Leopard wins 2024 RORC Caribbean 600

Published on February 22nd, 2024

Fort Charlotte, Antigua (February 22, 2024) – The Royal Ocean Racing Club has confirmed that the Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON), skippered by Joost Schuijff, is the overall winner of the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600. While 24 boats are still racing under the IRC rating rule, none of the teams still at sea can better Leopard 3’s time after IRC time correction.

Leopard 3 was raced by Schuijff, Chris Sherlock, Mitch Booth, Aaron Reynolds-Lovegrove, Antonio Cuervas Mons, Carlos Hernandez Robayna, Charlie Wyatt, Dennis Frederiksen, Gerard Mitchell, Gian Ahluwalia, Giles de Jager, Guillermo Altadill, Mark Bartlett, Matthew Lester, Paul Standbridge, Samuel Wright, Stephen Booth, Tom McWilliam, and Will Best.

The podium for IRC Overall for the RORC Caribbean 600 is also confirmed as second was Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE) which has won a highly competitive IRC Zero Class by just three minutes after time correction from Peter & David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA).

Leopard 3, which also took Monohull Line Honors in a time of 02:01:23:18, was one of the race founding entries, setting the original race record in 2009 and again as the elapsed time winner in 2013. However, in the previous eight races that Leopard 3 has competed in, this year is the first occasion that Leopard 3 has won the race overall under IRC.

Leopard 3 is now 17 years old but is faster than ever due to a major refit by the new owners, including shedding 10 tons of weight and increasing sail area aloft under a brand new mast.

“When I woke up this morning and found out that Leopard had won overall it was quite amazing, I am very proud of the team and the boat,” commented Schuijff. “It is a magnificent experience and a very special feeling. When I look at the Trophy, I see so many names of such famous boats. I am delighted for the team that the name Leopard 3 will be engraved there too.

“It’s all about the people and not just the race crew, but also the permanent crew and the build team – the team is super important; without the right people you cannot get the maximum performance from Leopard. Winning in Antigua is also special because myself and my family love coming here; the area is so nice and people are so friendly. To win the RORC Caribbean 600 in such a historic place for yachting is extraordinary.”

Sherlock has been central to the Leopard team since its conception 30 years ago with the former owner Mike Slade. Sherlock was one of three of this year’s team that was on the boat for the first edition in 2009 along with Crew Boss Paul Standbridge and Boat Captain Gian Ahluwalia.

“It took 15 years and nine attempts to win overall, so it’s a big achievement and wonderful for the owners who have invested a lot of time and energy, and just fantastic to see that pay off,” commented Sherlock.

“The whole Leopard ethos started long ago and that was to bring young people into the sport and give them opportunity; it’s nice that we still have several team members that are still part of that. Over the years so many Leopard crew have gone on to do round the world races and under the new ownership that has not changed.”

To win overall, Sherlock noted how the stars have all got to line up and they did for this race. “First you have to finish the yacht race and the amicable preparation by the whole team is very much part of the success. Then you have to win your IRC Class, and then it is in the wind god’s hands.

“We know the Rán team very well; Niklas (Zennstrom) chartered Leopard for a Transatlantic Race Record and we know Rán will have done everything to beat Leopard, but this year, it was our turn. Antigua is Leopard’s spiritual home in the Caribbean and personally I was here in 1992 with Ocean Leopard. It’s great to win your home Grand Prix.”

Race informationTrackingResults

• The 15th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts from Antigua on February 19, 2024. The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte at English Harbour and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth’s

• The 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 is preceded by the 2nd Nelson’s Cup Series with two days of inshore racing on February 13-14 followed by the Antigua 360 Race on February 16. This is the same format as the 2023 edition.

RORC Caribbean 600 Records
• Multihull Record: 01 days 05 hrs 48 mins 45 secs in 2022 by MOD70 Argo (Jason Carroll)
• Monohull Record: 01 days 13 hrs 41 mins 45 secs in 2018 by Rambler 88 (George David)
• IRC Corrected Record: 03 days 10 hrs 09 mins 41 secs in 2022 by Pac52 Warrior Won (Christopher Sheehan)

2023 – Roy P. Disney, Volvo 70, Pyewacket (USA)
2022 – Christopher Sheehan, Warrior Won, Pac52 (USA)
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, 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: Royal Ocean Racing Club

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