Antigua hosts RORC 600 | MarinaLive Gibraltar

Antigua hosts RORC 600

Published on April 15, 2016 by admin   ·   No Comments

A record fleet of 70 yachts and over 800 sailors set sail from English Harbour, Antigua, on 22 February to compete in the eighth edition of the RORC 600, a world-class 600 mile offshore  race around 11 Caribbean Islands.

Organised by The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) in association with Antigua Yacht Club, the RORC 600 has been gaining in popularity year on year and there were almost twice the number of entrants this year as last year when just 39 competed.

As its popularity grows, so does the stature of the boats.  Any yacht spotters lucky enough to be in Antigua would have had a field day with Comanche, Phaedo3 and Concise 10, amongst others, competing.  There was also a touch of the Pirates of the Caribbean when 65 metre three-masted schooner Adix sailed out of English Harbour looking for all the world as if she was skippered by Captain Jack Sparrow himself.

As well as the rich and the famous there were a few local sailors involved including Antiguan dentist Bernie Evan Wong who was competing in his Reichel-Pugh 37 Taz.

The Race heads north from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua, rounding St Martin before heading back south to Guadeloupe, taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba, St Barth’s, Anguilla, Tintamarre, Iles des Saintes, La Desirade and Redonda along the way.

RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd, says of the Race, “The RORC Caribbean 600 has beautiful weather and spectacular nature; whales and turtles are often sighted.  At night conditions are warm with impressive meteor showers lighting up the sky.  All of these elements make this a very special race.  Everyone that takes part has their story from the race.  Sailors come from all over the world with aspirations of winning their class, but win or lose, over the past seven editions of the race the competitors have told the RORC what a memorable experience it has been.  I am sure those feelings will continue.”

The winner of this year’s RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy was George Sakellaris’ Maxi 72, Proteus (USA), which completed the course in an elapsed time of 48 hours, 22 minutes, 16 seconds, the best time after IRC correction.  Proteus was also the winner of the highly competitive IRC Zero class.  This is the second time that George Sakellaris has skippered the overall winner, having won the 2014 race with another Maxi 72, Shockwave.

One of the highlights of this year’s RORC 600 was the thrilling race between the MOD70s, Concise 10 and Phaedo3, who hurtled around the course at speeds in excess of 30 knots, often barely a boat length between them.  The nail-biting Race culminated in Phaedo3 crossing the line in a record-beating time of 31 hours, 59 minutes, 4 seconds to complete the course, with Tony Lawson’s Concise 10 skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield close on her heels finishing a mere 9 minutes and 52 seconds later.  Not only did Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3, which was co-skippered by Brian Thompson, earn overall line honours winner but they also smashed their existing 2015 multihull race record of 33 hours, 35 minutes, 30 seconds by 1 hour, 34 minutes, 26 seconds.

Monohull line honours were taken by Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s Comanche (perhaps a little unsurprisingly, this 100-footer has been unstoppable since her launch in 2014) which crossed the finish line on Wednesday 24 February taking just 40 hours, 53 minutes, 2 seconds to dash around the course, missing out on a record by only 33 minutes.

Comanche Skipper, Ken Read said, “Going around these islands is a ball; whales breaching, volcanoes smoking, it doesn’t get any better than that.  We will be back, I promise you – this is a great race.”

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