The 8th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started in spectacular style with the record 70-yacht fleet gathering in the starting area outside English Harbour, Antigua. Under the Pillars of Hercules, the magnificent collection of yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands. Five highly competitive starts thrilled hundreds of spectators lining the cliffs at Shirley Heights and Fort Charlotte. Not only was this a record fleet for the RORC Caribbean 600, it was undoubtedly the highest quality of participants since the inaugural race in 2009.
The RORC Caribbean 600 came to its traditional conclusion with a memorable prizegiving party at Antigua Yacht Club. Winners were presented with a fine array of silverware, decanters, medallions and an engraved English Harbour Rum decanter for every boat. The RORC were delighted to have the Hon. Asot Michael (Minister for Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy), the Hon. Chet Greene (Minister for Sports) and His Excellency The Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams at the proceedings to present the trophies to the winning crews. The party continued late into the night with dancing to the sounds of Itchy Feet
On the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600 three yachts were still racing: RORC member, Peter Hopps, skipper of British Sigma 38, Sam was just five miles from completing his eighth RORC Caribbean 600. Aleksandra Jankowska's Polish team racing Dufour 40, Porfavor was 15miles from the finish and Girls For Sail's British First 40.7, Hot Stuff, skippered by Sophie O'Neill was 56 miles from the finish. The RORC Caribbean 600 prize giving will be held tonight and all of the class winners have now been decided.
Hear what the crews on the fastest yachts have to say about this year's race. A new course record for Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70 Phaedo3, a near record for Jim Clark and Kristy Hinze Clark's, VPLP/Verdier 100, Comanche and Hap Fauth's JV 72, Bella Mente is forced to retire. Plus a look at VO65, Team Brunel rounding the deserted island of Redonda - the last mark rounding in the RORC Caribbean 600.
George Sakellaris’ Maxi72, Proteus (USA) has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the afternoon of Thursday 25 February the remaining teams will be unable to better Proteus’ corrected time under IRC. Sakellaris was awarded the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best corrected time under the IRC Rating rule.
DAY 4 AM UPDATE 1000 AST
The magnificent 213ft schooner, Adix finished the RORC Caribbean 600 at 0703 AST on Thursday 25 February in an elapsed time of 2 days 19 hours 33 minutes 5 seconds to win the Spirit of Tradition Class. Gonzalo Botin's Class40, Tales II finished at 0336 AST, over three hours before Adix. Both yachts are sailed by the same Spanish family and no doubt Gonzalo would have been delighted to win the Spanish duel in a boat that could fit on the stern of the spectacular schooner. Tales II was also the winner of the Class40 division for the third year in a row. The joy of Botin's Tales II team was complete when they crossed the line, breaking their own Class40 record by 11 minutes and 23 seconds to set a new Class40 record of 2 days 16 hours 26 minutes 29 seconds.
A thrilling race between four Maxi72s came to a conclusion on the third day of the RORC Caribbean 600. With the lead changing hands on numerous occasions, George Sakellaris' Proteus was the first Maxi72 to finish the race, just over 20 minutes ahead of Dieter Schön's Momo with Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou third. Last year's overall winner, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente retired with keel problems.
“We have beaten some great boats and the sailing was great and we had a beautiful venue,” smiled George Sakellaris, Proteus’ owner. “During the race we had boat-on-boat action with all of the Maxi72s; Bella Mente, Jethou and Momo, and their teams are all great sailors. Proteus is a powerful boat which helps, but it is all down to the team.”
Jim Clark & Kristy Hinze Clark's American VPLP-Verdier 100 Comanche crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 at 03.45 on Wednesday morning with an elapsed time of 40 Hours 53 Minutes 2 Seconds taking monohull line honours for the race, and only 33 minutes outside the record time set by George David's Rambler 100 in 2011.
NEWSFLASH: Jim & Kristy Hinze Clark's VPLP-Verdier 100 Comanche, crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 24 February at 04 13 02. Taking monohull line honours for the race in an elapsed time of 40hours 53mins 02seconds.
Hurtling around the Caribbean at speeds in excess of 30 knots and topping out nearer 40, often barely a boat length apart, the epic duel between MOD70s Concise 10 and Phaedo3 came to a conclusion after 32 hours of hot racing. Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson crossed the finish line at Fort Charlotte in an elapsed time of 31hours, 59minutes, 04seconds, breaking their own multihull race record set last year by 1hour 34minutes 26seconds.
Line honours victory and Multihull race record for Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 co-skippered by Brian Thompson, completing the 600nm RORC Caribbean 600 at 19:39:04 AST on Tuesday 23 February. Phaedo3 beat their existing 2015 record of 33hours, 35mins, 30 secs by 1hour 34minutes 26seconds. New Record: 31hours, 59mins, 04seconds.
0700 AST Day Two RORC Caribbean 600
The record fleet for the RORC Caribbean 600 enjoyed a full moon on the first night of racing. At sunset on the first night, all of the fleet had rounded the mark off Barbuda, enjoying fantastic sailing conditions and highly competitive racing. Phaedo3 and Concise 10 were at the front of the fleet enjoying a thrilling high-speed duel, often touching a blistering 30 knots of boat speed. 100ft Maxi, Comanche was blasting through the Caribbean surf in hot pursuit of the monohull record for the course. Four Maxi72s were in a close quarters battle for supremacy, but two of the smaller yachts in the fleet were vying for the overall lead as dawn broke on day two of the RORC Caribbean 600.
Start highlights from the 8th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 with 70 yachts from around the world and some of the top racing teams competing. Aerials at the start off Fort Charlotte, Antigua and at the Barbuda mark.
The 8th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started in spectacular style with the record 70 yacht fleet gathering in the starting area outside English Harbour, Antigua. Under the Pillars of Hercules, the magnificent collection of yachts started the 600 nmile race in a sublime 14 knot south-easterly breeze with brilliant sunshine. The conditions were enough to have the fleet fully ramped up and a not insignificant swell added to the excitement. Five highly competitive starts thrilled hundreds of spectators lining the cliffs at Shirley Heights and Fort Charlotte. Not only was this a record fleet for the RORC Caribbean 600, it was undoubtedly the highest quality of participants since the inaugural race in 2009.
Jim Clark & Kristy Hinze Clark's American Maxi Comanche arrived in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua on Saturday afternoon, 20th February. Having taken line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the 100ft Canting keel Maxi left Sydney by ship on 6th January bound for Charleston, USA, 9,272 nautical miles via The Panama Canal. Comanche then sailed 1,500 nautical miles in less than four days from Charleston to Antigua.
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.
Olympic, America's Cup and round the world sailors will be rubbing shoulders with passionate corinthian sailors at this year's spectacular RORC Caribbean 600 starting from Antigua on Monday 22 February. A record entry of around 70 yachts is anticipated for the 8th edition of the offshore race around 11 Caribbean islands.
Featuring the most magnificent collection of racing yachts ever seen in the Caribbean, an incredibly varied fleet will be racing under the IRC, CSA and MOCRA rating systems, as well as Class40s racing under class rules. Comanche, Phaedo3 and Concise 10 will be gunning for course records but the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy will be won by the yacht with the best corrected time under IRC.
Organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club in association with Antigua Yacht Club
Start: Antigua, West Indies - Monday 22 February 2016
Course: Approx. 600nm non-stop around 11 Caribbean Islands
The glitterati of the sailing world will be in Antigua to compete in the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. Well over 100 Olympians, World Champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors will join hundreds of passionate corinthian sailors for the exhilarating 600-mile race around 11 Caribbean islands.
Surfing on ocean swell in 20 knots of warm tradewinds, on a course resembling a Formula One race track, the RORC Caribbean 600 is hard to resist. A record fleet for the 8th edition is expected, with a 20% increase in pre-Christmas entries compared to last year, making a fleet of 80 yachts highly likely.
With under four months until the start of the 8th race, the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600 has already attracted an astounding collection of the world's finest offshore racing yachts. The strength of the fleet suggests that there will be intense competition for overall honours as well as record attempts for both monohull and multihull race records.
Shipping straight to the Caribbean from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race will be Comanche, Jim & Kristy Hinze Clark's American 100ft VPLP/Verdier designed Maxi, which rightly claims to be the fastest monohull in the world for her 24-hour record run (2015 Transatlantic Race, 618.01 nm, averaging 25.75 knots). Comanche races with as many as 29 crew, led by Kenny Read, who was on board George David's Rambler 100 to set the RORC Caribbean 600 course record in 2011 (40 hours 20 mins 02 secs). Given the right conditions, Comanche is very capable of breaking Rambler 100's record.