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The 32nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta´s Entry List Rapidly Growing

February 14, 2012

The 32nd annual edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, held in March 1, starts in less than three weeks and its entry list continues to grow, promising to bring another stellar fleet for a round of “serious fun.” As always, the entry list includes the latest Grand Prix racers, timeless classics, souped-up cruising boats, and bareboat charter yachts.

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2011 Credit Tom Zinn/outsideimages.com

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2011 Credit: Tom Zinn/outsideimages.com

Many of the 141 current entrants are familiar St. Maarten Heineken Regatta veterans, who are drawn to the mix of great competition and sensational parties year after year. Among these sailors are Hank Schmitt on the Swan 48 yacht Avocation; Richard Wesslund on the J/120 yacht El Ocaso; Bernie Evan-Wong on the Mumm 36 yacht High Tension; Christopher Marshall on the Melges 24 yacht Budget Marine/Gill; Ian Hope-Ross on the Beneteau First 36.7 sailing yacht Kick ‘em Jenny; Sergio Sagramoso on the J/122 yacht Lazy Dog; and Christian Reynolds on the Swan 51 sailing yacht Northern Child.

Among the 66 yachts entered in the CSA Monohull divisions, the queen of the fleet is the largest entry to date, the Swan 100 super yacht Virago. But the powerful sloop has plenty of company in the big-boat category, including a pair of 90-footers, Kip Curren’s Frers-designed Nefertiti and the French-flaggedMed Spirit. Michael Reardon’s custom 75-foot Tripp design yacht Blackbird, will surely turn some heads. And legendary naval architect Bruce Farr is represented by a pair of Grand Prix entrees, the Volvo 70 yacht Gran Jotiti, and the 65-foot Ondeck/Spirit of Juno.

As in every running of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, many of the competitors sail solid racer/cruisers from the world’s best production boat-builders. As always, there are numerous Beneteaus in the field, including four First 40.7s: Patrick Holloran’s Caipirinha, Vito Marrero’s Coyote, Jaime Torres’s Smile and Wave, and Ondeck’s Team Boston. X-Yachts has an impressive presence for the event, with a quartet of boats ranging from the 34-foot Maelia to the 65-foot yacht Karuba V. There are also yachts from Hunter (Harmony), Santa Cruz (Sonic of Ayr) and Dufour (Speedy Nemo), among many others.

31st St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2011 - Final Racing Day © WWW.OUTSIDEIMAGES.COM

31st St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2011 - Final Racing Day © B. Grieser/outsideimages.com

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta isn’t just for monohulls, as the ten competitors who’ve entered the multihull class thus far will attest. Katherine Mullins’ slick Gunboat 66 yacht Coco de Mer, looks like the boat to beat, but she’ll have to be quicker than Peter Aschenbrenner’s Irens 63 yacht Paradox, to take top honors. Other contenders include the Catana 65 yacht Selika, and the du Toit 51 yacht Eagletours/Quality Time.

Last but hardly least are the 63 yachts that have signed up to race in the Bareboat classes. Many of these skippers charter directly from companies like The Moorings and Sunsail. Others book through tour agencies like TUI Netherlands. “It’s our first year at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta,” said account manager Roelof Hoogstrate. “We are proud to be there with almost twenty boats and 150 sailors!”

Whether one plans to charter a boat or sail his own, the clock is ticking and the 2012 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will soon be underway. The time to punch the ticket to the action is now.

Entry List Growing as Starting Gun for the 32nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Draws Closer

With less than two months to the start of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, there is still time to experience one of the best loved regattas in the Caribbean. Gold Sponsor, The Moorings is the official charter partner for the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival and they offer a wide variety of modern yachts and packages to choose from.

At this year’s BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, Dutch Grand Soleil 43 yacht Antilope will count one of the world’s most famous sailors in the race. Bouwe Bekking has competed in six round the world races, twice as skipper and Antilope’s crew are also taking advantage of the excellent charter facilities in the British Virgin Islands.

“The BVIs is just a fantastic place and rather than put the crew in a house, we have chartered a catamaran for the event. It means that we can stay right in the marina and enjoy all of the dockside fun. Nanny Cay Marina is very sheltered so all the crew can enjoy a comfortable sleep on board with no problem at all and friends and family can also use the catamaran to enjoy a day out on the water.”

BVI - one of the best yacht charter destinations

The British Virgin Islands - one of the best yacht charter destinations in the Caribbean

International Yacht Club Challenge

Among a large fleet of charter yachts expected for the event, yacht clubs from across the globe can also take part in the third International Yacht Club Challenge (IYCC).

The Commodore of the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club has invited other yacht clubs from around the world to send a team to compete in the IYCC. Yacht clubs from around the world can select members to represent their club and charter a boat from Sunsail. The top prize is a Sunsail charter for a week, hopefully to be used returning the following year to defend the club’s title.

For the IYCC, David Higgins, a physician, will be representing the Gavin’s Point Yacht Club based in South Dakota: “It is pretty chilly at home at the moment and I have to say that warm sailing in the beautiful islands is really appealing right now. Our crew will be made up of four couples, including my brother and his wife and also two couples that I often sail with. We have chartered a 53′ from Sunsail, it’s the largest yacht I have ever chartered but it will also be our home during the regatta. Honestly, one of the main attractions of the IYCC is winning a charter holiday for next year. We love to race and the British Virgin Islands is a wonderful location, at a time of the year when we are experiencing near freezing temperatures in the Mid-West. Role on March, we are all so looking forward to coming out to the BVIs!”

Yacht charter is very well established in the British Virgin Islands. Ready-to-go packages for the regatta include race measurement and registration as well as full provisioning for the arrival. A local qualified skipper can also be arranged. Contact our friendly team to learn more about the possibility to charter a luxury yacht in this stunning destination.

Sunsail’s Josie Tucci explains why the British Virgin Islands is their Number One destination: “The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival is a superb combination of warm weather racing and fun partying. So it makes sense for us to support this important local event. There’s nothing like racing in a Caribbean climate, beautiful blue water racing, friendly competition, great bars and local food.”

The week encompasses seven-days and features five separate events, The Sailing Festival comprised of The Bitter End Cup and The Nanny Cay Cup; the Nations Challenge, the Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship and the BVI Spring Regatta.

The BVI Spring Regatta is jointly owned by the Royal BVI Yacht Club and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association.

4th RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race and its American entries

February 14, 2012

The 4th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Caribbean 600 yacht race starts from Antigua on Monday, February 20. The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean islands. There are 40 yachts competing and nearly a quarter of the fleet are yachts coming from the USA.

Perini Navi 38 sailing yacht Team P2

Perini Navi 38 sailing yacht Team P2 Credit: McNaughton Media

USA Entries in the Caribbean 600 yacht race include:

TEAM P2 – Perini Navi 38 – Gerhard Andlinger – Taking the Jaguar off-road with Team P2

The 38m (124ft) sailing yacht P2 by Perini Navi owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger, will make her debut into offshore racing with a star cast on board including Peter Holmberg, top Caribbean sailor, Finn Class Silver Olympic medallist and America’s Cup sailor. Other helmsman for the race include Maurice ‘Mo’ Kurg, also from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and Paul Scoffin, ex-New Zealand America’s Cup sailor.

Peter Holmberg: “P2 is a Perini Navi/Philippe Briand- design accustomed to fast cruising and serious day racing in the superyacht fleet,” said Peter Holmberg, “but the owner is intrigued with the adventure of the Caribbean 600 course and the challenge it presents. It will be a bit like taking a Jaguar off-road, so we will have to sail smart, and will hope to have a good result against similar type yachts.”

Team P2 Racing Manager and skipper, Jonathan Kline is looking forward to the challenge: “Having sailed with the owners of P2 for 10 years, a circumnavigation on Perseus and now three years of racing and cruising on P2, I am very excited that we will be sailing the Caribbean 600. The long distance course, the islands as marks and the drama of trade wind sailing in sunlight and moonlight will provide a memorable life experience for the boss. We know it will be rigorous, but out of the fatigue and effort we know we will find a sense of clarity and satisfaction.”

Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Yacht Privateer

Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Yacht Privateer

PRIVATEER, Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley (USA)
Racing in the 2010 Caribbean 600, the Cookson 50 yacht Privateer claimed third overall. Ron O’Hanley is President of Fidelity’s Investments Asset Management and Corporate Services divisions and has successfully campaigned his Cookson 50 yacht Privateer in the Caribbean and in/around Newport, New York Yacht Club Races etc. He’s on the Board of Sail Newport and IYRS (International yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island). Brad Read, Head of Sail Newport will also be onboard for the race.

George David's Rambler 90 yacht during the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race - photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

George David's Rambler 90 yacht during the 2007 Rolex Fastnet Race - photo: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

RAMBLER 90, Reichel Pugh 90, George David (USA)- Fight to retain line honours
In 2011 American George David skippered Rambler 100 to smash the monohull course record in the Caribbean 600, taking line honours and overall victory. David’s team is back, this time with the Reichel Pugh 90 luxury yacht Rambler and they are unlikely to give up the title without a fight.

Rambler 90 was launched in 2002 as Shockwave before being renamed. She has had a successful record under George David’s direction since 2007 and in 2011 the team raced Rambler 100 in the RORC Caribbean 600 1st (record), Transatlantic Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race. The yacht will go on to race in the Les Voiles de St Barth’s after the Caribbean 600.

The crew consist of top sailors from around the world: George David (USA), Wouter Verbraak (NED), Peter Isler (USA), Wendy Touton (USA), Mick Harvey (USA), Mike van Beuren (USA), David Petersen (NZL), Duncan Maitland (GBR), Jan Dekker (FRA), Robbie Naismith (NZL), Justin Clougher  (AUS), Jesse Fielding (USA), Tim Dawson (USA), Bob Wylie (AUS), Stu Wilson (NZL), Joe Fanelli (USA), Marty McNary (USA), Chris Welch (USA), Greg Gendell (USA), Jerry Kirby (USA), Matt Mialik (USA), Scott Beavis (NZL).

Mick Harvey: “Great Race, wonderful sailing conditions in a warm climate. We raced last year aboard Rambler 100 and had a great result. We hope to have a good result this year but the competition will be tough. Given the usual conditions, we should be able to do well.”

Swan 80 yacht Selene. Photo: RORC/Tim Wright

Swan 80 yacht Selene. Photo: RORC/Tim Wright

TEAM SELENE, SWAN 80, Wendy Schmidt – Unfinished business for Team Selene
The Swan 80 yacht Selene by Nautor´s Swan is owned by Wendy Schmidt (USA) and Skipper, Benjamin Davitt from Cowes, Isle of Wight is back with Team Selene to complete ‘unfinished business’ after she was forced to retire in the 2011 race.

Skipper, Benjamin Davitt: “Team Selene has gone to great lengths to ensure the success of this year’s regatta. From the owners perspective, it is seen as ‘unfinished business’ and all involved are very much looking forward to the event!”

Team Selene consists of 18 crew from: UK, US, Australian, Croatian and New Zealand. The team usually compete in IRC racing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean including the Swan World and the Lora Piana Superyacht regatta. After the RORC Caribbean 600, the team will race in the Voiles de St. Barths.

Michael Reardon´s Tripp 75 Yacht Blackbird. Photo: Tripp Design

Michael Reardon´s Tripp 75 Yacht Blackbird. Photo: Tripp Design

BLACKBIRD – Tripp 75, Michael Reardon (USA)
The 75ft sailing yacht Blackbird is a carbon fibre monohull designed by Bill Tripp which raced in the RORC Caribbean 600 last year, but with a previous owner and name, Bella Pita.  Making her way to the Caribbean in the Caribbean 1500 race from Hampton, Virginia to Nanny Cay, Tortola, she finished first on corrected time.

Bryon Ehrhart's TP52 yacht Lucky in the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Bryon Ehrhart's TP52 yacht Lucky in the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race. Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

LUCKY – TP 52, Bryon Ehrhart (Chicago, USA) – 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner on world tour
Sailing yacht Lucky USA 52152 was built by Goetz and designed by Farr in 2004. Her home port is Chicago and since Bryon Ehrhart (a financier from Chicago) has owned the boat, she has won the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2010 as well as competed in the following races: Transpac, Chicago Mac, Newport Bermuda, Rolex Fastnet and Giraglia Race.

Ehrhart, an active member of both the New York Yacht Club and Chicago Yacht Club, is on a world tour with the boat and will eventually compete in some of the Asian events followed by the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Lucky just recently sailed across the Atlantic from Valencia, Spain to Antigua. Captain, Will Finlay is now putting the yacht in racing trim at Jolly Harbour Marina ready for the Caribbean 600.

The rest of the crew is a mixture of professional and experienced ISAF Cat 1 sailors. Nearly all of the crew have raced together and know each other very well. There is also a mix of cultures onboard with crew from USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Frank Eberhart's Nielsen 59 Custom sailing yacht Hound

Frank Eberhart's Nielsen 59 Custom sailing yacht Hound

HOUND, Nielsen 59 Custom, Frank Eberhart, (USA) – Family run and raced boat
The 60-foot classic sailing yacht Hound, will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice. Hound is a 1970 Nielson designed sloop owned by a family of avid sailors.

Over the years the owners have used the yacht to cross oceans with their four children, cruised the Baltic and competed in 8 Newport Bermuda Races. The Hound yacht is a regular of the Caribbean, having sailed the area for the past 25 winters. In the summer months Hound can be found sailing the coast of Maine and points north, enjoying the Canadian Maritimes and her homeport in Penobscot Bay, the Island of Vinalhaven. Hound is a family run and raced boat.

Frank Eberhart from Vinalhaven, Maine. New York: “Hound has been sailing the Caribbean for nearly 30 years. This race is a unique opportunity to enjoy Caribbean sailing with a twist, while experiencing the beauty of the Leeward chain. There will be only two hired crew onboard, the rest will be family and friends of the owner – all with offshore racing experience. This race promises to be a fun addition to the boats racing resume.”

Skipper, Nicholas Pucello from Marion, Massachusetts: “I’m hoping for a few days of great sailing in ideal Hound conditions, hopefully exceeding 200 mile days.”

Trimaran yacht PARADOX

Trimaran yacht PARADOX

TRIMARAN PARADOX, 63′ Trimaran, Nigel Irens/Benoit Cabaret – Peter Aschenbrenner (USA) – Possible record breaker?
French Skipper, Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board the 63ft yacht Paradox are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members are spending winter racing in the Caribbean and some of the crew have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.

Bernie Evan-Wong's Mumm 36 Cafe Americano during the 2009 RORC Caribbean 600 - photo by Tim Wright

Bernie Evan-Wong's Mumm 36 Cafe Americano during the 2009 RORC Caribbean 600 - photo by Tim Wright

HIGH TENSION – Mumm 36, BERNIE EVAN-WONG – Long road for local racer in his 4th Caribbean 600 race
Bernie Evan-Wong has sailed and raced for over 50 years primarily in the Caribbean. Competing in virtually all of the regional regattas in a series of different boats, his Mumm 36 yacht High Tension is the smallest yacht in the fleet. Evan-Wong has taken part in every RORC Caribbean 600 race since it started, but not without incident:

“This is my 4th RORC Caribbean 600 race in this boat. We won our class in the first event, the wind died in the second and we lost our mast in the third event when in a leading position after 220 miles! I have just replaced the rig with some modifications to simplify the rig, moving mast aft and eliminating runners by using swept spreaders. It has been a long road to get to this point since last February, but we are back and will be out there giving it our best shot for the 2012 event.”

Bernie Evan-Wong’s most successful boat must be his Classic 1967 Cal 40 yacht Huey Too which he has owned for the past 34 years. In this time he has achieved Class wins at many of the Regional events including Antigua Sailing Week and St Maarten Heineken Regatta, also winning the top award for the ‘Most Worthy Performance’ of this event a few years ago.

For the Caribbean 600, crew include: Raoul Jean Noel who has represented Guadeloupe in many single handed transatlantic events, and is a National Sailing Coach; Mathieu and Gavin are both North Sails employees in Antigua and Guadeloupe and seasoned sailors; Gavin Dove being the son of Andrew Dove the Caribbean Regional North Sails Representative:

“Wayne is an experienced boat Captain in his own right, having once sailed single handed from Jamaica to Antigua, so is excellent at taking the 2-4 AM watch,” says Even-Wong.

Bernie Evan-Wong: Quote “The Caribbean 600 appeals because it is the first real regional ocean race and it’s a real fun event which takes an awful lot of logistical planning, but I really enjoy the challenge of putting it all together and then living the dream.”

Memorable Caribbean 600 moment: “One of the most memorable moments in the past three Caribbean 600 events for me must be planing down the waves at 12 – 15 knots on the south side of St Kitts at 2.00 AM when a school of dolphins started swimming with the boat in a phosphorescent sea! An unforgettable moment. Sailing a race like this helps me get through the rest of the year.”

Worst moment in Caribbean 600: “At the other end of the spectrum must be my worst moment in the first race when I fell on board on the second night out, I broke two ribs, but with help from my crew, we still went on to win our class in that event and for a while had the big boats worrying that we might win overall! Over the past three events we have gained a lot of valuable experience on the course, so we plan to apply that knowledge hopefully to our benefit.”

Christian and Lucy Reynolds' Swan 51 yacht Northern Child. Photo Tim Wright

Christian and Lucy Reynolds' Swan 51 yacht Northern Child. Photo: Tim Wright

NORTHERN CHILD, SWAN 51, Christian Reynolds – Rookie Crew up for the challenge

Northern Child has been a charter yacht since 2001, completing the Atlantic circuit every year. 12 inexperienced racers on board the Swan 51 yacht will be led by pro skipper, Christian Reynolds.

Reynolds comments: “The RORC 600 is my favourite offshore race above the Rolex Fastnet. There are lots of different legs creating varied and exciting sailing in warm beautiful water around a very scenic race course. We hope to achieve first in class.”

2012 Governor’s Cup – Andrew Weir Yacht Management and the RMS St.Helena provide support

February 14, 2012

Andrew Weir Yacht Management and the RMS St.Helena are once again organising the transportation of yachts and arranging berths for the competitors of the 2012 Governor’s Cup.

2012 Governor’s Cup - Andrew Weir Yacht Management and the RMS St.Helena provide support

2012 Governor’s Cup - Andrew Weir Yacht Management and the RMS St.Helena provide support

The Governor’s Cup is a one-way handicap race between Cape Town and St. Helena held every two years, which is open to yachts of any size and growing in popularity every year.  This year’s race will begin in Cape Town on Saturday 22nd December and while being a chase across the South Atlantic, the accent is on fun and camaraderie and once the destination has been reached, the competitors can enjoy an experience-filled stay on the rugged and beautiful island, St.Helena.

“Only a week after announcing the race details, we have thirteen yachts booked for the return trip to Cape Town on the RMS St Helena and we have a list of 33 confirmed or interested owners. Berths for yachts and passengers on the RMS are being taken up rapidly, so it looks as though this will be another great race to the little Island, considered to be the remotest on the planet” commented Billy Leisegang, Manager at The False Bay Yacht Club.

“Some yachts choose to continue their cruise to other destinations but the beauty of this race is that the rest of the sailors have a choice – either sail back to the Cape or return reclining in the comfort of a deckchair sipping cocktails on board the affordable, yet luxurious 7000 ton passenger/cargo ship, the RMS St. Helena” commented Daniel Taylor of Andrew Weir Yacht Management.

“Andrew Weir is the only shipping company who can arrange transport for yachts to and from St Helena itself, which can be arranged in both our London and Cape Town offices.  Our Cape Town office manager Claude Amman skippered the winning entry in the 2006 Governor’s Cup, which was made up of crew members from the RMS St Helena. So we have direct experience of the race itself!” added Taylor.

Entries range from serious racing boats to cruising boats crewed by families and friends.

What makes the race unique is that families and supporters of the sailors can enjoy a trip to the island on the RMS St Helena, meet up with the contestants, have a fascinating holiday and then all return home on the RMS St. Helena – with the yacht on board as well!

Those family and supporters lucky enough to sail on the RMS St.Helena will experience a nautical Christmas on board the ship with The RMS is due back in Cape Town on Wednesday 16th January 2013.

Still time to charter a yacht for the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival 2012

February 14, 2012

There is still time to charter a luxury yacht for the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival 2012 and experience one of the best loved regattas in the Caribbean which runs from the 26th of March to the 1st of April 2012.

Charter boats race in the 2011 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival - Sparkling sailing conditions Credit Todd VanSickle - BVI Spring Regatta& Sailing Festival

Charter boats race in the 2011 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival - Sparkling sailing conditions Credit Todd VanSickle - BVI Spring Regatta& Sailing Festival

At this year’s 2012 BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival, Dutch Grand Soleil 43, sailing yacht Antilope will count one of the world’s most famous sailors in the race. Bouwe Bekking has competed in six round the world races, twice as skipper and S/Y Antilope’s crew are also taking advantage of the excellent charter facilities in the British Virgin Islands.

Sailing yacht Veritas, a classic Abeking and Rasmussen 57, takes center stage at the 2011 BVi Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival Credit Todd VanSickle - BVI Spring Regatta& Sailing Festival

Sailing yacht Veritas, a classic Abeking and Rasmussen 57, takes center stage at the 2011 BVi Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival Credit Todd VanSickle - BVI Spring Regatta& Sailing Festival

“The BVIs is just a fantastic place and rather than put the crew in a house, we have chartered a catamaran for the event. It means that we can stay right in the marina and enjoy all of the dockside fun. Nanny Cay Marina is very sheltered so all the crew can enjoy a comfortable sleep on board with no problem at all and friends and family can also use the catamaran to enjoy a day out on the water.”

Sir Richard Branson's Necker Belle participates in the 2011 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival - Credit Todd VanSickle - BVI Spring Regatta& Sailing Festival

Sir Richard Branson's Necker Belle participates in the 2011 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival - Credit Todd VanSickle - BVI Spring Regatta& Sailing Festival

Among a large fleet of charter yachts expected for the event, yacht clubs from across the globe can also take part in the third International Yacht Club Challenge (IYCC).

The Commodore of the Royal British Virgin Islands Yacht Club has invited other yacht clubs from around the world to send a team to compete in the IYCC. Yacht clubs from around the world can select members to represent their club and charter a boat from Sunsail. The top prize is a Sunsail charter for a week, hopefully to be used returning the following year to defend the club’s title.

For the IYCC, David Higgins, a physician, will be representing the Gavin’s Point Yacht Club based in South Dakota:

“It is pretty chilly at home at the moment and I have to say that warm sailing in the beautiful islands is really appealing right now. Our crew will be made up of four couples, including my brother and his wife and also two couples that I often sail with. We have chartered a 53′ from Sunsail, it’s the largest yacht I have ever chartered but it will also be our home during the regatta. Honestly, one of the main attractions of the IYCC is winning a charter holiday for next year. We love to race and the British Virgin Islands is a wonderful location, at a time of the year when we are experiencing near freezing temperatures in the Mid-West. Role on March, we are all so looking forward to coming out to the BVIs!”

Yacht charter is very well established in the British Virgin Islands. Ready-to-go packages for the regatta include, race measurement and registration and full provisioning for your arrival. A local qualified skipper can also be arranged.

Sunsail’s Josie Tucci explains why the British Virgin Islands is their Number One destination. “The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival is a superb combination of warm weather racing and fun partying. So it makes sense for us to support this important local event. There’s nothing like racing in a Caribbean climate, beautiful blue water racing, friendly competition, great bars and local food.”

As well as bareboat charters through Sunsail, it is also possible to hire a luxury crewed charter yacht during the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival 2012 to soak up the atmosphere in port, around the island and on the water. The types of luxury yacht charters possible including sailing yachts, catamarans, motor yachts, superyachts and much more! Contact a CharterWorld representative here for further information.

Visitors can fly to the British Virgin Islands through San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Airlines, Cape Air and LIAT. Flights are also available through Antigua, St. Maartin and Barbados on Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and BWIA.  Ferry service is also available from St. Thomas and St. John.

100´ sailing yacht ICAP Leopard returns to compete in the 2012 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

February 09, 2012

The property developer and internationally known yachtsman Mike Slade is coming back to Cowes to take part in the 2012 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, Britain‘s popular yacht race. He will compete with his 100ft sailing yacht ICAP Leopard to defend his most recent and the current monohull record set in 2008 at a time of 3.53.05.

100´ sailing yacht ICAP Leopard Photo by R. Tomlinson

100´ sailing yacht ICAP Leopard Photo by R. Tomlinson

The team has broken the monohull record on four occasions, firstly in 1991 racing Ocean Leopard, aboard Hoya Longobarda in 1996 and then in 2001 aboard Leopard of London circumnavigating the island in 4.05.40. The usual stellar crew of former Olympic sailors and Volvo Ocean Race sailing talent are delighted to be returning to the Race and they have their sights firmly set on retaining or even beating their current monohull record.

Entries are piling in for this 81st running of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, with 265 entries already processed.

Going for gold
Following on from the news that triple Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie CBE will be competing in the 81st J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, several other race participants have highlighted their Olympic connections on their entry forms.

It can be very interesting to dig a little deeper beyond the sometimes quite random information added to entry forms that can end up revealing extraordinary facts about some fascinating individuals.

Taking, for example, Paul Lavars from Christchurch, Dorset, the owner of the Bavaria Vision 44 yacht Manhattan. He trained with the Olympic canoeing squad for the 1968 Olympics and with various family members are joined on board by Danny Dalrymple, 65, who has been to Base Camp Everest amongst other marathon feats. Paul and some of his older crew members are also planning to sail around Great Britain in 2014.

Charles Reynolds from the Port Owen in the Western Cape, South Africa, owns a Freedom 45 Freedom of Hamble yacht, and competed in both the 1968 and 1972 Games in Dragons and Solings respectively. Charles was also part of the Hong Kong Admiral’s Cup Team in 1975. He has a long-standing commitment to this Race, having first entered in 1963.

Family values
Six members of the Bowyer family from Winchester, aged between 19 – 54 are racing on board the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 42 Navicula yacht, and racing for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Family Trophy in ISCRS with the aim of all still speaking to one another by the time they cross the finish line.

Gavin, the skipper, is an Orthopaedic surgeon working in Southampton and the name of his yacht must surely relate to the navicular bone that is one of the tarsal bones, found in the foot. Let’s hope they don’t end up stepping on each others toes!

New to the event?
The Race website is packed full of useful guides and provides practical advice aplenty. The visitors can read through the First Timers’ guide and the Layman’s Guide to Racing Rules.

For 2012 the ISC has introduced a series of features in the new Knowledge Box, accessible from the home page. This series, covering ten topics, will run right up to Race day and the articles are being contributed by each of the Race Partners and there’ll be one from Title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Lots of practical advice can be found here. The current piece is from Race Partner Henri Lloyd and also archived is the first article in the series from Small Luxury Hotels of the World.

ISC Seminars focus on Race safety issues
The Island Sailing Club encourages you to attend one of two FREE Race seminars it is holding in March. The seminar content has been carefully tailored to be relevant to anyone doing the Race but will be especially useful to those of you entering the Race for the first time.

•    Saturday 17th March 2pm at the Royal Southampton Yacht Club
•    Saturday 24th March 6pm at the Royal Lymington yacht Club

Topics on the agenda include elements that are required for:

-  Entering the Race
-  Getting the paperwork sorted
-  Safety issues
-  Getting round the course
-  Technology

There will be a Q&A session following the seminars. The sessions are expected to last no more than two hours incl. Qs&As.

How one can fundraise for Charity
The Island Sailing Club is delighted to announce that following the success of last year’s Charity Challenge, Race Title sponsor, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, will again be running the initiative in 2012. There are two £1,000 charitable donations up for grabs and it’s hoped this will encourage many new charity fundraisers.

Animal magic
An appropriate tailpiece for this month has to be recognition for Round the Island Race first timer ‘Jack Sparrow’ a dog rescued from a Greek Island in 2009 by Tim Carrington the owner of Lady H. With over 10,000 nautical miles notched up already, this 50-mile westabout course should prove to be little more than a walk in the park for Jack Sparrow!

Early bird entries close at midnight on February 25th.

Pantaenius renews a three year sponsorship agreement with the Superyacht Cup

February 08, 2012

International insurance company Pantaenius has renewed a three year sponsorship agreement with the Superyacht Cup regatta in Palma. The agreement also comprises sponsorship of the special Olympics edition of the Superyacht Cup Cowes, UK held in July 22-25, a few days before the start of the London 2012 Olympics. Each yacht regatta will feature a ´Pantaenius Race´ with trophies awarded to each division.

Superyacht Cup Cowes, UK

Superyacht Cup Cowes, UK

Pantaenius have supported the Superyacht Cup for over 10 years and I am very pleased to continue our sponsorship for another 3 years. The event is extremely valuable to us as we have the opportunity to spend time with our existing customers and meet new clients too. We look forward to the Superyacht Cup 2012 in Palma, and also to the special edition in Cowes UK too!” commented Martin Baum, Managing Director of Pantaenius.

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Superyachts

February 08, 2012

This year´s RORC Caribbean 600 race, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) will start on February 20, with 40 impressive yachts competing in this well-known race, including Racing Maxis, Supeyachts, Spirit of Tradition and Class 40s. The largest vessel to participate will be the world´s largest carbon composite 214´ sailing yacht Hetairos, with her crew of 29 on board, including Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup sailors as well as Jules Verne around the world veterans.

2011 RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by Tim Wright

2011 RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by Tim Wright

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.

SPIRIT OF TRADITION

Dijkstra 40m sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam

Led by ex RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine, a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft super yacht Windrose of Amsterdam. Windrose competed in 2011 as the largest boat in the fleet but will be up against the mighty 180ft luxury yacht Adela this year. The crew contains experienced RORC racers who have won many RORC and other inshore and offshore races. RORC Commodore, Mike Greville will celebrate a ‘significant birthday’ during the race.

Dykstra designed luxury yacht Windrose of Amsterdam

Dykstra designed luxury yacht Windrose of Amsterdam

Andrew McIrvine said, “Unique race, great trade wind conditions, opportunity to sail on a remarkable and very large boat. Great way of escaping the UK in cold grey February. We expect a good result although we know that the IRC rating system is not that favourable for schooners.”

55m Classic sailing yacht Adela

In the Spirit of Tradition class, the 180ft twin-masted schooner Adela, with skipper Greg Perkins on board will line up against the Windrose of Amsterdam superyacht whose classic hull and modern schooner rig was conceived to win races of this type. The steel hulled-yacht was restored at Pendennis in 1995 and last year won the Pendennis Cup. Adela will be back across the ‘Pond’ in July for the Superyacht Cup taking place in Cowes, UK.

55m sailing yacht Adela-The largest yacht attending the 2010 Pendennis Cup

55m sailing yacht Adela - The largest yacht attending the 2010 Pendennis Cup

SUPER YACHT

Baltic Custom 66m sailing yacht Hetairos

The largest vessel competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 is the magnificent super yacht Hetairos with a waterline length of 200’. Hetairos is the world’s largest carbon composite sailing yacht, launched in June 2011.

66m Sailing Yacht Hetairos Credit Baltic Yachts

66m Sailing Yacht Hetairos Credit Baltic Yachts

The 29 crew on board include Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and Jules Verne around the world race veterans and the boat is among the favourites to take line honours. Hetairos won line honours and finished second overall in the IMA Superyacht Transatlantic Race between Tenerife and the BVI.

Captain, Vincent Fauquenoy said, “Hetairos is 200 feet long and she carries up to 4400 square meters of sail area, so manoeuvres on such a large yacht take time and therefore on short inshore courses she cannot be very competitive. That’s why the Caribbean 600 is a great race for Hetairos as it still combines the pressure of an around the can race, but over a 600 miles course, thus allowing the crew to push her to 100% of her performance capabilities. We hope to secure line honour and have fun sailing around the Caribbean islands.”

Perini Navi 38m sailing yacht P2

The 124´ super yacht P2 owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger, will make her debut into offshore racing with a star cast on board including Peter Holmberg, top Caribbean sailor, Finn Class Silver Olympic
medallist and America’s Cup sailor. Other helmsman for the race include Maurice ‘Mo’ Kurg, also from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and Paul Scoffin, ex-New Zealand America’s Cup sailor.

Perini Navi super yacht P2

Perini Navi super yacht P2

Peter Holmberg: “P2 is a Perini Navi/Philippe Briand design accustomed to fast cruising and serious day racing in the superyacht fleet,” said Peter Holmberg, “but the owner is intrigued with the adventure of the Caribbean 600 course and the challenge it presents. It will be a bit like taking a Jaguar off-road, so we will have to sail smart, and will hope to have a good result against similar type yachts.”

Team P2 Racing Manager and skipper, Jonathan Kline is looking forward to the challenge: “Having sailed with the owners of P2 for 10 years, a circumnavigation on Perseus and now three years of racing and cruising on P2, I am very excited that we will be sailing the Caribbean 600. The long distance course, the islands as marks and the drama of trade wind sailing in sunlight and moonlight will provide a memorable life experience for the boss. We know it will be rigorous, but out of the fatigue and effort we know we will find a sense of clarity and satisfaction.”

Farr 115 charter yacht Sojana

Peter Harrison’s magnificent Farr designed 35m luxury yacht Sojana (GBR) will be competing for the Superyacht Class perpetual trophy (awarded along with a keg of rum from North Sails Caribbean). Peter has been a fan of the race since its conception and he competed for the first time in 2011, finishing second in IRC Zero and third Overall. Sojana, skippered by Marc Fitzgerald, also raced in the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta having participated in all four editions of the race since 2007 and winning the 2010 race. Their crew for the 2012 Caribbean 600 includes one of the race founders in Antigua, John Burnie and veteran Caribbean sailor and author, Don Street.

The luxury charter yacht Sojana - Photo Credit: Christophe Jouany official photographer LVSB

The luxury charter yacht Sojana - Photo Credit: Christophe Jouany official photographer LVSB

Skipper Marc Fitzgerald says: “I was honoured to be part of the founding team for the RORC Caribbean 600. One of our aims from the beginning was to allow and encourage participation of superyachts (ie boats over 100′ LOA). This makes the event unique amongst the ocean classics such as Rolex Fastnet, Rolex Sydney-Hobart, Newport Bermuda etc, which have a 100′ limit. Superyacht owners have been a bit slow on the uptake, but 2012 is looking like a cracker with the mighty 66m Hetairos entered; old sparring partners Sojana and P2 going head to head for the first time offshore, plus the battle of the schooners, with Adela, Windrose and others on the start line. I can’t wait.”

CANTING KEEL

Volvo 70 sailing yacht Gran Jotti

The Spanish Volvo 70 Gran Jotti yacht raced across the Atlantic in January in the Gran Prix del Atlantico from Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote, Canary Islands to Fort de France, Martinque. It the will be dwarfed by Hetairos, but the former Telefonica Black has a venomous turn of speed and is quite capable of out pacing the entire fleet. On board there is a huge wealth of talent in the form of Spanish America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors. A likely contender for line honours.

CLASS ZERO

Judel/Vrolijk 72 sailing yacht Rán

A hot contender is Niklas Zennström’s Judel/Vrolijk 72 yacht Rán, which will be making her debut in the RORC Caribbean 600. Rán navigator, Steve Hayles is one of the world’s most experienced offshore sailors but this will be the
first time he has tackled the intricate course around the central Caribbean.

Sailing yacht Rán - Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht Rán - Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

“For me it’s very refreshing to tackle a new race and the Caribbean 600 is a real fascination,” explained Hayles. “It’s unlike any other offshore race in that the average leg is only about 40 miles and for a navigator there is a lot to consider. Normally, a race is all about the weather and strategy but in addition to all that, this race takes you back to the basic problem of navigating around so many rocks and islands. Looking through all the legs, there is a broad mixture of sailing angles; there is a fair bit of reaching, but it is wrong to think that is not a challenge, especially with the speed sensitivity of modern high-performance boats. The course is more like a whole stream of complex coastal races. I have to say that it is a pretty unique race.”

Rán: Overall Rolex Fastnet Winners – 2009, 2011, Maxi World Champions – 2009, 2010, 2011.

20 x Crew include top team: Tim Powell (UK); Steve Hayles (UK); Adrian Stead (UK); Gerry Mitchell (UK); Lou Varney (UK); Andy Hemmings (UK); Jon Gundersen (NZ); John Taylor (UK); Freddy Shanks (UK); Willy Beavis (UK); Jason Carrington (UK); Mo Gray – UK; Carl Williams – NZ; Andrew Taylor – NZ; Scott Crawford – NZ; Catherine Zennstrom – France; Brendan Darrer – Ireland; Tom McWilliam – Ireland; Jeremy Robinson – UK; Jim Turner – NZ.

Reichel Pugh 90 sailing yacht Rambler 90

In 2011 American George David skippered Rambler 100 to smash the monohull course record in the Caribbean 600, taking line honours and overall victory. David’s team is back, this time with the Reichel Pugh 90 Rambler yacht and
they are unlikely to give up the title without a fight.

Sailing yacht Rambler at the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011-Photo by Dan Nerney

Sailing yacht Rambler at the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011-Photo by Dan Nerney

Rambler 90 was launched in 2002 as Shockwave before being renamed. She has had a successful record under George David’s direction since 2007: 1st Block Is race, 1st Nordbank Transatlantic Race (record), 2nd Rolex Fastnet, 1st Rolex Middle Sea Race (record), 2008 – 1st Buenos Aires to Rio Race (record), 2nd Antigua Sailing Week, 1st Maxi Worlds, 1st Les Voiles de St Tropez, 2009 – 1st Capetown to Salvador race, 1st Annapolis Newport race, 1st Marblehead to Halifax race, 2010 – 2nd Key West Race, 1st Les Voiles de St Barth’s, 1st Around Long Island race (record), 1st Ida Lewis Distance Race (record).

In 2011 the team raced Rambler 100 in the RORC Caribbean 600 1st (record), Transatlantic Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race. The boat will go on to race in the Les Voiles de St Barth’s after the Caribbean 600.

The crew consist of top sailors from around the world: George David (USA), Wouter Verbraak (NED), Peter Isler (USA), Wendy Touton (USA), Mick Harvey (USA), Mike van Beuren (USA), David Petersen (NZL), Duncan Maitland (GBR), Jan Dekker (FRA), Robbie Naismith (NZL), Justin Clougher (AUS), Jesse Fielding USA, Tim Dawson USA, Bob Wylie AUS, Stu Wilson NZL, Joe Fanelli USA, Marty McNary USA, Chris Welch USA, Greg Gendell USA, Jerry Kirby USA, Matt Mialik USA, Scott Beavis NZL.

Mick Harvey said, “Great Race, wonderful sailing conditions in a warm climate. We raced last year aboard Rambler 100 and had a great result. We hope to have a good result this year but the competition will be tough. Given the usual conditions, we should be able to do well.”

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene

The Swan 80 Selene yacht is owned by Wendy Schmidt (USA) and Skipper, Benjamin Davitt from Cowes, Isle of Wight is back with Team Selene to complete ‘unfinished business’ after she was forced to retire in the 2011 race.

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene

Skipper, Benjamin Davitt said, “Team Selene has gone to great lengths to ensure the success of this year’s regatta. From the owners perspective, it is seen as ‘unfinished business’ and all involved are very much looking forward to the event!”

Team Selene consists of 18 crew from: UK, US, Australia, Croatia and New Zealand. The team usually compete in IRC racing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean including the Swan World and the Lora Piana Superyacht regatta. After the RORC Caribbean 600, the team will race in the Voiles de St. Barths.

RP78 sailing yacht Lloyd´s IDEA

“For 2012 we want to really make an impression on the race course and compete with sailing superstars on a level that would really challenge us,” says Andrew Jameson from the Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club (LLYC).

Chartering the RP78 yacht Lloyd’s IDEA, the crew is made up of keen amateur sailors, some who are boat owners themselves, but all are members of the Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club which was formed in 1936 for underwriters working in the ‘Room’ at Lloyd’s, as an introduction to offshore racing.

The club has supported RORC races to this present day the Lloyd’s club Commodore, Liz Lotz and Andrew Jameson chartered places on the Farr 65, Spirit of Minerva, in 2009 and found the RORC Caribbean 600 a great challenge and loved the race.

“Talking endlessly about the Race with other LLYC club members, we noticed a great level of interest. On the back of this we ended up taking 23 club members to Antigua to race in 2010 but unfortunately had to retire due to lack of wind that year! In 2011 LLYC were unable to enter a yacht into the race as many members of the club had commitments, but this didn’t stop a few crewing on yachts such as Windrose of Amsterdam and Northern Child. For this race the wind blew and stories from the returning members re-lit fires of longing to enter the race again.”

“We would love nothing more than to get a podium position but we have the utmost respect for the teams we will be racing against and to be able to support this amazing RORC race is great. The quicker the yacht, the longer in the bar after the race!” concludes Jameson.

The crew racing on board include Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club members from UK, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and Germany.

27m Maxi sailing yacht Med Spirit

he 27.46m (90ft) super maxi Med Spirit yacht was a heavy-weight challenger in the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup and Rolex Middle Sea Race. At the end of last year she crossed the Atlantic with the ARC and claimed line honours, crossing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia in 11 days, 14 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds.

Sailing yacht Med Spirit

Sailing yacht Med Spirit

The main goal of the architect, Hugh Welbourn, in designing the boat in 2002 was to achieve maximum speeds, regardless of the costs or constraints of construction or materials. The boat is made entirely of carbon.

The construction, by the custom yacht builder Boatspeed in Australia, who has 20 years experience in the construction of maxi yachts, is remarkable for both its technical ability and strength, in an elegant style, modern and sleek.

Med Spirit – 28.20 meters long, 6 meters wide, 4.80 meters draft, mast 36 meters from sea level, 1,500 square meters of sail- is capable of reaching 29 knots from 35 knots of wind.

The owners, sailors and racers themselves, maintain the boat in a technical state that allows them to sail at the highest level of excellence.

Skipper, Laurent Pellecuer will race with 22 crew in total – all French and Russian sailors.

Tripp 75 sailing yacht Blackbird, Michael Reardon (USA)

The 75ft carbon fibre monohull designed by Bill Tripp raced in the RORC Caribbean 600 last year, but with a previous owner and name, Bella Pita. Making her way to the Caribbean in the Caribbean 1500 race from Hampton, Virginia to Nanny Cay, Tortola, she finished first on corrected time.

Sailing yacht Blackbird - Photo: Tripp Design

Sailing yacht Blackbird - Photo: Tripp Design

TP 52 sailing yacht Lucky

Lucky USA 52152 was built by Goetz and designed by Farr in 2004. Her home port is Chicago and since Bryon Ehrhart has owned the yacht, it has competed in the Transpac, Chicago Mac, Newport Bermuda, Rolex Fastnet, Rolex Middle Sea Race (2010 Winner), Giraglia.

Sailing yacht Lucky - Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Lucky - Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Ehrhart is on a world tour with the yacht and will eventually compete in some of the Asian events followed by the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Lucky just recently sailed across the Atlantic from Valencia, Spain to Antigua. Captain, Will Finlay is now putting the boat in racing trim at Jolly Harbour Marina ready for the Caribbean 600.

The rest of the crew is a mixture of professional and experienced ISAF Cat 1 sailors. Nearly all of the crew have raced together and know each other very well. There is also a mix of cultures onboard with crew from USA, Australia and New Zealand.

CLASS 1

Farr 65 sailing yacht Spirit of Juno

Ondeck’s Farr 65 yacht Spirit of Juno is competing once again in the RORC Caribbean 600. This time the crew includes British sailing legend, Brian Thompson who recently set a new round the world speed record as part of the team on the French trimaran yacht Banque Populaire V, the world’s largest and fastest racing trimaran.

Sailing yacht Spirit of Juno

Sailing yacht Spirit of Juno

They beat the world record, completing the 28,000n mile course in 45 days, 13hours, 42 mins, 53. Record-breaking Brian has completed 4 non-stop circumnavigations of the globe, more than anyone in UK. Taking part at the request of his 78-year old veteran racer friend, Brian’s participation will help to compete his friend’s ‘bucket list’.

They will be part of a crew of mixed sailing ability, age and nationality with three professional Ondeck crew also on board. Most of the crew have not competed in an offshore race previously.

C.N.B Briand 76 sailing yacht Lilla

Lilla competed in the 2011 Caribbean 600 but unfortunately had to retire. They are back this time with a top team of experienced offshore sailors, many of whom were on board the Lilla yacht when they set a new course record in the Marion to Bermuda Race in June 2011.

The crew is made up of a group of friends who love sailing and racing together. More than half the crew have substantial racing experience, including USA Regional Championships, South Africa National Championships,
Newport-Bermuda, Marion-Bermuda, Marblehead-Halifax, Rolex Fastnet, Cork Week, Cowes Week, Antigua Race Week, Heineken Regatta, Cape Town to Uruguay, Bermuda to Plymouth, Plymouth to New York, and the Whitbread Race.

The 12 multinational crew members from UK, USA, South Africa, Germany and Holland usually race offshore in the Atlantic and Caribbean. Some of the crew will participate in the Heineken Regatta and Antigua Sailing Week on other yachts. Lilla will focus on enjoying the remainder of the Caribbean cruising season and then prepare for a transatlantic crossing to add racing in the Med to their resume.

Nancy De Pietro said, “Fantastic race course! Diverse competitors. Fun time. Wouldn’t miss it. We hope to finish safely and be able to look back knowing we raced Lilla to her very best.”

Nielsen 59 Custom sailing yacht Hound

The 60-foot classic yacht Hound, will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport- Bermuda races, winning her class twice.

Sailing yacht Hound

Sailing yacht Hound

Hound is a 1970 Nielson designed sloop owned by a family of avid sailors. Over the years the owners have used the boat to cross oceans with their four children, cruised the Baltic and competed in 8 Newport Bermuda Races. The boat is a regular of the Caribbean, having sailed the area for the past 25 winters.

In the summer months Hound can be found sailing the coast of Maine and points north, enjoying the Canadian Maritimes and her homeport in Penobscot Bay, the Island of Vinalhaven. Hound is a family run and raced yacht.

Frank Eberhart from New York said, “Hound has been sailing the Caribbean for nearly 30 years. This race is a unique opportunity to enjoy Caribbean sailing with a twist, while experiencing the beauty of the Leeward chain. There will be only two hired crew onboard, the rest will be family and friends of the owner – all with offshore racing experience. This race promises to be a fun addition to the boats racing resume.”

Skipper, Nicholas Pucello from Marion, Massachusetts: “I’m hoping for a few days of great sailing in ideal Hound conditions, hopefully exceeding 200 mile days.”

Beneteau First 40 sailing yacht Smile and Wave

Jaime Torres’ hot Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave yacht that scored six top three finishes in nine regattas last year, will be back this Caribbean regatta season with brand new gear, deep crew talent and a determination to win. Smile and Wave will be the new kids up against the pros in a sport where talent and true grit can ultimately lead to spectacular podium finishes.

Sailing yacht Smile and Wave - Credit B. Grieser

Sailing yacht Smile and Wave - Credit: B. Grieser

New Gear Includes Expedition Race Software
Smile and Wave’s main weaknesses last year was lack of accurate performance data. This year, the team boasts a new suite of Nexus Marine performance instruments paired with a wireless tablet that runs Expedition-brand race software. Developed by winning Whitbread navigator, Nick White, in collaboration with America’s Cup winning navigator, Peter Isler, Expedition is a powerful navigation and performance racing programme.

“This will not only enable us to perform more precise navigation and make better tactical decisions, but more importantly, it will provide target speeds and angles for vastly improved boat performance,” Torres explains.

The heart and soul of the Smile and Wave team are owner/driver, Jaime Torres, and trimmer/crew chief, Carlos Hernandez. Both have been sailing since the mid-70s. Torres won the International Rolex Regatta at age 12 aboard his father’s Swan 44, Jibaro, while Hernandez has worked positions aboard a variety of vessels with the enthusiasm and energy of a teenager and the wit and wisdom of a wise man.

“We are also stoked to be able to sail with arguably one of the Caribbean elite sailors, Peter Kingsbury,” says Torres. “Peter has spent the last 15 years of his life as a pro sailor and when he can get away to spend time on a local boat he is often with us.”

Jaime Torres, owner/helmsman, Smile and Wave, Puerto Rico quote: “The appeal of the Caribbean 600 is the opportunity to meet the logistical, technical, physical and mental challenges of such a long distance race. This will provide immeasurable advantages to our Smile and Wave team as we move on to the short distance races that make up the rest of our Caribbean racing season. In 4 short years, this event has grown to attract some top level boats and crews and we look forward to the opportunity to compete against such high level sailors and sailing teams. At some levels, it is a personal thing….like climbing a mountain…the sacrifices made and the obstacles overcome make the experience worthwhile. Not to mention the view from the TOP!”

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem

British skipper, Amanda Hartley and her Spanish crew recently crossed the Atlantic with the ARC, making 2nd in class and 3rd in the racing divisions. The Clem yacht also won the Swan Transatlantic Challenge Trophy and after the Caribbean 600 have signed up for the Newport-Bermuda Race in June. They also intend to participate in the Swan Cup in Porto Cervo in September.

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem - Credit Kurt Arrigo

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem - Credit: Kurt Arrigo

Amanda Hartley said, “Our crew is the same as ever, all Spanish apart from me! Our ‘hotshots’ for this race are Guillermo Altadill (currently with Hugo Boss) and Pachi Rivero (last 2 Barcelona World Races). We also have Nacho Postigo as navigator (one of the founders of the former Audi Med Cup.) Our core team is always the same, we have been together for a number of years, they are all amazing guys with great senses of humour – we laugh a lot. We know each other very well which leads to a lot of banter and Mickey taking.”

“The biggest attraction of the Caribbean 600 for us is the 600 factor. We raced in the Rolex Fastnet in 2009, (1st in class) and Rolex Middle Sea in 2010 (second in class). There are not many races of these characteristics. We personally really enjoy the longer races as you really start to get a sensation of teamwork. I also think that the sense of achievement upon arrival is huge. The course of this particular race looks amazing. Indeed it looks amazingly complicated! We know that it will be very physically challenging (I will be counting the sail changes), as well as tactically challenging…. our navigator knows that he will not be getting much sleep. There are some amazing boats entered for the race, competition will be tough. We were happy to see that there are a good number of Swans entered.”

“To sum up I suppose the attraction is the challenge that being involved in a race like the Caribbean 600, it is challenging on all fronts, logistically, physically and tactically. The bigger the challenge the more satisfaction is to be gained on finishing the race. So now we have to cross our fingers and hope that all goes well.”

CLASS 2

Mumm 36 sailing yacht High Tension

Bernie Evan-Wong has sailed and raced for over 50 years primarily in the Caribbean. Competing in virtually all of the regional regattas in a series of different boats, his Mumm 36 High Tension yacht is the smallest vessel in the fleet. Evan-Wong has taken part in every RORC Caribbean 600 race since it started, but not without incident.

Sailing yacht HighTension

Sailing yacht HighTension

“This is my 4th RORC Caribbean 600 race in this boat. We won our class in the first event, the wind died in the second and we lost our mast in the third event when in a leading position after 220 miles! I have just replaced the rig with some modifications to simplify the rig, moving mast aft and eliminating runners by using swept spreaders. It has been a long road to get to this point since last February, but we are back and will be out there giving it our best shot for the 2012 event.”

Bernie Evan-Wong’s most successful boat must be his Classic 1967 Cal 40, Huey Too which he has owned for the past 34 years. In this time he has achieved Class wins at many of the Regional events including Antigua Sailing Week and St Maarten Heineken Regatta, also winning the top award for the ‘Most Worthy Performance’ of this event a few years ago.

For the Caribbean 600, crew include: Raoul Jean Noel who has represented Guadeloupe in many single handed transatlantic events, and is a National Sailing Coach; Mathieu and Gavin are both North Sails employees in Antigua and
Guadeloupe and seasoned sailors; Gavin Dove being the son of Andrew Dove the Caribbean Regional North Sails Representative.

“Wayne is an experienced boat Captain in his own right, having once sailed single handed from Jamaica to Antigua, so is excellent at taking the 2-4 AM watch,” says Even-Wong.

Bernie Evan-Wong quote: “The Caribbean 600 appeals because it is the first real regional ocean race and it’s a real fun event which takes an awful lot of logistical planning, but I really enjoy the challenge of putting it all together and then living the dream.”

Memorable Caribbean 600 moment: “One of the most memorable moments in the past three Caribbean 600 events for me must be planing down the waves at 12 – 15 knots on the south side of St Kitts at 2.00 AM when a school of dolphins started swimming with the boat in a phosphorescent sea! An unforgettable moment. Sailing a race like this helps me get through the rest of the year.”

Worst moment in Caribbean 600: “At the other end of the spectrum must be my worst moment in the first race when I fell on board on the second night out, I broke two ribs, but with help from my crew, we still went on to win our class in that event and for a while had the big boats worrying that we might win overall! Over the past three events we have gained a lot of valuable experience on the course, so we plan to apply that knowledge hopefully to our benefit.”

Oyster 48 sailing yacht Scarlet Logic

Scarlet Oyster is racing as ‘Scarlet Logic’, having being chartered by Sailing Logic. The crew of 12 sailors consists of Sailing Logic regulars and some new faces. Most of team have 1000’s miles of offshore racing.

Oyster sailing yacht Scarlet Logic - Credit Rolex Daniel Forster

Oyster sailing yacht Scarlet Logic - Credit: Rolex/Daniel Forster

One such ‘regular’ is 71 year old Brian Philips who has raced with Sailing Logic in many events over the past few years including 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, has competed twice in the Round Britain & Ireland races, the 2008 RORC Madeira Race, four x Rolex Fastnet races as well as the St Maarten Regatta and the 2011 RORC Caribbean 600!

Other crew resumes include:
David Buckingham – Rolex Fastnet 2011, RORC 600 & St Maarten 2011, Sydney-Hobart 2011 Eddie Pope – Rolex Fastnet 2011, RORC Series 2011, signed up for Clipper RTW 2013/14 Steve Lemon – 25,000 racing miles! A Hamble legend Johnny Allat – lots of inshore racing, dinghy racing and Fastnet 2011 on J109 Barry Holman – Rolex Middle Sea Race 2011, Rolex Fastnet 2011, Dartmouth 2011 all with Sailing Logic – ex head of Legal and General.

Raiya Fels – Clipper RTW 2009/10, St Maarten 2011, only girl on the team, engineer by trade, lives in USA but British Rosta Rozsypal – cruiser, novice racer: Czechoslovakian.

John Mason – Antigua 2011, Rolex Fastnet 2011 James Neville – skippered own 35’ yacht in 6 x Rolex Fastnet campaigns.

The yacht will be heading off to St Maarten after C600 for the regatta which Sailing Logic won in 2011 on Hydrocarbon.

Allie Smith, Sailing Logic, said: “We think we have a formidable team shaping up. None of the team have sailed together before but they will have 4 days of training pre-race start.”

First 40.7 sailing yacht Coyote II

Sailing Coach, Igor Zaretskiy from Yaroslavl, Russia will skipper the First 40.7 yacht Coyote II, chartered from KA Yacht Charter’s First 40.7 fleet. The boat reached 3rd in IRC2 in last year’s event. The crew are all Russian apart from one UK crew from KA Yacht Charters.

Sailing yacht Coyote II

Sailing yacht Coyote II

The 600Nm Racing Club was organized by two brothers, Rasim and Rodion Poloskin, with an idea to promote offshore racing among amateur Russian sailors. The first race for the club was the Rolex Fastnet in 2011. For most of the crew, that Race ’round the Rock’ was their first offshore experience. Coyote II finished 60th overall and ’600Nm’ club was awarded the Sailing Event of the Year award from the Russian Yachting Society – the nominees were put to the open vote on Facebook.

Crew: Igor Zaretskiy – two times champion of Russia, 40 years of sailing experience. In 2010 in his 28 years old quartertonner ‘Grand’ Igor became the first Russian to win a solo, transatlantic crossing in the Jester Challenge Race. Rasim Poloskin – extensive and sometimes successful inshore racing experience in various regional competitions (“Em-Ka” National class, Mini Tonner, Tornado), several RORC offshore races including Rolex Fastnet. Rodion Poloskin – Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy graduate, several RORC offshore races including Rolex Fastnet. Alexander Dubrovsky – first time stepped aboard a sailing yacht in 2011 in RORC St. Malo Race and got bitten by the bug for offshore racing. Since then competed with us in RORC Channel race, Rolex Fastnet, and now looking forward to Caribbean 600. Anatoly Tepliakov, Konstantin Kuroptev, Sergey Shkrebko – newcomers to the club with an inshore racing and cruising experience. Peter Hopps – Coyote II owner’s representative. He competed as a skipper in 2009, 2010, and 2011 Caribbean 600. He also completed 10 Fx Rolex astnet Races, 8 Rolex Middle Sea Race, 5 ARC, 2 double-handed Round Britain Race, double-handed Trans-Atlantic Race 1990, and singlehanded Trans-Atlantic Race 1988.

Igor Zaretskiy said, “The idea of 600Nm Racing club is to complete all 600-miles offshore races. With a complicated racing course and a very impressive line up Caribbean 600 is a real challenge to our amateur crew. We hope to make a good team and race the boat the best we can. Each race is a chance to push your limits a step further.”

Swan 51 sailing yacht Northern Child

Northern Child has been a charter yacht since 2001, completing the Atlantic circuit every year. 12 inexperienced racers on board the Swan 51 will be led by pro skipper, Christian Reynolds. The yacht has been chartered by the US company Merkle Inc.

Sailing yacht Northern Child Credit Tim Wright

Sailing yacht Northern Child - Credit: Tim Wright

Reynolds comments: ”The RORC 600 is my favourite offshore race above the Rolex Fastnet. There are lots of different legs creating varied and exciting sailing in warm beautiful water around a very scenic race course. We hope to achieve first in class.”

Ondeck´s First 40.7 sailing yacht Spirit of Venus

The majority of the 11 strong crew are from 2nd Royal Tank Regiment based in Tidworth Garrison at the eastern end of Salisbury Plain. Skippered by Lt Col Paul Macro RTR, The Royal Armoured Corps Offshore Racing Team – White
Knights usually race their First 34.7 White Knight 6 in RORC races in UK waters. The team are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.

Sailing yacht Spirit of Venus - Credit: Paul Wyeth

Sailing yacht Spirit of Venus - Credit: Paul Wyeth

In 2011 they were the 2nd Service Yacht in the Rolex Fastnet Race and the top scoring service yacht in the RORC Season’s Points Championship. Unable to spare the time to deploy White Knight 6 to the Caribbean, they have
chartered in order to be able to participate. The Royal Armoured Corps entry is inspired by the participation of the Army Offshore Team in last year’s race on British Soldier.

Lt Col Paul Macro RTR, said: “The Royal Armoured Corps requires from its people a spirit that is similar to that required to go offshore racing. Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle.”

One crew member, James Kayll, has completed numerous RORC and other races with both the Army Offshore Team and the Royal Armoured Corps Offshore Racing Team. He was unable to race in the 2011 season as he was rowing across the Indian Ocean! Tpr Chris Duncan is from St Lucia and is serving as a Foreign/Commonwealth Soldier.

TWO HANDED / CLASS 3

J/39 sailing yacht Sleeper VIII

One of the smallest yachts competing this year is J/39 Sleeper yacht, which will be raced two-handed by a father and son team. Jonty Layfield and son Jack are both RORC members and hale from Brighton, UK. Last year with a full crew, Jonty’s won class at Antigua Sailing Week.

Sailing yacht Sleeper - Credit: Beken of Cowes

Sailing yacht Sleeper - Credit: Beken of Cowes

Jonty Layfield: “Sailing Two-Handed with my son, I don’t expect to be very competitive, we are not going to go flat out but treat the race more like a delivery trip,” admitted Jonty.

“I have raced doublehanded with my son back in England and I have been sailing with Jack since he was about five years old, we are more like friends than father and son. The great thing about sailing is that you have to get on with it; you can’t have any histrionics. Jack is working in Brazil at the moment and the RORC Caribbean 600 is a great way to spend a few days together.”

CLASS 40´s

Duel of the Class 40s

There are five Class 40s racing in the fleet: 40 Degrees (GBR); Hallucine (FRA); Icarus Racing (USA); Partouche (FRA) and Vaquita (AUT). Close duels are expected right through the fleet, none more so than in the Class 40s where a hard fought and close encounter is expected. Tradewind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class 40s, with long reaches and downwind legs – these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots.

Class 40 sailing yacht Vaquita

Christof Petter is sailing his Class 40 yacht Vaquita with marine conservation in mind, supporting the Whale and Dolphin Conservations Society – WDCS.org. In 2009 the boat was Class40 World Champion as “Concise”; 2011: Winner Cinquecento per Due; ARC record holder for boats up to 60 feet; Winner ARC Racing Class 2.

Sailing yacht Vaquita

Sailing yacht Vaquita

Crew comprises: Christoph Petter, Tom Humphreys, a yacht designer from Lymington, Lars Thiellesen, Elvstrom Sails Designer; Lukas Rittler and Andreas Hanakamp: 2 Olympics, Volvo Ocean Race.

Andreas Hanakamp quote: “Fantastic race in fantastic environment with great competition. We want to get an idea of how good our boat speed is compared to the other Class 40 yachts.”

Class 40 sailing yacht 40 Degrees

Peter Harding’s Class 40, 40 Degrees has Hannah Jenner as skipper, the only female to skipper the Clipper Round the World Race. Hannah was in fine form last year, gaining a podium position in the Class 40 Transat Jacques Vabre.

Sailing yacht 40 Degrees

Sailing yacht 40 Degrees

“Antigua is a beautiful place to start the season with some winter sunshine and I have heard that Antigua Yacht Club provides a great party!” smiled Hannah.“

The race course has plenty of activity with sail changes and the competition should be really close. Making the right tactical decisions will also be very important if we are to be the fastest Class 40 around the track. I am really looking forward to the race.”

Peter Harding has raced for many years in the Class 40 fleet competing in the Transat Jacques Vabre, Solidaire du Chocolate and Normandy Channel Race. Best result was second place in the Normandy Channel Race in 2010. This is his second Class 40 yacht. Joining Hannah and Peter will be Dafydd Hughes who was a watch leader for Hannah in the Clipper Race.

Heesen Yachts – the Main Sponsor of the Synergy Team for the 2012 RC44 Championship

February 06, 2012

Heesen Yachts, world leader in design, engineering and construction of luxury superyachts, is pleased to announce its main sponsorship of the Synergy team for the 2012 RC44 Championship, founded by America’s Cup skipper Russell Coutts back in 2007.

One Design Racing Yacht RC44 Credit Heesen Yachts and Synergy

One Design Racing Yacht RC44 Credit: Heesen Yachts and Synergy

With a mix of amateurs and professionals in the crew line-up, the class attracts some of the world’s leading business minds as their owner-drivers along with many of the world’s top international sailors. The RC44 is established as one of the world’s leading yacht racing circuits.

This year’s tour offers the competitors 25 days of diverse and challenging match and fleet racing at some very different venues across Europe:

8 – 12 February                      Puerto Calero – Lanzarote
28 March – 1 April                 Cascais – Portugal
30 May – 3 June                     Gmunden – Austria
18 – 22 July                              MarstrandSweden
3 – 7 October                           RovinjCroatia

Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS 13) races on hull number 24, launched in 2010. Boat Owners and helmsmen Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev together with American tactician Ed Baird will lead the team Synergy, which won 15 match races last year and finished 12th overall both in 2010 and 2011 seasons. Having also run successful TP52 and Louis Vuitton Trophy campaigns, Synergy’s goal is to develop top level yacht racing in Russia by creating professional crew to compete against the world’s best sailors.

Fabio Ermetto, Sales and Marketing Director at Heesen Yachts, comments: “Speed is part of the Heesen DNA and the RC44 is most likely one of the fastest racing yachts on the water. On behalf of all of us at Heesen Yachts I would like to wish buon vento to the Synergy team and I hope to be able to celebrate with them some great victories in this exciting 2012 circuit!”

RC44 yacht is a light-displacement, high performance, one design racing vessel conceived to be fast downwind and powerful upwind. Co-designed by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts with naval architect Andrej Justin, the class endeavours to keep competition as fair as possible by ensuring the yachts are strictly identical in terms of construction, shape of hull, appendages and weight/weight distribution as well as deck layout, equipment and sail plan.

With everything, from the keel to the tip of the mast, made entirely from carbon, and with a powerful sail plan, the RC44 yacht is rapid downwind, commanding upwind and performs exceptionally in both light winds and heavier breezes. Hull, deck and stern scoop are built in sandwich construction of epoxy resin and exclusively carbon unidirectional and biaxial fabrics, while the twill carbon woven rowing is used to give a smooth, clear, carbon look finish on all external surfaces.

The keel is built of carbon pre-preg material in carbon moulds post cured at high temperature and pressure in an autoclave. A weed cutter is fitted in the keel leading edge. The trim tab is built in carbon with RTM technology. The lead-antimony bulb is cast in CNC machined steel mould for high precision and faired with epoxy compound. The rudder and tapered rectangular section rudder shaft are one piece carbon built with RTM technology in a high precision female mould. The rudder shaft structure is FEM optimised and dimensioned according to ABS loads for speed of over 26 knots.

Main Characteristics of the RC44 yacht:

Length over all: 13.35m
Beam max: 2.75m
Draft: 2.90m
Displacement: 3560kg
Keel: 2200kg
Crew: 680kg
Engine:    20HP inbord diesel with retractable drive
SAIL DIMENSIONS
G-3: 39m2
G-1: 60m2
Main: 70m2

BWA Yachting as an Operational Partner of the America’s Cup Superyacht Program

January 31, 2012

The America’s Cup and BWA Yachting are delighted to announce that BWA Yachting has been chosen as an Operational Partner of the America’s Cup Superyacht Program. BWA Yachting, a worldwide leader in marine agency services, specializing in shore side support and VIP concierge to the superyacht industry, will partner with the America’s Cup to promote and sell bespoke packages to the superyacht community permitting superyacht owners, guests and charterers to be an integral part of the America’s Cup, with unprecedented access to the races and special tailored events.

BWA Yachting as an Operational Partner of the America's Cup Superyacht Program

BWA Yachting as an Operational Partner of the America's Cup Superyacht Program

The exclusive packages will provide a unique superyacht experience and will include priority berthing and flagged spectator locations along the race course, access to the America’s Cup VIP hospitality venue, VIP functions, seminars and special events, along with BWA’s unprecedented level of 24 hour onshore support and concierge services.

“We are thrilled to be able to announce this partnership with the America’s Cup. With a storied 160 year history, this is the most prestigious worldwide sporting event today and we look forward to providing our superyacht clients with the opportunity to have an up close and personal experience at the America’s Cup events over the next two years. The new wing-sailed catamarans, along with innovative race courses that bring the action closer to the public than ever before, and revolutionary television coverage, have created an atmosphere of unrivalled competition and prestige and we are honored to be a part of the excitement,” Stefano Tositti, C.E.O. – BWA Yachting.

“The America’s Cup welcomes BWA Yachting,” said Iain Murray, C.E.O. – America’s Cup Race Management. “Our aim is to unite the pinnacle of competitive sailing with the height of yachting luxury, and provide owners and charterers with an unprecedented America’s Cup participant experience. Our specialist superyacht division is dedicated to making the America’s Cup an easy and memorable experience for superyacht owners, guests, captains and charterers.”

BWA will offer packages beginning with the America’s Cup World Series event in Naples in April 2012 and then for the following events in Venice (May 2012), Newport, Rhode Island (June 2012) and San Francisco (August 2012). Bespoke packages for superyachts will also be available for the Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Series, scheduled to be held in San Francisco in July and August of 2013, and the America’s Cup Finals in San Francisco from September 7th – 22nd 2013.

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race with start on 20th February

January 27, 2012

With less than one month to go, to the fourth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 2012 programme starts with a sensational cast in Antigua. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a truly international affair, with well over 500 competitors from at least 24 different nations taking part. More than 30 beautiful yachts are expected to participate in a high-speed, action-packed yacht race around 11 Caribbean islands.

Setting off from Antigua in the 2011 RORC Caribbean 600 Credit Tim WrightPhotoaction.com

Setting off from Antigua in the 2011 RORC Caribbean 600 Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

There can be few sporting events that can boast such a worldwide appeal with sailors taking part from all over the world including: Antigua, Australia, Austria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey and the United States of America.

This astounding diversity of nationalities is matched only by the astonishingarray of yachts and personalities. The largest yacht competing this year is the magnificent sailing yacht Hetairos with a waterline length of 200′. Hetairos superyacht is the world’s largest carbon composite sailing yacht. The 29 crew on board is composed of many Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and Jules Verne around the world veterans. The luxury yacht Hetairos is among the favourites to take line honours, but there are several other yachts more than capable of finishing in front.

67m Sailing yacht Hetairos - Credit Baltic Yachts

67m Sailing yacht Hetairos - Credit Baltic Yachts

In 2011 American George David skippered Rambler 100 yacht to smash the monohull course record, taking line honours and overall victory. David’s team is back, this time with the Reichel Pugh 90, Rambler yacht and they are unlikely to give up the title without a fight. The Spanish Volvo 70, Gran Jotti will be dwarfed by the super yacht Hetairos, but the former Telefonica Black has a venomous turn of speed and is quite capable of out pacing the entire fleet. On board there is a huge wealth of talent in the form of Spanish America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors. These three are likely to be contenders for line honours, but overall victory under IRC is far more difficult to predict. A hot contender is Niklas Zennstrom’s Judel/Vrolijk 72 Rán yacht, which will be making its debut in the RORC Caribbean 600.

Rán navigator, Steve Hayles is one of the world’s most experienced offshore sailors but this will be the first time he has tackled the intricate course around the central Caribbean, “For me it’s very refreshing to tackle a new race and the Caribbean 600 is a real fascination,” explained Hayles. “It’s unlike any other offshore race in that the average leg is only about 40 miles and for a navigator there is a lot to consider. Normally, a race is all about the weather and strategy but in addition to all that, this race takes you back to the basic problem of navigating around so many rocks and islands. Looking through all the legs, there is a broad mixture of sailing angles; there is a fair bit of reaching, but it is wrong to think that is not a challenge, especially with the speed sensitivity of modern high-performance boats. The course is more like a whole stream of complex coastal races. I have to say that it is a pretty unique race.”

Niklas Zennstrom's JudelVrolijk 72 Rán Credit Jody Sallons DayAntigua Sailing Week

Niklas Zennstrom's JudelVrolijk 72 yacht Rán Credit: Jody Sallons Day/Antigua Sailing Week

A dazzling variety of yachts crewed by some of the world’s finest will be racing this year. However, not all of the competitors are seasoned professionals. One of the smallest yachts competing this year is J/39 Sleeper, which will be raced two-handed by a father and son team. Jonty Layfield and son Jack are both RORC members and hale from Brighton, UK.

Last year with a full crew, Jonty’s won class at Antigua Sailing Week, “Sailing Two-Handed with my son, I don’t expect to be very competitive, we are not going to go flat out but treat the race more like a delivery trip,” admitted Jonty. “I have raced double-handed with my son back in England and I have been sailing with Jack since he was about five years old, we are more like friends than father and son. The great thing about sailing is that you have to get on with it; you can’t have any histrionics. Jack is working in Brazil at the moment and the RORC Caribbean 600 is a great way to spend a few days together.”

Close duels are expected right through the fleet, none more so than in the Class 40s where a hard fought and close encounter is expected. Tradewind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class 40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees yacht has Hannah Jenner as skipper, the only female to skipper the Clipper Round the World Race.

Hannah Jenner on Peter Harding's 40 Degrees in the 2011 Transat Jacque Vabre Credit Alexis Courcoux

Hannah Jenner on Peter Harding's 40 Degrees yacht in the 2011 Transat Jacque Vabre Credit: Alexis Courcoux

Hannah was in fine form last year, gaining a podium position in the Class 40 Transat Jacques Vabre, “Antigua is a beautiful place to start the season with some winter sunshine and I have heard that Antigua Yacht Club provides a great party!” smiled Hannah. ” The race course has plenty of activity with sail changes and the competition should be really close. Making the right tactical decisions will also be very important if we are to be the fastest Class 40 around the track. I am really looking forward to the race.”

RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen believes that the RORC Caribbean 600 is especially attractive to larger yachts, however the ethos of the club maintains equal status to every participant.  “A wide spectrum of yachts and competitors has decided that this is an event that is not to be missed. The club is delighted that people from all over the world want to take part. There is a mixture of world class sailors and corinthian enthusiasts, but they all have one thing in common, a passion for offshore racing.”

“This average length of yacht for this year’s entry is over 70′. When the Royal Ocean Racing Club started this race in 2009, we felt it would appeal to larger yachts and that has proved to be the case. This year we have a significant number of Racing Maxis, Super Yachts and Spirit of Tradition yachts. However, every yacht competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 is governed by the same set of rules. All of the competitors receive a warm welcome from the Antigua Yacht Club, regardless of their finish time or place. Since 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club has promoted offshore racing for all and in many ways the RORC Caribbean 600 typifies that cause.”