, Greg Slyngstad's Bieker 53 Fujin (USA) successful return after their 2018 capsize in the race; Shannon Falcone's Dna F4 Falcon (ANT) and Multihull winner, John Gallagher on Gunboat 62 Chim Chim.