The Club House Bar & Restaurant was buzzing until dawn for the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, with stories flowing about an epic race around 11 Caribbean islands. Ossie Stewart and Ross Applebey's British Dufour 45 Scarlet Island Girl, corrected out to win IRC Two, and Conor Fogerty's Howth YC team was the winner of IRC Three racing the Irish Sun Fast 3600 Bam!
In IRC Two, Ossie Stewart’s Scarlet Island Girl crossed the finish line after over three days and nights of hard racing to win the class. Andrew Allner's Swan 53 Ballytrim was second ahead of Susan Glenny's First 40 Olympia's Tigress, skippered by Chris Preston.
“That was just relentless,” commented Olympic medallist Ossie Stewart. “Day and night we had strong conditions with really confused seas, but we never had wind and waves we couldn't handle. We lost the steering a couple of times, but Ross handled the problem superbly fixing the issue whilst we steered with the emergency tiller. On a personal note, I am really proud to have finished and win the race with my son Cameron.”
In IRC Three, Conor Fogerty's Irish Sun Fast 3600 Bam! returned to the RORC Caribbean 600 having won the class in 2016. Conor's team from Howth Yacht Club, Dublin were victorious once again, winning the class after a tough race.
“This was definitely a wet and wild ride,” commented Conor Fogerty. “The last race I won was the OSTAR single-handed and I came down to do this race for therapy to get back into sailing, but after experiencing this event, it didn't feel like therapy! I was expecting the normal sunshine but it was quite a tough course. Four of the guys had done the '600 with me two years ago, so it was quite an experienced team. We had a fantastic welcome with about 20 people on the dock. I didn't expect that; it is always a welcome experience with the RORC. It’s a fantastic thing to do because you have got to remember, we are the second smallest boat in the fleet and we got round safely without breakages or injuries. Getting that respect just lifted us after a tough race.”
AUDIO interview with Conor Fogerty © RORC Race Reporter/Louay Habib
The RORC Caribbean 600 attracts a wide variety of sailors and yachts and 22 teams from all over the world were competing in IRC 2 and IRC 3. The vast majority of the sailors taking part in these classes are corinthian sailors living their dream to compete in the Caribbean offshore classic. This year was the toughest race on record and huge praise is deserved for all of the teams which have completed an exhilarating and hard race.