Elapsed winners for 2023 Caribbean 600
Published on February 22nd, 2023
Antigua (February 22, 2023) – The elapsed winners of the 14th RORC Caribbean 600 are confirmed as the MOD70 Zoulou sailed by Erik Maris (FRA) won Multihull Line Honors yesterday and Roy P. Disney’s Pyewacket 70 (USA) claimed Monohull Line Honors today.
Zoulou completed the 600-mile race in 30:55:34, nipping Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 (ITA) by just 11 seconds; Maserati was also second last year by just two minutes from Jason Carroll’s record-breaking MOD 70 Argo. The Zoulou crew was Erik Maris, Ned Collier Wakefield, Thierry Fouchier, Loick Peyron, Bruno Jeanjean, Bruno Mourniac, and Thomas Le Breton.
“That was an incredible race with such a close finish,” commented Maris. “We were ahead until midnight on the first day but we lost Maserati when they were very fast on their foils going down to Guadeloupe. Maserati sailed really well on the second day but on the penultimate leg (Barbuda to Redonda), they lost themselves under a cloud, just as Zoulou had done in the RORC Transatlantic Race.
“We came back together and the lead changed many times on the leg to Redonda. The last leg was really tough as the wind speed and direction was very unstable, but we managed to pass them on the one that counts. It was as close as it gets; an incredible finish and great fun. I decided to get into the MOD70 Class to do all the RORC races, that was the plan and we intend to do the Rolex Fastnet Race later this year.”
As for Pyewacket 70 (USA), they competed the course in 42:45:06. Two generations of the Disney family have raced boats under the Pyewacket name. The latest Pyewacket 70 is a turbo-charged Volvo 70 with a taller mast, lighter hull, and deeper keel than the original box-rule.
Pyewacket 70 crew had Ben Mitchell, Peter Isler, Tony Mutter, Brad Jackson, Brian Janney, Daryl Wislang, David Tank, Jan Majer, Mark Callahan, Matt Mialik, Robbie Kane, Rodney Daniel, and Tristan Louwrens.
Mitchell was the stand-in skipper for Disney who was not on board due to knee surgery. He has always been part of the Pyewacket family ever since Roy Disney started it in 1989. The first Pyewacket was a 74ft sloop which set the race record for the 1999 Transpac. Pyewacket was named after the witch’s cat in the film Bell, Book and Candle, which inspired Walt Disney to create Mickey Mouse in 1928.
“RP (Roy Pat Disney), thank you for letting us take your toy and racing the Caribbean 600 in a successful manner. We are so disappointed you are not with us to enjoy this spectacular victory,” said Mitchell. “The real wow factor is that Pyewacket 70 was here for the RORC 600 and this team is so good.
“We had a great mix of crew that know this course very well, and crew like me who experienced this wonderful race for the first time. Each leg is like a race in itself, which keeps everybody going, but on a boat like Pyewacket 70 those legs become very short. Getting any sleep is a challenge as the whole crew is up for every maneuver.”
Pyewacket 70’s navigator was America’s Cup winner Peter Isler. This was Peter’s fifth race, including winning the triple (IRC Overall, Class and Monohull Record) on George David’s Rambler 100 in 2011.
“The name of the game for the navigator is to study the weather and the nuances in this race are so different. When you get out there all your expectations can be blown,” explained Isler.
“I had pre-conceptions of what the tactics are at different points in the race and I will say at least half the time I was wrong! In this race you have to keep your eyes open and understand the fundamentals of weather and be ready to adjust to the changes.
“A great example was going through the lee of Guadeloupe; it is the big X-Factor in this race and a total nightmare for navigators. It seems so random as to where you go to get through that wind-hole and this year was unlike any other experience I have had going through the lee.”
Pyewacket crew Brad Jackson added, “With the wind north of east we expected the wind shadow to be further forward at Guadeloupe, but in reality that was not the case and we really slowed down there. The sargassum weed was also a factor, but Pyewacket 70 is equipped with weed cutters and they worked well in this race. We stopped behind Guadeloupe three times, but not for very long, so that did not cost us too much in the race.”
The next monohull to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 is Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski. Pyewacket 70 has set the bar for the overall win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. The vast majority of the fleet are expected to finish the race over the next two days.
Event information – Tracking – Facebook
2023 RORC Nelson’s Cup Series
February 14 – Inshore racing in coastal waters of Antigua
February 15 – Inshore racing in coastal waters of Antigua
February 16 – Lay Day in Antigua
February 17 – 360 Round Antigua Race
February 18 – Series Prize Giving and RORC Caribbean 600 Opening Party
February 20 – Start of the 14th RORC Caribbean 600
February 24 – Prize Giving RORC Caribbean 600
Seventy boats racing under IRC, Class40, and MOCRA Rules, with crew from 30 different countries are competing in the 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. The 600nm course 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.
RORC Caribbean 600 Records:
• 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
2022 – Christopher Sheehan, Warrior Won, Pac52 (USA)
2021 – Cancelled
2020 – Tilmar Hansen, Outsider, TP52 (GER),
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, Proteus, Maxi 72 (USA)
2015 – Hap Fauth, Bella Mente, JV72 (USA)
2014 – George Sakellaris, Shockwave, RP72 (USA)
2013 – Ron O’Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA)
2012 – Niklas Zennström, Rán, JV72 (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)