The 7th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is looking like a real cracker and proving irresistible to a variety of yacht racing teams from all over the world. An international fleet of over 50 yachts has now entered the offshore blast around the Caribbean, indicating that last year's record entry of 60 yachts may be bettered. Yachts flying the flags of 13 different countries will be competing in this year's race: Antigua, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and the United States of America.
The Caribbean is, without doubt, one of yacht racing's most exhilarating playgrounds with the warm trade winds and Caribbean swell providing superb sailing conditions. The RORC Caribbean 600 course, starting and finishing in Antigua, is designed to provide a challenging, high speed racetrack and its popularity has grown, year on year, since the first event in 2009.
Five battle for Line Honours
George David's Rambler 100 set the monohull course record in 2011, scorching around the track in 40 hours, 20 minutes and 2 seconds but this year's line-up is likely to be the most competitive for line honours so far. George David's brand new 88 ft Rambler will make its 600 debut with an all-star crew containing many of Rambler's old guard plus some new, world class, sailors including multiple America's Cup winner, Brad Butterworth and Volvo Ocean Race winners, Stu Bannatyne and Brad Jackson. Also in contention for line honours is Australian yachting legend Syd Fischer racing Ragamuffin 100, which is being shipped to Antigua from Australia, and Mike Slade's British 100ft Maxi Leopard, which took monohull line honours in the first edition of the race, makes a welcome return, and two Volvo 70s will also be vying to be the first yacht to complete the course, Giovani Soldini's Italian Maserati and Andrew Budgen and Fred Schwyn's British Monster Project.
Rambler's Project Manager, Mick Harvey, was full of excitement about the race: "George David has always been a strong supporter of this race because it is such a fantastic course with great conditions, but also because George David, like me and other crew, are members of the RORC and we just love to take part in this race. This will also be the first race of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, which is our priority for our first season. The boat is going well. As always there are a few adjustments, but all things considered, we are very happy with the new Rambler and looking forward to Antigua. This year there is a lot of good competition for us but we will concentrate on our own game, as that is all we can influence until the race start."