Dykstra & Partners Brief

Dykstra & Partners Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

20,25m Bestevaer 66ST Yacht ANABEL – the longest sailing yacht to be displayed at Hiswa in-water Boat Show

August 28, 2014

Bestevaer 66ST yacht Anabel will be displayed at the upcoming Hiswa in-water Boat Show, running in Amsterdam from September 2 to 7, 2014. Measuring 20,25 meters in length over all, luxury yacht Anabel will be showcased at the KM Yachtbuilders stand (E48) as the longest sailing yacht at the event.

Bestevaer 66ST sailing yacht Anabel

Bestevaer 66ST sailing yacht Anabel

Sailing yacht Anabel is a good example of what can be called a ‘custom built’ sailing yacht, but what does ‘custom built’ actually mean?

Eeuwe Kooi, owner of KM Yachtbuilders: “Our philosophy is that a yacht has to ‘fit’ its owner, like a tailor-made Italian suit. That’s only possible if everything is made-to-measure according to the owner’s wishes and ideas. It’s sometimes hard for outsiders to understand certain choices that are made on board, or they’re not the choices they would make themselves. That’s understandable – after all, no two people are the same. Anabel was designed and built for her owner and for nobody else. That’s the great thing about custom building. If the owner is happy we are too, and we’ve succeeded in our mission!”

The owner of Anabel yacht wanted a yacht based on his own ideas. He couldn’t find what he wanted ‘in the market’. One of his wishes was the ability to sail completely self-reliantly and independently, i.e. no quayside power connection, a large set of batteries, plenty of solar panels on deck and two large telescopic wind generators.

‘Safety’ was also on his wishlist, another important reason to choose a KMY aluminium yacht. This requirement was met by the option for ice reinforcement in the 8 mm hull and 10 mm hull plates around the lifting keel, the standard integrated watertight bulkheads, the addition of a watertight door and the deep cockpit from which everything can be operated.

You can tell from the pilot house that the owner also likes flying helicopters. Just one big helm seat, centrally positioned, straight in front of a ‘motherboard’ featuring many meters, digital panels and buttons. There are even switches with various functions on the ceiling. The windows provide an all-round view outside and above in order to keep an eye on the sails.

It will come as no surprise that blue is the owner’s favourite colour. The hull has a blue stripe between the coaming and the fender strip, and the gangways and front deck area also painted blue. The mast and the jib were also sprayed the same colour on request. Inside there are no standard cupboard doors, but custom based blue roller hatches that are guaranteed to stay shut in the event of a roll-over. The colour blue is also found in the upholstery and other details on board.

The type of wood used for the interior of luxury yacht Anabel catches the eye: oiled tiger wood. This is a wild wood type that is rarely used for yacht interiors. Combined with the white ceiling and walls the appearance remains fresh and light.

The Bestevaer 66ST yacht ‘Anabel’ can be viewed together with the Bestevaer 49ST ‘Zwarte Raaf’ during the Hiswa in-water boat show from 2 to 7 September in Amsterdam at the KM Yachtbuilders stand (E48).

Technical Specifications of sailing yacht Anabel

Type: Bestevaer

Name: Anabel

Designer: Dykstra Naval Architects

Year: 2014

LOA: 20,25 m

LWL: 18.03 m

Beam: 5 m

Displ.: 33 ton

Draught: 1.60 – 3.25 m

Rigging: Cutter

Material: Aluminium/Sealium

Holland Jachtbouw to build 51m sailing yacht designed by Dykstra Naval Architects

August 04, 2014

Based in Zaandam, the prestigious Dutch builder, Holland Jachtbouw, has recently signed a contract to build a 51m schooner, superbly penned by Dykstra Naval Achitects. In keeping with the original built in 1897, luxury yacht Rainbow II (formerly Hamburg), the 51m Holland Jachtbouw and Dykstra sailing yacht will be built traditionally to modern Germanischer Lloyd certification.

51m Holland Jachtbouw and Dykstra superyacht

51m Holland Jachtbouw and Dykstra superyacht

The aluminium hull is being built at Shipyard Made in Moerdijk and will arrive with Holland Jachtbouw early in 2015. The rig, including all spars and topmasts will be made by Ventis Enkhuizen, with the main mast at a length of 52m supporting a 25m boom.

Displacing 343 tons, the schooner will be fitted with a hybrid drive, similar to the system developed by Holland Jachtbouw which was built into the J Class superyacht Rainbow.This hybrid system ensures silent running at night and while sailing the drive can generate sufficient power to run all the systems overnight without the need for additional fuel.

The 51m Holland Jachtbouw and Dykstra superyacht has been designed for both racing and cruising and will accommodate 8 guests and 7 crew, with a classic interior from De Vos De Vries.

Due to launch in Spring 2016, the schooner’s maiden voyage will be to the Baltic for the Summer, followed by winter in the Caribbean. From 2017, she will be seen cruising remote parts of the world, and taking part in races on the Classic Circuit, Tall Ships and Transatlantic.

51m Holland Jachtbouw and Dykstra Schooner Specification

LOA: 51.36m

Beam: 8.31m

Draft: 4.2m

Upwind sail area: 1,525 square metres

Downwind sail area: Plus 863 square metres

Below are the galleries for the beautiful charter yachts by Holland Jachtbouw and Dykstra Naval Architects:

Phase One of new buildings at Holland Jachtbouw set for completion towards end of 2014

July 24, 2014

Phase One of the new buildings at the prestigious Dutch luxury yacht builder Holland Jachtbouw is scheduled for completion towards the end of 2014, with a new 60m x 26m state of the art build hangar, which will be 18,5m in height. In addition, the building works will provide a lengthened main construction hall to 55m.

Rendering of the new Holland Jachtbouw buildings

Rendering of the new Holland Jachtbouw buildings

This new space will provide for the new projects about to come in to the Holland Jachtbouw halls in Zaandam very soon – a Tripp 46m sailing superyacht and a Dijkstra designed 51m schooner Rainbow II (formerly Hamburg).

46m Tripp Design Yacht

46m Tripp Design Yacht

New design offices will be located between the build halls providing an all round view of each project in build or refit, as well as overlooking the 120m of the shipyard’s waterfront.

Photos of Dykstra-refitted sailing yacht Shamrock V at Argentario Sailing Week 2014

July 11, 2014

From June 19 to 22, the majestic J Class JK3 charter yacht Shamrock V, beautifully refitted by Dykstra Naval Architects, participated in the 2014 Argentario Sailing Week. This popular regatta was hosted by Porto Santo Stefano, a fantastic Mediterranean yacht charter destination, nestled in Italy, and was attended by classic and vintage yachts like Cambria, charter yacht Moonbeam 4, Mariquita, and many more classic beauties. Below are the photos of sailing yacht Shamrock V from her participation in the regatta, shared by Dykstra Naval Architects.

Dykstra-refitted J Class charter yacht Shamrock V - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Dykstra-refitted J Class charter yacht Shamrock V - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

Luxury yacht Shamrock V hit the water in the early 1930s as the most original J-Class of the three surviving yachts. Shortly after Shamrock V, sailing yacht Velsheda and charter yacht Endeavour were built as the other two surviving J’s. As the first vessel designed to the J-Class Rules, Shamrock V is smaller than the subsequent designs. This is apparent in her overall length, and most noticeably, in her beam, hence righting moment is less and the vessel looks more delicate, classic and refined than either Endeavour or Velsheda. However, level rating can be replaced by a handicap rating to make for an equal playing ground against the other J’s.

Luxury yacht Shamrock V - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Luxury yacht Shamrock V - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

Luxury yacht Shamrock V at full speed - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Luxury yacht Shamrock V at full speed - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

THE REFIT

Super yacht Shamrock V has been refitted to become a classic, performance sailing yacht, which can be sailed around the world and can successfully participate in classic yacht regatta’s. Shamrock V is refitted to the highest modern standards, capable of traversing oceans in comfort and safety, all within the boundaries set by the originality, as well as styling requirements. Dykstra Naval Architects have worked on the refit design and naval architecture of Shamrock V.

Crew aboard Shamrock V Yacht - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Crew aboard Shamrock V Yacht - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

Shamrock V superyacht - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Shamrock V superyacht - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

The extensive refit of luxury charter yacht Shamrock V improved her ballast ratio, and with the addition of a new rig and sails, performance was dramatically enhanced. She is now expected to give many more years of service as one of yachting’s great queens and as one of just three remaining original J Class yachts from the 1930’s.

Shamrock V Yacht at the 2014 Argentario Sailing Week - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Shamrock V Yacht at the 2014 Argentario Sailing Week - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

Superyacht Shamrock V - aft view - Photo by James Robinson Taylor

Superyacht Shamrock V - aft view - Photo by James Robinson Taylor/jrtphoto.com

Expansion and new buildings for Holland Jachtbouw

May 28, 2014

The Lady Mayor of Zaandam, Geke Feber, has recently reached the Holland Jachtbouw’s shipyard to lay the foundations for the new building works, in preparation for the new halls as well as offices.

Laying of the foundations for the new building works at Holland Jachtbouw

Laying of the foundations for the new building works at Holland Jachtbouw

Phase One is due to complete towards the end of 2014 with a new 60m x 26m state of the art build hangar which will be 18.5m in height, and additionally the building works will provide a lengthened main construction hall to 55m. This new space will provide for the new projects about to come in to the Holland Jachtbouw halls in Zaandam later this year – a Tripp 46m sailing superyacht and the Dijkstra designed 51m schooner Rainbow II (formerly Hamburg).

New design offices will be located between the build halls providing an all round view of each project in build or refit, as well as overlooking the 120m of the shipyard’s waterfront.

Rendering of the new Holland Jachtbouw buildings

Rendering of the new Holland Jachtbouw buildings

Roeland Franssens, Managing Director at Holland Jachtbouw explained, “This new construction in the shipyard is in part due to our new build projects coming into the shipyard later this year. We need more space to accommodate further refits and additional new build projects in 2015 and this also provides a “bird’s eye view” for the managing project teams.”

Royal Huisman sailing yacht FLYER returns to her home yard for refit

March 26, 2014

Huisfit is thrilled to announce that sailing yacht Flyer has returned for refit to the Royal Huisman yard in Vollenhove, the Netherlands, where she was originally launched in 1976. Luxury yacht Flyer is a beautiful 65-foot ketch, penned by Sparkman & Stephens, that won the 1977-78 Whitbread Round the World Race, the precursor of today’s Volvo Race.

Royal Huisman Yacht FLYER in Vollenhove, the Netherlands

Royal Huisman Yacht FLYER in Vollenhove, the Netherlands

The iconic aluminium yacht Flyer, built for the late Conny van Rietschoten who raced her to victory and sadly passed away at the end of last year aged 87, arrived in Vollenhove on Monday, March 24th. Having been turned into a sloop, she will be given back her ketch rig by re-stepping the mizzen mast, while the aluminium work of her hull will be overhauled and repainted the original dark blue — a special heritage project for Huisfit that is the source of much pride for its staff.

“We are thrilled and honoured to be able to welcome Flyer back home,” announced Alice Huisman. “She is a part of our maritime heritage and a winning example of our ability to build high-performance, aluminium yachts before the yard was awarded Royal status.”

Sailing yacht FLYER back at Royal Huisman yard

Sailing yacht FLYER back at Royal Huisman yard

Flyer yacht returned to the Netherlands earlier this year after being acquired by the ‘Revival of Flyer’ foundation and having sailed more than 300,000 nautical miles as the Alaska Eagle. Flyer was a star attraction during the Amsterdam Boat Show earlier this month, when an estimated 5,000 sailing enthusiasts went aboard the famous yacht. The foundation ‘Revival of Flyer’ was initiated by Dutch sailor and entrepreneur Diederik Nolten, Els Vroegindewey and skipper Gerard Schootstra, with the aim of returning the yacht to the country where she was built as a maritime monument under her original name.

Royal Huisman has supported the initiative from the start and once the work at Huisfit is complete, the Flyer yacht will take part in various regattas and charitable events, while to allay the running and maintenance costs she will also be available for luxury yacht charter.

Royal Huisman Yacht FLYER at the 1977-78 Whitbread Round the World Race - Image credit to PPL Photo Agency

Royal Huisman Yacht FLYER at the 1977-78 Whitbread Round the World Race - Image credit to Barry Pickthall/PPL Photo Agency

Gerry Dykstra, another well-known Dutch yachtsman and the founder of Dykstra Naval Architects, was navigator and watch leader aboard Flyer during the 1977-78 Whitbread Race. Van Rietschoten went on to win the event for a second time in 1981-82 with the 76ft maxi sloop Flyer II, after taking line honours in every single leg of the race – the first yacht to win both line and handicap honours in the history of the race.

These astonishing achievements not only ensured fame and admiration for Van Rietschoten, they also brought international recognition to the Royal Huisman shipyard that had built both winning yachts.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014 to host 20 sailing superyachts

March 11, 2014

Set to run in the fabulous Caribbean yacht charter destination – Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands from March 19 to 22, this year’s four-day Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous will be attended by 20 sailing superyachts. Organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) and Boat International Media (BIM), the event is sponsored by the prestigious Italian brand Loro Piana and plays host to three days of coastal competing for a fleet of sailing titans. The mixture of the finest racing yachts, the azure waters of the British Virgin Islands and the well known hospitality of the organizers and sponsor are expected to make this fourth edition of the regatta the most memorable yet.

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/SYM

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014. Photo Jeff Brown/SYM

A diverse fleet will participate with yachts ranging from the 24.6 metre charter yacht Aiyana, launched in 2010 and racing under the New York Yacht Club burgee, to the 67 metre mega yacht Hetairos, launched in 2011 and a previous winner of the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta in Virgin Gorda. As always, competition will be fierce across all three competing divisions (A, B and C – divided according to the International Superyacht Rule) with a selection of rock star tacticians adding their expertise to the mix. Veteran of six Volvo Ocean Race campaigns Bouwe Bekking  will be lending his considerable experience to the 34-metre  high performance cruiser sailing yacht Nilaya while Italian America’s Cup pro Francesco De Angelis will be calling tactics aboard the 40 metre J-Class superyacht Rainbow, chartered for the occasion by Mr. Pier Luigi Loro Piana. Launched just last year and a newcomer to the event, the J-Class inspired 27.5-metre luxury yacht Tempus Fugit combines a classic sloop design with the latest technological innovations and boasts British match racing champion Andy Green on tactics.

YCCS Clubhouse & Marina, North Sound, Virgin Gorda. Photo Jeff Brown/Superyacht Media

YCCS Clubhouse & Marina, North Sound, Virgin Gorda. Photo Jeff Brown/Superyacht Media

The event entry list reads like a veritable who’s-who of superyacht design and construction with boats from top international shipyards including Fitzroy, Nautor’s Swan, Perini, Royal Huisman and Southern Wind, and design by the cream of modern naval architecture: Dubois, Dykstra, Frers, Hoek, Holland and Pugh, to name but a few.

Action-packed racing on the water will be observed by the motor yachts participating in the rendezvous and will be perfectly complemented by a busy social programme for all of the attending owners, guests and crew. From the welcome barbecue at the elegant YCCS Clubhouse overlooking the North Sound to the exclusive Loro Piana Owners’ Dinner and a Beach Party at the nearby Oil Nut Bay luxury resort, entertainment is assured both at sea and ashore.

Superyacht Cup Palma: New Partnership with St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort

March 06, 2014

The original St. Regis New York was inaugurated over one hundred years ago. Since then, the St. Regis brand has sought to offer an experience that goes beyond expectation. Positioned on the waterfront close to Palma, the fabulous five star St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort will play a host to an exclusive dinner for guests and owners during the Superyacht Cup. The hotel’s Michelin Star chef will prepare a Mediterranean summer selection of courses, highlighting the very best of Mallorca‘s fresh local produce.

St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort

St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort

The five Platinum Partner shipyards, Alloy Yachts, Holland Jachtbouw, Perini Navi, Royal Huisman and Vitters Shipyard will jointly host the Owner´s Dinner, which will be held on the bougainvillea-surrounded terraces overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

“This will be a very special evening, bringing the owners and their guests together with representatives from throughout the superyacht industry. We are delighted to have formed this important partnership with the St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort, a worldwide recognized premium brand with an outstanding reputation for quality and friendly service. The Superyacht Cup regatta has a reputation for creating a unique relaxed environment and this exceptional hotel is the perfect location to offer our guests the highest quality service and gastronomic experience while maintaining the informality and friendliness the regatta is so proud of”, explained Event Director Kate Branagh.

St Regis Mardavall Mallorca Resort will sponsor the racing on Saturday June 21st for both classes and their highly experienced outside catering and banqueting team will serve a collection of appetizing canapés for the Prize Giving Ceremony. In a change to previous years, the awards will be presented on the dock in the Superyacht Cup village straight after the final race. A celebration with the victorious winners on Mid Summer Day will bring the 2014 Superyacht Cup Palma to a close.

The entry list so far is an impressive collection of some of the world´s finest superyachts including 4 previous winners of the Big Bent Cleat, the perpetual trophy awarded to the overall winner each year: Sailing yacht Heartbeat winner 2013 (Claasen Shipyard/Hoek), charter yacht Maria Cattiva winner 2012 (Royal Huisman/King), luxury yacht Drumfire winner 2010 (Bloemsma/Hoek), and still looking as immaculate as the year she was launched, superyacht Unfurled (Royal Huisman/Frers) winner in 2003.

Competing in the same event but in their own division, the 5 J Class yachts are sailing yacht Hanuman (Royal Huisman/Dykstra), charter yacht Ranger (Danish Yachts/Burgess & Stephens/Dykstra), superyacht Velsheda (Camper & Nicholson/Nicholsons/Dykstra), luxury yacht Lionheart (Claasen Shipyard/Hoek) and superyacht Rainbow (Holland Jachtbouw/Dykstra).

St Barths Bucket 2014 to host 38 of the world’s largest sailing superyachts

March 06, 2014

The entries are in for this year’s edition of the St Barths Bucket Regatta, set to run from March 27 to 30, and an amazing fleet is expected to head to the fabulous island of St Barthélemy in the popular yacht charter destination – the Caribbean. Thirty eight of the world’s largest sailing superyachts will reach Gustavia for three days of exciting trade wind sailing, wholesome competition, shore side camaraderie, as well as shenanigans St Barths style.

Perini Navi luxury yacht State of Grace to attend the 2014 St Barths Bucket

Perini Navi luxury yacht State of Grace to attend the 2014 St Barths Bucket

New Launches to Compete
The fleet will include a number of the latest launches from the world’s premier superyacht builders.

Two recently launched Perini Navi yachts designed by Ron Holland will join the fleet: the newly designed 40m Sloop STATE OF GRACE and a new 60m Ketch SEAHAWK will be easily distinguished not only by her magnificent profile, but also by her crimson Aramid standing rigging by Future Fibers, supporting her towering spars.

Making their Bucket debut are competing 2012 launches from the Royal Huisman Shipyard. The classic Spirit of Tradition 38m sloop PUMULA and the 49m Ketch KAMAXITHA are both Dykstra Naval Architects designs.

Superyacht INOUI, the brilliant green 36m carbon fiber sloop by Vitters Shipyard will pace the fleet around the various courses. Also from Vitters, the 46m Sloop GANESHA will join us for her racing debut.

These six new launches will join their thirty two competitors, most of which have sailed in numerous Bucket Regattas, to comprise yet another Bucket superyacht fleet of historic proportions.

Schedule Updates
Registration will open at 0900 on 27 March, with a “Rules Review” seminar beginning concurrently. After a day of practice sailing, learning and taming the ropes (lines), the Skippers Meeting, Welcome Party and Owner’s reception will follow.

After Friday’s racing, at 1700 the Bucket will host a presentation by the Environmental Agency of St Barths and the NGO Megaptera, to educate the community on a concurrent scientific project, tagging and tracking whale migrations. The symposium will be followed by the Fleet Open House, a traditional highlight of all Bucket events.

Saturday night will host the annual Bucket Bash on the Quay in Gustavia. With a tropical theme, there will be dining, dancing and music by the very popular Soley into the night!

This year for the Sunday evening awards, the Government of St Barths has extended an invitation for the Awards Ceremony to be held on the grounds of the Hôtel de la Collectivité, the Government offices across the harbor from the Capitainerie. The St Barths Bucket organizers have gratefully accepted the invitation and look forward to sharing Bucket Hospitality with the entire racing fleet and their friends in St Barths.

Racing and Awards
In the Bucket Tradition, racing will be pursuit style with the slowest rated yachts starting first and finishes determined by the order of finish. The fleet is divided into four classes: Les Grandes Dames, Les Mademoiselles, Les Elegantes and Les Gazelles des Mers and we will continue the successful focus on competition within the classes. All yachts share the same starting and finishing line and sail the assigned course for their specific class. The starting times are structured, such that the classes finish at different times – in the interest of safety, the gap between class finishes will likely be approximately 10 minutes as it was last year.

Live Race Tracking is an exciting addition to the race coverage. Details on how to connect and view the races will be provided in the next update.

Daily awards will be presented to the top finishers in each class. Handcrafted, limited edition Chelsea Clocks will be awarded to the four class winners, with second and third place in each class also receiving elegant trophies. The overall winner will be recognized as well. The yacht’s name will be added to the perpetual St Barths Bucket trophy and they will receive a beautiful crystal Bucket keepsake trophy.

As usual, the particular attention will be paid to the traditional Bucket discretionary awards for meritorious acts and the occasional eyebrow raising behavior that perpetuates the “je ne sais quoi” spirit of the event. These include the Wolter Huisman “Spirit of the Bucket Award”, the Vitters Seamanship and Sportsmanship Trophy, the Holland Jachtbouw Cool Crew Award and the coveted Skulduggery Cravat, for the yacht or crew that demonstrates the best and most fun, ‘left field non-adult behavior”.

St. Barths Charity Donation
Each year, the Bucket Regatta designates a portion of the entry fees for donation to a meaningful non-profit program in St Barths. This year the St Joseph School and their grounds improvement project will be the recipient of our donation.

One of the oldest educational institutions on the island, The St Joseph School is a private Catholic institution that welcomes more than 200 students ages 3-11, from kindergarten through primary school. The school is in need of funds to improve the schoolyard/playground, where the clay coated sand is a health risk to the children and must be upgraded.

The 2014 St Barths Bucket is pleased to be able to help the St Joseph School and allow the children to continue to learn and grow in a healthy environment.

Welcome, and Thank You, New Bucket Sponsors!
The event organizers are grateful to announce several new supporting sponsors. They will help to continue the Bucket tradition that celebrates the superyacht industry and recognizes the yachts and their owners as they perpetuate this marvelous sport.

Skuld Yacht brings a major marine underwriting firm to the superyacht arena with tremendous capabilities for innovation and tailoring coverage to the owner’s specific needs.

Tradewind Aviation has also joined the Bucket fleet with generous support, while providing by far a most efficient way to get to the favorite Caribbean destination.

Thank you to all Bucket Sponsors
It is with great pleasure and thanks that we acknowledge all of the Bucket sponsors.

Major sponsors are Alloy Yachts, Holland Jachtbouw, Perini Navi, Royal Huisman and Vitters Shipyard.

Returning supporting sponsors are Burgess, Camper & Nicholson, Doehle Yachts, Doyle, Future Fibres, Newport Shipyard, North Sails, Pantaenius, Pendennis, Rybovich, the Superyacht Report and ZIS Insurance.

Taittinger Champagne and Barbeyrolles Rose are official suppliers.

This year’s RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race to kick off on February 24

February 20, 2014

Set to kick off on Monday, February 24, this year’s 6th edition of RORC Caribbean 600 will be attended by a record number of 65 yachts, ensuring strong and deep quality and character of the yachts and sailors. The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) was established to encourage long distance yacht racing across a broad spectrum and the RORC Caribbean 600 is a good example of that ethos. 32 different makes of yachts, flying the flags of 11 different nations, will be crewed by passionate amateurs as well as world-renowned sailors.

An impressive array of silverware, barrels & decanters of English Harbour Rum, medallions and other prizes await winners in the 6th RORC Caribbean 600 starting in Antigua on Monday 24th February - Credit: Tim Wright/photoaction.com

An impressive array of silverware, barrels & decanters of English Harbour Rum, medallions and other prizes await winners in the 6th RORC Caribbean 600 starting in Antigua on Monday 24th February - Credit: Tim Wright/photoaction.com

BATTLE FOR LINE HONOURS
George David’s Maxi superyacht Rambler 90 is the main contender to take the first gun at Fort Charlotte. Rambler 90 is well designed for the twists and turns around the course and very fast at every point of sail. Rambler’s crew is exceptionally talented and includes Peter Isler, Jerry and Rome Kirby, Brad Jackson and Jan Dekker – and this is just mentioning the winners of the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race! All of the crew have amazing talent and Rambler has two powerhouses in the shape of Joe Fanelli and Nathan Hislop, two of sailing’s strongest men.

Bertrand De Broc’s IMOCA 60 yacht VNAM, is another hot contender for line honours. Last year, De Broc competed in both the Vendée Globe (9th) and Transat Jacques Vabre (6th). The French skipper has also excelled in shorter offshore races with 13 Solitaire du Figaro and 8 Tour de France à la Voile, winning the race around France twice. VNAM will be surfing off the wind in big breeze – the light displacement 2007 Finot Conq design is capable of demolishing the course and the opposition.

IRC ZERO
In 2013, of all the major offshore races, only the record breaking entry for the Rolex Fastnet Race had a bigger IRC Zero class than this year’s RORC Caribbean 600.

The variety of yachts racing in IRC Zero is as astounding as the quantity. Rambler is the scratch boat, but two racing Mini Maxis can be counted as class favourites. Hap Fauth’s JV72 sailing yacht Bella Mente, returns with an all-star crew including Mike Sanderson, John Cutler and Terry Hutchinson in the afterguard. In 2013 Bella Mente was becalmed in the wind shadow of Guadeloupe and rumour has it that the team have been gathering data at the approximate time of their arrival this year, to try to avoid the same trap. George Sakellaris’ RP72 luxury yacht Shockwave, will compete for the first time with Richard Bouzaid, Mark Mendleblatt and Robbie Doyle as part of a formidable crew list. A sensational Mini Maxi duel is most definitely on the cards.

SW 100 RS superyacht Cape Arrow

SW 100 RS superyacht Cape Arrow

Of the many high performance cruisers racing in IRC Zero, Southern Wind 100 superyacht Cape Arrow, sailed by Fabrizio Oddone, and Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90 charter yacht Nefertiti, represent elegant entries for this year’s race. RORC member, John Burnie, has competed in every race and still holds the multihull record. This year John will skipper 94′ Frers yacht Bristolian, and will be flying the blue ensign as RORC Admiral Andrew McIrvine will be on board, taking part in his fifth race.

Noteworthy yachts in IRC Zero include Johnny Vincent’s TP52, Pace, which has been specially shipped out for the race and bristling with talent. Volvo Ocean Race winner Jules Salter joins Kelvin Harrap and Jeremy Robinson in the afterguard. Maximillian Klink’s Botin IRC 65, Caro, took line honours in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) to get to the Caribbean and boasts a crew of seven Volvo Ocean Race sailors: Stu Bannatyne, Ryan Godfrey, Mark Bartlett, Jono Swain, Tom Addis, Justin Ferris and Michael Muller. The brand new Carkeek 47, Grundoom, owned by James Grundy is also entered and will have yacht designer Shaun Karkeek on board along with prolific light displacement legends, Dee Smith and Steve Benjamin.

NEFERTITI -  Main

NEFERTITI - Main

SPIRIT OF TRADITION CLASS
The mighty schooners mega yacht Athos and superyacht Adela will continue their gentlemen’s duel. Dykstra designed Adela is the smaller of the two magnificent yachts at 182ft and over 200 tons! The sails and systems on board Adela are extremely advanced, however manoeuvres require up to 30 crew to perfect. Adela’s ‘Big Red’ masthead spinnaker is over 1000 sq.m. Athos is the largest yacht competing this year; the 203ft Hoek designed schooner weighs 370 tons and the rig is over 200ft high. Athos can hoist over 3000 sq.m of sail area downwind.

IRC ONE
Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, returns for another crack at the RORC Caribbean 600. Last year the Dutch flyer was leading the race on time correction before the wind trap at Guadeloupe dashed their hopes. Colin Buffin’s Uxorious IV returns for the third attempt and the British Swan 62 has been class runner-up on two occasions. Last year’s IRC Three winner, Jonty Layfield, returns with a brand new boat. The Azuree 46, Sleeper, will include highly experienced crew including one of Antigua‘s best young Laser sailors, Sean Malone.

IRC TWO
Race boat charter has become very popular in RORC racing in general and IRC Two is almost entirely composed of well prepared charter yachts that offer single berths, or the entire yacht, to paying clients. This is probably the most competitive class in the race and, with a number of yachts all capable of the same speed around the 600 mile course, close boat-on-boat action is a likely scenario. Former RORC Commodore Peter Rutter’s Grand Soleil 43, Trustmarque Quokka 8, can be counted as one of the favourites. Quokka has been chartered to Bernie Evan Wong to compete in his sixth race. A highly accomplished crew includes Phillippe Falle, Dana Nicholson and RORC Vice Commodore Michael Boyd. Peter Sowery will skipper First 40, Lancelot II. Peter is a passionate amateur sailor but Alex Thompson, third in the last Vendée Globe, will bring a professional approach that must make Lancelot II contenders for the class. First 40, Southern Child, has been chartered by the Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club, the British Army team is led by Paul Macro.

IRC THREE
The smaller yachts in the race will have some fascinating duels; these crews will spend longer at sea than the faster boats which may be more tiring but the sailors will get a lot more Caribbean racing in! Yuri Fadeev’s Reflex 38, Intuition, is the scratch boat in IRC Three and Fadeev has raced more RORC miles than most. Last year Intuition competed in seven RORC races, including the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race, finishing a credible sixth in class for the RORC IRC Season’s Points Championship. Girls 4 Sail, racing First 40.7 Hot Stuff will be skippered by Nicola Henderson. The all-girl crew are a familiar team on the Caribbean inshore circuit but this will be their debut in the RORC Caribbean 600. RORC Committee Member Adrian Lower returns to the RORC Caribbean 600 with Swan 44, Selene. Adrian is a highly experienced sailor having competed in numerous Fastnets and the 2010 Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race; this will be Selene’s second RORC Caribbean 600.

Two true classic yachts will enjoy a private duel. Built in 1929 by Olin Stephens, the 52ft ketch Dorade won the 1931 Transatlantic Race and the Fastnet. Now lovingly restored to all her glory Dorade won the 2013 Transpac overall. Carlo Falcone’s Alfred Mylne-designed sailing yacht Mariella, built in 1938, will be a fine opponent for Dorade after time correction. Mariella has won the St.Barth’s Bucket and Antigua Classic Regatta. Both of these yachts will be making their first appearance in the RORC Caribbean 600.

CLASS40
Four Class40 pocket rockets are entered for the race, although Willy Baissante’s Tradition Guadeloupe has elected to sail under IRC Two Handed. Gonzalo Botin Sanz de Sautuola’s Tales II will start as favourite for the Class40 division, having come runner-up in the Transat Jacques Vabre.

Last year’s Class40 winner and course record holder, Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, is also hoping to join the party. The crew are sailing the boat up from Brazil with an ETA just before the start and everybody in Antigua is wishing them good speed! Several more entries are also expected from Guadeloupe.

Sadly, Ross Appleby’s Scarlet Logic was dismasted recently in Antigua. All of the crew escaped serious injury and Ross and co-skipper Tim Thubron are trying everything possible to get Scarlet Logic back in the race.

The RORC Caribbean 600 always has a fun element to it and this year the first dog may take part in the race – Duna, on board Spanish entry, Ocean Phoenix. Animal lovers need not be alarmed, Duna crossed the Atlantic on board Ocean Phoenix and has two stout pairs of sea-legs to go with his own personal safety equipment!

The 6th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is scheduled to start at 1100 local time 24th February. All of the fleet will be fitted with Yellowbrick Trackers and email, pictures and video from the yachts will create a vivid story of the race, as the drama unfolds.