Lucky Brief

Lucky Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

The results of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2017

September 13, 2017

Written by Rachael Steele

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup was held in Porto Cervo from the 3rd to the 9th of September and provided a treat for onlookers with seven classes participating in five races or more throughout the week-long event.

Overall winner of the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, SY MOMO. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Overall winner of the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, SY MOMO. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht MOMO claimed the 2017 Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship, beating closest competitors PROTEUS by a single point BELLA MENTE and CANNONBALL were also close to claiming the top spot, only 2 points behind the overall winner.

“We feel really good. We are happy and proud to win here finally,” said Dieter Schön for the crew of MOMO. “After last season we improved a lot of details in our boat and as a team – very small things multiply to make you quicker.”

The Super Maxi class victory went to RIBELLE. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The Super Maxi class victory went to RIBELLE. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

In the Super Maxi class, WINWIN also vied for top spot with a single point’s difference between them and RIBELLE deciding victory for the latter, while NILAYA, INOUI and VIRIELLA were challenged as much by the the changeable wind conditions and light breezes as they were by the other racers.

Among the Mini Maxi yachts, the crew of JETHOU proved her worth by coming in first in all 5 races to secure a lead of 7 points or greater against SEPCTRE, LUCKY and ADELASIA DI TORRES.

S/Y SUPERNIKKA claimed Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

S/Y SUPERNIKKA claimed Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

Although ATLANTA II finished first on the final day of racing for the Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 1 group, it was the consistent performance of SUPERNIKKA that earned her first place, while the Mini Maxi Racer Cruiser 2 group was won by H20.

Although GALATEIA finished 9th in the penultimate race, finishing 2nd against OPEN SEASON in the final race ensured that she was the overall winner of the Wally class.

The impressive line starts from some of the world's biggest regatta yachts. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The impressive line starts from some of the world’s biggest regatta yachts. Photo credit: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The International Maxi Association and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda organised the event, the latter celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. International Maxi Association President Thomas Bscher said of this year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup: “It has been a fabulous week with very good conditions – strong winds, no swell, no big waves. There is a little room for improve on the organisation side and we are trying to support the officials, because we want people to come back and we want to increase the number of boats.”

Prizes were awarded by YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo, President of Rolex Italy Gian Riccardo Marini, IMA President Thomas Bscher and His Highness the Aga Khan and Princess Zahra Aga Khan.

4th RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race and its American entries

February 14, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

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 RORC Caribbean 600 Superyachts

February 08, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

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.

Rolex Middle Sea Race: Valletta hosts prize giving

November 01, 2010

Written by Chelsea Smith

Today, in the ancient fortress city of Valletta, the former 16th century “Sacra Infermeria” of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, was host to the prize giving for the 31st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Close to eight hundred guests – skippers, crews, family and friends – were on hand to collect trophies and awards for the Royal Malta Yacht Club’s premier offshore race.

The former 16th century hospital, located adjacent to Fort St Elmo and overlooking an historically accurate restoration in the late 1970s, which earned it numerous design awards. In a city rich in history, the Sacra Infermeria is an impressive edifice, and was considered to be one of the best hospitals in Europe, one that could accommodate over 900 patients in an emergency.

The main hall, measuring 155 metres in length, was at that time, one of the largest in Europe and was described as “one of the grandest interiors in the world.” Surviving four direct hits during the bombardment of WWII, the building was repaired and later served all sorts of uses: as a command hall, an entertainment centre, a children’s theatre, a school, and finally in the late 1970s, a modern conference center.

Rolex Middle Sea Race Prizegiving Ceremony - Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Middle Sea Race Prizegiving Ceremony - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Seventy-six boats started the race, and 60 finished, one of the highest numbers of finishers in recent years. The fleet included boats from 17 nations, a veritable United Nations of competitors and certainly along the quay at Grand Harbour Marina, boats from Hungary, Italy, UK, US, Spain, and Slovenia, among others, bore this out.

At the prize giving, Royal Malta Yacht Club Commodore, Georges Bonello DuPuis thanked the competitors, event organizing committee, the international jury, yacht club staff and volunteers, and race sponsor Rolex. The Commodore was clearly pleased and he said, “I was asked how I would summarise this year’s event and the first word that came to mind was “epic”, as I’m sure many of you who competed would agree.”

The race started last Saturday, in Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta on a day full of bright sunshine and blue skies. With the start signals from the Saluting Battery cannon at the Upper Barrakka Garden, Principal Race Officer Peter Dimech got the five classes away in an easterly breeze of eight knots – enough to get the race fleet out of the harbour, and on their way towards Sicily.

Start of the 31st Rolex Middle Sea Race from the Upper Barrakka Gardens - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Start of the 31st Rolex Middle Sea Race from the Upper Barrakka Gardens - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The fleet experienced light wind and a rhumb line filled with wind holes, so there was a lot of starting and stopping, with the back markers compressing at times to level up again. The trick was to get through the Messina Strait with a fair tide, one of a couple of tidal gates on the course, that would come into play. The 100-foot maxi Esimit Europa 2(SLO) led from the start and was able to keep their distance on their chief rival, the 100 foot ICAP Leopard (GBR). In fact, once around Stromboli, Esimit legged out and never looked back from there. When the two maxis reached the northwest corner off Trapani, the northwesterly mistral came in on schedule, though never built to the higher ranges that had been forecasted by some weather models.

Meanwhile the 50-70 footers, including Alegre (GBR), the Volvo 70 E1 (RUS), and particularly the TP52s Pace (GBR) and Lucky (USA), the R/P60 Wild Joe (HUN) and the Cookson 50, Cantankerous (ITA) were seemingly bound together pretty much all along the course. At the finish, these last four would finish within 30 minutes of each other.

Lucky’s crew did a fine job strategically and physically – racing a TP52 around a 600+ mile course requires lots of fitness and stamina – of getting through the light spots and holding on through the bigger breeze, essentially sailing a nearly flawless race.

Once Lucky finished and assumed the overall lead on corrected time, the only real threats to her title were from what some might consider unlikely boats for an offshore race with a reputation for physically challenging conditions that are often the norm. The two boats in question might be unlikely, unless you know something about the depth of the local Maltese fleet. The J/122 Artie co-skippered by Lee Satariano and John Ripard has a great racing record, as well as having a crack crew of mostly family and friends. Likewise the J/133 Jaru, co-skippered by Andrew Calascione and Christian Ripard, is a top competitor in the local racing fleet.

So, with the clock ticking over the next 18 hours, the two J boats put the pedal down – photos taken onboard Artie during the race confirm that the boat was unleashed in a bid to get to the finish line pronto. In the end, despite a mistral that was producing 30+ knots in that area of the race course, and with average boat speeds on Artie of 9+ knots, and maximum speed in the high teens, between Pantelleria and Lampedusa, and then through the Comino channel, it was not to be. First Jaru fell off the pace nearing Malta, and then entering Marsamxett Harbour, the wind went light and Artie struggled to reach the finish line off the Royal Malta Yacht Club, missing the overall win by only 26 minutes. Still, a phenomenal effort for boat and crew and Artie finished 2nd overall in IRC and 1st in Class 4, while Jaru finished 1st in IRC Class 3, 1st in ORC Class 3 and 1stoverall in ORC.

Commodore Bonello DuPuis, said, “I must say that I feel extremely proud of our achievements as a Club, but even more so of the results of the Maltese fleet, especially those of Artie, Jaru, and Commanche Raider who gave it their best and literally put Malta on the map. Well done, boys! You made us proud.”

The main event at the prize giving was the overall winner in IRC, and for this the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece were presented by Georges Bonello DuPuis and Mr. Malcolm Lowell, of Edward Lowell’s to Bryon Ehrhart, and the TP52, Lucky (USA).

Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy & Rolex Chronometer presentation to IRC Overall Winner Bryon Ehrhart (LUCKY) - Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy & Rolex Chronometer presentation to IRC Overall Winner Bryon Ehrhart (LUCKY) - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Ehrhart, from Chicago, Illinois, USA, is a member of the New York Yacht Club and Chicago Yacht Clubs, and this past year he’s actively campaigned his boat on this side of ‘the pond’. Although this was Ehrhart and Lucky’s first time at the Rolex Middle Sea Race, it was clearly not beginner’s luck, as a lot of prior planning and race practice – last year’s Rolex Fastnet Race for one – ensured Lucky would get to Malta battle ready. The majority of Lucky’s 13 crew members have been sailing on the boat since 2006, a mix of Americans, Brits, Welsh, Irish, Kiwis, and Aussies – more than a few of them fellow Etchells competitors.

Crew member Rodney Hagebols from Australia and several crew members, accepted the award on behalf of Ehrhart, who had to return to the US. Hagebols said, “This was our first time here in Malta and it was above and beyond everything we could have hoped for. Thanks to Bryon, he’s an inspiration to us all; to the other competitors, who made the race very interesting. I mean the race was three days and we couldn’t relax for a second. We pushed probably harder than we ever did before, and it was gratifying to have a great result…and thanks to Malta, for making us feel welcome – it’s been a fabulous experience.”

On Wednesday, when the overall win had been secured, Ehrhart said, “Certainly, we didn’t come expecting to win anything like this. We came expecting to work hard and put our best in. The Rolex Middle Sea Race is a classic and, in my mind, it will remain a classic. I would encourage everyone to come here to Malta to challenge.”

The Malta Tourism Authority Trophy for first foreign boat home, the RLR Line Honours Trophy for first boat home, and a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece was presented to Igor Simcic, and his Slovenian maxi, Esimit Europa 2.

Mr Malcolm Lowell Jr. from Edwards Lowel and Igor Simcic, ESIMIT EUROPA 2, line honours  - Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Mr Malcolm Lowell Jr. from Edwards Lowel and Igor Simcic, ESIMIT EUROPA 2, line honours - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Anna Rossi, president of the Malta Sailing Federation and Godwin Zammit, Rolex Middle Sea Race Committee Chairman presented the IRC and ORC handicap class prizes:

IRC class winners were Class 1, Igor Simcic, Esimit Europa 2; Class 2, Bryon Ehrhart, Lucky; Class 3, Andrew Calascione, Jaru; Class 4, Lee Satariano, Artie.

ORC class winners were Class 1, Vladimir Prosikhin, E1; Class 2, Jens Kellinghusa, Varuna; Class 3, Andrew Calascione, Jaru; Class 4, Tomas Dolezal, Three Sisters

The youngest participating crewmember, Maltese Thomas Zammit Tabona, 16 years old, who sailed on Elusive 2 Medbank, was presented with the Youth Cup. His Excellency Efisio Luigi Marras presented owner/skipper Gerado Sigler with the Italian Ambassador’s Trophy for performing an outstanding act of seamanship onboard his 75-foot yacht Buccaneer.

The John Illingworth Trophy for first boat on corrected time in Double Handed Class went to the Maltese double handers, Anthony Camilleri and Gilbert Azzopardi, on the 34-foot BOV Plain Sailing. Given the severe conditions that developed for the last boats home, it was a feat to even have finished.

The Transport Malta Trophy for first boat across the line having a Maltese Skipper and a majority of Maltese crew members, went to Andrew Calascione, Jaru. Onboard Jaru, almost all of the crew were related in some way to co-skippers Andrew Calascione and his brother-in-law, John Ripard. Calascione said, “Everybody jelled, we all had different skills, different roles, we got on very well together and I think it was one of the greatest races I have done.”

Starboard Trophy for first Maltese boat overall on handicap under IRC and ORC went to Lee Satariano, on Artie (IRC), and to Andrew Calascione, on Jaru (ORC). The Nations Cup for best-combined score on corrected time under IRC by three boats from the same nation went to Artie, Jaru, Comanche Raider, all from Malta.

Alex Bocage

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 rounding Stromboli - Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

ESIMIT EUROPA 2 rounding Stromboli - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo