Caribbean 600 coming into focus
Published on February 27th, 2020
(February 27, 2020) – For the second year in a row, David and Peter Askew’s Volvo 70 Wizard (USA) has taken Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Caribbean 600. After the start on February 24, Wizard finished last night at 23:48:55, completing the course in an elapsed time of 02:12:28:55.
Assessing the handicap results, Adrian Keller’s Nigel Irens-designed catamaran Allegra (SUI) is the provisional winner of the MOCRA Class while Tilmar Hansen’s German TP52 Outsider, which finished this morning at 07:01:40, is currently the overall leader under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.
Last year’s overall winner Wizard struggled in the light air for the first part of the race, but lit up after rounding St. Maarten, blast reaching 140nm to Guadeloupe in just 11 hours. Having negotiated the wind shadow behind Guadeloupe, Wizard pulled the trigger, blast reaching in the Atlantic, smoking through the 90nm to Barbuda in just five hours.
“Driving in light airs is pretty sticky,” commented Peter Askew. “We had just a couple of times where we were at triple zeros, but other than that it was just keeping the boat going the best you could. Wizard is not the best light air boat, that’s for sure. We had to dig ourselves out of a hole. We finally got around Outsider (TP52) at Monserrat and Prospector (Mini Maxi) at Guadeloupe. We got into really good breeze up to Barbuda, just blast reaching, doing 22-24 knots the whole way.”
As for Allegra, her status follows an extension to 83 feet with two aft water ballast tanks providing up to 800kg of righting moment. Weighing in at 30 tons, with a full interior, Allegra is the heaviest multihull taking part in this year’s race.
“We didn’t make it to the finish line in the last two long races, so we are very happy and it will be all the sweeter if we win MOCRA,” commented Keller. “As the heaviest boat we don’t like light air, but a special sail we call a J0 allows us to go pretty tight to the wind. As soon as we get into 15 knots and more we are really fast, and it was tremendous fun.
“One of the deciding parts of this race was how long you were parked up. We did a good job at most of the islands, but like everyone else, we stopped in the lee of Guadeloupe. However, when you get around the corner and that trade wind hits you, it’s full on.”
Looking at the standings, Tilmar Hansen was a happy man this morning as dawn broke on his 70th birthday. “We have done a lot of water-proofing since the Rolex Fastnet, and there was definitely more water outside than inside!” smiled Hansen. “This race has sunshine, hospitality, and great people. To celebrate my birthday here today, nothing could be better.”
At 1000 (1400 GMT) today, 52 yachts are still racing under IRC for the overall win for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. Outsider is leading IRC overall and IRC Zero. A fierce battle is raging in IRC One between two equally matched yachts. Giles Redpath’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) and Philippe Frantz’s NMD 43 Albator (FRA) are approaching the Barbuda mark for the second time, with just over 100 miles to go.
Approximately 180 miles from the finish, the competition is fierce in IRC Two. Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) is estimated to be leading by 43 minutes on corrected time from Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR), skippered by Andy Middleton. Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 Liquid (ANT) is estimated to be just an hour off the lead after time correction.
In IRC Three, Peter McWhinnie’s Larchmont YC team racing JPK 10.80 In Theory (USA) is leading the class on the water and estimated to have a solid lead after IRC correction. In the Class40 Division, 115nm from the finish, BHB sailed by Arthur Hubert is dead-level with Morgane Ursault Poupon’s UP Sailing.
The 2020 RORC Caribbean 600 attracted 76 teams from 21 countries and crews from six continents. Starting on February 18, the 11th edition sent the fleet on the iconic 600nm course that circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth’s.
• Multihull record (2019) – Giovanni Soldini, Maserati, Multi 70 (ITA) – 30 hours, 49 minutes, 00 seconds
• Monohull record (2018) – George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA) – 37 hours, 41 minutes, 45 seconds
PREVIOUS WINNERS: RORC CARIBBEAN 600 TROPHY – IRC OVERALL
2019 – David and Peter Askew, Wizard, Volvo 70 (USA)
2018 – George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA)
2017 – Hap Fauth, Bella Mente, JV72 (USA)
2016 – George Sakellaris, Maxi 72, Proteus (USA)
2015 – Hap Fauth, JV72, Bella Mente (USA)
2014 – George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA)
2013 – Ron O’Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA)
2012 – Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán (GBR)
2011 – George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA)
2010 – Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)
2009 – Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL)
Source: Louay Habib