Argo breaks record in Caribbean 600
Published on February 22nd, 2022
Antigua (February 22, 2022) – The 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 was on a record pace this morning, which was confirmed when Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 Argo (USA) crossed the finish line today to take Multihull Line Honours at 17:18:44. Their elapsed time of 29 hours, 38 mins, 44 secs established a new Multihull Race Record, breaking the previous record by a little over an hour set in 2019 by Giovanni Soldini’s Multi 70 Maserati (ITA).
Maserati was just 2 minutes and 13 seconds behind Argo. Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay (CAY) led in the early part of the race but finished third. This was the first Line Honours win for Argo having come runner-up on two previous occasions. Multihull Line Honours was decided in the final few miles of the 600-mile race.
MOD 70 Argo Crew: Jason Carroll, Brian Thompson, Richard Bardwell, Chad Corning, Pete Cumming, Thierry Fouchier, Charlie Ogletree, and Alister Richardson.
“This race is always an emotional rollercoaster; I think we traded the lead with the other boats about five or six times and the last change was 20 minutes before the finish with Maserati,” said Carroll. “It was a boat-on-boat tacking duel. I am sorry for Maserati because they sailed a great race.
“Before the awesome finish the closest match racing we had was in the lee of Nevis and St. Kitts. We traded the lead two-sail reaching, doing 35 knots! At that pace everything happens so fast and you have to plan in advance, but it is so exciting for sure.”
Approaching Redonda, Maserati was leading by about 3 miles, but Argo closed the gap to about half a mile on the rounding and from Redonda to the finish was almost a one tack beat on Port.
“We knew there was about a 30-degree header coming,” noted Carroll. “We waited for that instability and chose to tack away leaving Maserati with a decision, and they chose to cover us through the unstable conditions.
“From then on, we had a duel of about 10 tacks, more than we had done the whole race. We eked out a tiny lead and then Maserati tacked a little too close to us. Before they could build speed, we luffed them a little bit, then pulled out the win.”
Argo has come runner-up on the two previous races, so to win on the third attempt was a sweet victory for Argo.
“This win is one of the sweetest from the way it played out, just from how hard-fought this race win has been,” added Carroll. “Having a great two boat contest was so exciting for the whole crew; this was an opportunity not just to sail fast but to flex your sailing skills. This is our favorite regatta of the year; it is very well run and we love coming to this one.”
Maserati’s Soldini commented after the race: “It was a very close, fantastic race the whole way. The competition level is very high and it was just a case of nearly, but nothing for us. Approaching Redonda, we did get snagged in a buoy on the rudder; the second time this has happened in our races and both times Argo has caught us!
“But it is okay, I think Argo did a wonderful race. Probably with our big foils we should have just gone straight and should not have gone into the tacking duel. This was a wonderful race; a great experience and we have learned many things and we are ready for the next one.”
Race details – Results – Tracker
The 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started February 21 for 74 teams with over 700 sailors from 32 countries. The 2022 race once again tackles the 600nm course which 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 (2022) – Jason Carroll, Argo, MOD70 (USA) – 29 hours, 38 mins, 44 secs
• 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)