Northern Child Brief

Northern Child Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

Sailing Yacht SELENE winner of the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy

February 28, 2012

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene, has won the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy following her race in the one-of-a-kind 600 nautical mile race, ‘the RORC Caribbean 600’ in an elapsed time of 2 days, 18 hours and 22 minutes. Having circumnavigated 11 Caribbean Islands along with 4 other competing Swan yachts, superyacht Selene sailed by Benjamin Davitt finished 3rd place in the IRC Overall rankings. The yachts were sailing from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heading as far north as St Maarten and south to Guadeloupe, taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barths.

Team Selene Winners of the Swan Caribbean Challenge © Photoaction 2012

Team Selene Winners of the Swan Caribbean Challenge © Photoaction 2012

Team Selene, Skipper, Benjamin Davitt:

“Team Selene is delighted to be honoured with the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy. We feel that we have really fused as a team in what was a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable race. Selene celebrates her twelfth year in 2012 and it is great to see that she is still competitive in a mixed fleet and we had a few good battles on several of the legs. We would really like to thank everyone involved in the organizing the event and look forward to the next one”.

The closest racing out of all of this year’s RORC Caribbean 600 also went to the Swan fleet, with another two competitive Swans also finishing in the top 10 overall.  Colin Buffin’s Swan 62 Uxorious IV was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win.  Buffin and his young team know that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time.  Just over 3 and a half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by only 21 seconds on corrected time.

There were ecstatic scenes dockside which saw the Spanish crew from Clem celebrate their class win in style, with Clem finishing in 8th and Uxorious IV in 9th overall.  The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin very sportingly applauded their rivals.

Amanda Hartley, Swan 56 Clem:

“We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy with people calling in from Spain.  By our calculation we thought we had lost out by five minutes.  We got stuck at Guadeloupe for four hours and we could only sit and watch Uxorious get away.  We are obviously extremely delighted and really appreciate Colin and his team coming over to give us such a lovely welcome back to Antigua.”

Swan 51, Northern Child, chartered for this event by Merkle, the American IT company, had an interesting start to the race after turning back and giving up over half an hour to the opposition.  Christian Reynolds however, made a remarkable recovery finishing in 13th spot after 3 days and 15 hours regaining places.  Swan 90 charter yacht Nefertiti, then finished the Swan contingent in 17th place, with all Swan entries keeping within the overall top 20.

The stunning Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy was awarded to Team Selene at the official ceremony held in Antigua.

IRC Overall Results

3          Selene              Swan 80

8          Clem                 Swan 56

9          Uxorious IV       Swan 62

13         Northern Child   Swan 51

17         Nefertiti Swan 90

The sterling silver RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for JV72 yacht Rán

February 24, 2012

At noon on the fourth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, Niklas Zennström’s JV72 sailing yacht Rán seemed to have confirmed the overall win, receiving the sterling silver RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy at tomorrow night’s Prizegiving ceremony. This morning the Oyster 48 yacht Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, was the only vessel which represented any sort of threat, but realistically the Oyster 48 Scarlet Logic will not cover the last 70 miles of the course by 17:40 local time.

Niklas Zennström's JV72 sailing yacht Rán

Niklas Zennström's JV72 sailing yacht Rán

All of the yachts racing in IRC Zero are now accounted for. The yacht Rán is among the class winners with George David’s RP90 yacht Rambler, in second place. The Swan 80 yacht Selene, skippered by Benjamin Davitt, finished the race this morning to secure third place in class and possibly lay claim to the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy.

By noon, none of the yachts racing in IRC One had finished. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62 yacht Uxorious IV is expected to finish the race in a few hours and looks like the strongest contender to win the class after time correction. Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 yacht Clem is currently correcting out as the leader, but the beat back from Redonda to the finish may see them fall behind Uxorious IV. Jaime Torres’ First 40 yacht Smile and Wave rounded the North Sails mark at Barbuda shortly after noon today and are currently lying third in class.

The Oyster 48 yacht Scarlet Logic Photo by T. Wright/photoaction

The Oyster 48 yacht Scarlet Logic Photo by T. Wright/photoaction

Oyster 48 yacht Scarlet Logic, have put in a sensational performance and look almost certain to win their class. The racing school Sailing Logic chartered the yacht from Ross Applebey which is co-skippered by the highly experienced Tim Thubron. It is unlikely they know exactly how close they have come to winning the ultimate prize. However, if Scarlet Logic continue their fine form, the team could well be a contender for the prize of a week of luxurious accommodation, generously donated by race sponsor, The Inn at English Harbour, Antigua. Christian Reynolds’ Swan 51 Northern Child sailed by Team Merkle are currently second after time correction with Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36 yacht High Tension in third place.

There is a fantastic battle in the Class40 Division on the water between Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche and Christof Petter’s Vaquita. However Vaquita will be receiving a penalty after the finish for not starting the race correctly. Both yachts are neck and neck heading for the solitary island of Redonda. Partouche skipper Coatnoan is sailing two-handed with fellow countryman Eric Calmard. Vaquita is fully crewed with six on board. The run to Redonda may well have favoured Partouche as with just two on board, the French yacht will have been significantly lighter than their rivals. However for the 40-mile beat to finish Vaquita will be able to stack the rail and have six crew hiking out, which will surely be an advantage.

The RORC Caribbean 600 attracts a wide variety of people from all over the world to the sparkling conditions in the warm breezy central Caribbean. In January, Brian Thompson became one of Britain’s most famous sailors, winning the Jules Verne Trophy aboard Banque Populaire V, skippered by Loick Peyron. Brian and his French team mates did a lap of the planet in an astonishing 45 days.

Brian is racing Ondeck’s Spirit of Juno for the RORC Caribbean 600 and sent this message from the Farr 65: “I remember passing by Antigua during the Jules Verne attempt and thinking how nice it would be to come and compete in the RORC Caribbean 600. Ondeck very kindly invited me out and here I am! All going well on board Spirit of Juno, really enjoying this great RORC race as we weave our way through the green Caribbean islands. Though this is an all-amateur team, we have had to work hard. The spinnaker was up and down like a yo-yo to get through the calms and fluky breezes. We saw a whale just 30 miles away on our approach to Guadeloupe, a great sight to go with the soaring frigate birds off St Martin and the beautiful and varied landscapes of each island. I am really enjoying seeing some land when sailing after virtually none in my last trip.”

“There is a great group of people on the boat, few of them had met before the start and we are fast forming a solid team. I am so pleased to see how hard everyone worked to press on through to the south side of Guadeloupe. Roll on Antigua.” Spirit of Juno are currently 10nm from the finish at 1400 local.

16 yachts had finished the RORC Caribbean 600 by 1200 on 23rd February 2012.

8 yachts have retired over the last couple of days:
Rayon Vert – steering failure
Blackbird – jib damage
Super Rose – damage to mainsail battens
Hassebas – damaged mainsail
Safara – broken main halyard
40 Degrees – furling gear broken
Lancelot – run out of time
Sleeper VIII – backstay pressure and engine gone

RORC Caribbean 600: A Dazzling send off to Start Class Zero

February 21, 2012

Right from the start of the 4th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 there was drama. Low cloud enveloped Antigua and a massive squall caused a torrential downpour. With the wind gusting up to 20 knots, the crew were scrambling for wet weather gear. The feisty conditions caused some hair-raising action under the cliffs of Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour. However, once the squall had passed bright sunshine lit up the race course and the highly impressive fleet was a spectacular sight.

IRC Zero Start - Sailing yacht Gran Jotiti, Rán, Whisper, Rambler and Hassebas during the RORC Caribbean 600 -Photo Credit Tim Wright/Photoaction

IRC Zero Start - Sailing yacht Gran Jotiti, Rán, Whisper, Rambler and Hassebas during the RORC Caribbean 600 -Photo Credit Tim Wright/Photoaction

First to start were the multihulls. Olivier Vigoureux’s 63ft trimaran, Paradox got the best start but by contrast, Michael Butterfield’s Super Rose had a very conservative beginning to their adventure. Super Rose’s crew is made up of just family and friends and their single goal is to enjoy a marvellous race round 11 Caribbean Islands.

63ft trimaran Paradox Credit RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

63ft trimaran Paradox Credit RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

Ten minutes later Classes One, Two, Three and the Class40s were away with Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster having a good start. However, sailing yacht Northern Child was seen to return after missing the Outer Distance Mark at the start. Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension showed great local knowledge by getting inshore right under the cliffs of Fort Charlotte. High Tension has one of the lowest handicaps of the impressive fleet and may well benefit from increased wind forecast later this week. In Class One the two Swans, Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 Clem and Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV enjoyed a very competitive start.  No doubt these two Swans will enjoy a close battle within their class. Clem won her class in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race and Uxorious IV won last year’s highly competitive St.Malo Race.

With 16 highly competitive yachts in Class Zero, fireworks at the start were always going to be a possibility and the crowd of spectators at Shirley Heights were not disappointed. Niklas Zennström’s JV72, yacht Rán nailed the line with precision to the right hand side of the course. Meanwhile, Mike Cotter’s RP78, Whisper yacht gained a lift on the left hand side. As Rán hardened up, Whisper tacked for depth and the two Mini Maxis had an extremely close encounter. Sergey Borodinov’s 90′ Supermaxi, Med Spirit went for a very late sail change and was bare headed just four minutes before the start. The team work on board was frantic as the crew affected an efficient sail change.

Tim Fetsch’s Icarus Racing got a great start midway through the line but 20 miles from Barbuda were overhauled by Peter Harding and Hannah Jenner onboard 40 Degrees.

The last start of the day was for the five yachts competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 that are 100ft and over. There was a fantastic spectacle as the 180′ superyacht Adela and the 154′ yacht Windrose went toe-to-toe. The two magnificent schooners were locked in a battle for the line. S/Y Windrose managed to hold their lane to windward of sailing yacht Adela to win the start, but Adela’s water line length advantage came into play to overhaul their grand competition. Peter Harrison’s sailing yacht Sojana had a fantastic start.

Superyacht Start - Windrose of Amsterdam, Adela and Hetairos make a magnificent sight at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

Superyacht Start - Windrose of Amsterdam, Adela and Hetairos make a magnificent sight at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

RORC member John Burnie called in from the rail of the fabulous 115′ ketch: “We had a great tussle with Gerhard Andlinger’s P2 during the prestart, all gentlemanly stuff but we managed to manoeuvre well and hit the line with pace, maybe just half a boat length shy, however yacht P2 is 125′ long and got a great head of speed up wind. Superyacht Hetairos went right in under Shirley Heights and stayed in past Indian Creek, we heard them radio P2 to call for water as they tacked out. However, the P2 yacht maintained their course and passed well ahead of Hetairos. At Green Island, P2 were the first monohull but I believe Hetairos will catch them as they bear away after Green Island but the sloop rig on P2, is very efficient upwind. On Sojana we have managed to get through a light patch of wind just before Green Island but looking up the track, it looks like the wind is freshening.”

The 214ft Baltic Custom sailing yacht Hetairos - the largest yacht in the fleet - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

The 214ft Baltic Custom sailing yacht Hetairos - the largest yacht in the fleet - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

The Royal Armoured Corp were late on parade, nearly half an hour late for the race. Their First 40.7 Spirit of Venus was not seen to come to the starting area. However, just as the fabulous five yachts over 100′ began to get up to full speed, the diminutive Spirit of Venus, charged out of Falmouth Harbour with the throttle fully down. A mighty squall had ripped their mainsail, quick thinking Ondeck charter skipper, Chris Jackson came to their aid, ribbing out a replacement. Spirit of Venus started the race with just minutes to spare before being counted out. Spirit of Venus then performed the required 720 turning penalty and sped off to start the RORC Caribbean 600. The team aboard Spirit of Venus are all serving members of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment returning from Afghanistan, perhaps their military training has enabled them to stay in the RORC Caribbean 600 race.

Antigua filling up for the 4th RORC Caribbean 600 starting Monday 20th Feb 2012

February 16, 2012

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600 starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February 2012 and there isn’t a single hotel room left near the Antigua Yacht Club. Competitors are flying in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world and Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding sailing yachts.

Falmouth Harbour at night. Photo Credit Tim Wright photoaction

Falmouth Harbour at night. Photo Credit Tim Wright photoaction

Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán and George David’s RP90 Rambler are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Rán were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.

RORC member, Stan Pearson has lived and sailed the sublime waters around Antigua for over 20 years. He was one of the creators of the RORC Caribbean 600 and will be racing this year on Adela, the 181′ twin masted schooner:

“I can’t remember ever seeing Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour with so many impressive yachts but I know why they are here; there is nowhere in the world quite like Antigua and the ’600 is a real celebration of all that the Caribbean has to offer. The sailing is just fantastic; constant trade winds, warm water and air temperature in the high 20′s provides brilliant sailing, but this is a tough race. The course has a lot of corners and there is a lot of activity for the crews. Looking at the fleet, there are going to be some great duels going on, it is going to be a very competitive race.”

For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Some might suggest that the canting keel carbon fibre flyer could have been designed for this course. Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.

Class Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David’s Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David’s all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.

With a combined water line length that would soar 500ft above the Eiffel Tower, there are some truly amazing yachts in Class Zero. The 214′ ketch Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sailing yacht Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124′ Perini Navi, charter yacht P2 owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sailing yacht Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.

Sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam. Photo Credit  RORC Tim Wright photoaction

Sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam. Photo Credit RORC Tim Wright photoaction

In the Spirit of Tradition class S/Y Adela will line up against the classic charter yacht Windrose. This will be the first time these magnificent yachts have raced against each other offshore, however Adela did get the better of S/Y Windrose in The Superyacht Challenge inshore regatta. A close battle with these two powerful yachts fully off the leash is a mouth-watering prospect. Past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft Windrose yacht.

The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.

Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90, yacht Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Selene and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.

There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Frank Eberhart from Maine USA. The 60′ classic 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.

Ondeck’s 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.

Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: “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.”

There are four Class40s competing. Close duels are expected right through the fleet, but a hard fought and close encounter is expected in this class. Trade wind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Class40s from America, Austria, France and Great Britain are taking on the 600 mile Caribbean odyssey; Tim Fetch’s Icarus Racing, Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche, Andreas Hanakamp’s Vaquita and Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, co-skippered by Hannah Jenner. The Class40s will be level-racing under their own rules. First to finish will claim the Concise Trophy; a full barrel of English Harbour rum.

IRC Two includes the smallest yacht in the fleet, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Antiguan dentist, Bernie has competed in all four RORC Caribbean 600 races, however last year, High Tension did not finish the race.

“It is definitely a case of unfinished business,” said Bernie. “We have actually used our downfall to modify the rig, so we have made something good out of the incident. Like many Antiguans, I am amazed how this race has developed since 2009, I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 50 years and what has been really missing is a well-run, exciting offshore race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has provided that and made my dreams come true.”

The 2012 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, will start on Monday 20th February 2012.

RORC CARIBBEAN 600 TROPHY – IRC OVERALL

2011 – George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA)

2010 – Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)

2009 – Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL)

Records:

Multihull record holder – Region Guadeloupe in 40 hours 11 mins 5 secs (2009)

Monohull record held by Rambler 100 in 40 hours 20 mins 02 secs (2011)

4th RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race and its American entries

February 14, 2012

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

Perini Navi 38 sailing yacht Team P2

Perini Navi 38 sailing yacht Team P2 Credit: McNaughton Media

USA Entries in the Caribbean 600 yacht race include:

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

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

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

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

Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Yacht Privateer

Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Yacht Privateer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swan 80 yacht Selene. Photo: RORC/Tim Wright

Swan 80 yacht Selene. Photo: RORC/Tim Wright

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Eberhart's Nielsen 59 Custom sailing yacht Hound

Frank Eberhart's Nielsen 59 Custom sailing yacht Hound

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

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

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

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

Trimaran yacht PARADOX

Trimaran yacht PARADOX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Superyachts

February 08, 2012

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

2011 RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by Tim Wright

2011 RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by Tim Wright

600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean islands, starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth’s.

SPIRIT OF TRADITION

Dijkstra 40m sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam

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

Dykstra designed luxury yacht Windrose of Amsterdam

Dykstra designed luxury yacht Windrose of Amsterdam

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

55m Classic sailing yacht Adela

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

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

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

SUPER YACHT

Baltic Custom 66m sailing yacht Hetairos

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

66m Sailing Yacht Hetairos Credit Baltic Yachts

66m Sailing Yacht Hetairos Credit Baltic Yachts

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

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

Perini Navi 38m sailing yacht P2

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

Perini Navi super yacht P2

Perini Navi super yacht P2

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

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

Farr 115 charter yacht Sojana

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

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

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

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

CANTING KEEL

Volvo 70 sailing yacht Gran Jotti

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

CLASS ZERO

Judel/Vrolijk 72 sailing yacht Rán

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

Sailing yacht Rán - Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht Rán - Credit: Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

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

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

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

Reichel Pugh 90 sailing yacht Rambler 90

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene

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

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene

Swan 80 sailing yacht Selene

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

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

RP78 sailing yacht Lloyd´s IDEA

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

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

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

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

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

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

27m Maxi sailing yacht Med Spirit

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

Sailing yacht Med Spirit

Sailing yacht Med Spirit

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

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

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

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

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

Tripp 75 sailing yacht Blackbird, Michael Reardon (USA)

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

Sailing yacht Blackbird - Photo: Tripp Design

Sailing yacht Blackbird - Photo: Tripp Design

TP 52 sailing yacht Lucky

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

Sailing yacht Lucky - Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Lucky - Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

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

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

CLASS 1

Farr 65 sailing yacht Spirit of Juno

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

Sailing yacht Spirit of Juno

Sailing yacht Spirit of Juno

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

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

C.N.B Briand 76 sailing yacht Lilla

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

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

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

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

Nielsen 59 Custom sailing yacht Hound

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

Sailing yacht Hound

Sailing yacht Hound

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

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

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

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

Beneteau First 40 sailing yacht Smile and Wave

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

Sailing yacht Smile and Wave - Credit B. Grieser

Sailing yacht Smile and Wave - Credit: B. Grieser

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

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

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

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

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

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem

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

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem - Credit Kurt Arrigo

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem - Credit: Kurt Arrigo

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

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

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

CLASS 2

Mumm 36 sailing yacht High Tension

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

Sailing yacht HighTension

Sailing yacht HighTension

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oyster 48 sailing yacht Scarlet Logic

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

Oyster sailing yacht Scarlet Logic - Credit Rolex Daniel Forster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First 40.7 sailing yacht Coyote II

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

Sailing yacht Coyote II

Sailing yacht Coyote II

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

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

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

Swan 51 sailing yacht Northern Child

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

Sailing yacht Northern Child Credit Tim Wright

Sailing yacht Northern Child - Credit: Tim Wright

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

Ondeck´s First 40.7 sailing yacht Spirit of Venus

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

Sailing yacht Spirit of Venus - Credit: Paul Wyeth

Sailing yacht Spirit of Venus - Credit: Paul Wyeth

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

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

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

TWO HANDED / CLASS 3

J/39 sailing yacht Sleeper VIII

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

Sailing yacht Sleeper - Credit: Beken of Cowes

Sailing yacht Sleeper - Credit: Beken of Cowes

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

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

CLASS 40´s

Duel of the Class 40s

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

Class 40 sailing yacht Vaquita

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

Sailing yacht Vaquita

Sailing yacht Vaquita

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

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

Class 40 sailing yacht 40 Degrees

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

Sailing yacht 40 Degrees

Sailing yacht 40 Degrees

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

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

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

Swan 56 Sailing yacht Clem Wins ARC 2011 Transatlantic Trophy

December 22, 2011

The Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem is celebrating being the first Swan yacht to cross the ARC 2011 finish line in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia after the 26th ARC finished in fine style on Saturday 17th December with a spectacular prize giving ceremony at the Gaiety Nightclub. S/Y Clem victoriously finished the 2,700 nautical mile race from Las Palmas to St. Lucia to become the highest placed Swan yacht and also win the Swan Transatlantic Challenge.

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem, was the first Swan yacht to cross the ARC 2011 finish line - Photo Credit Kurt Arrigo

Swan 56 sailing yacht Clem, was the first Swan yacht to cross the ARC 2011 finish line - Photo Credit Kurt Arrigo

A brisk northerly wind and blue sky provided the perfect conditions for a downwind start in Gran Canaria. Classic trade wind conditions provided excellent downwind sailing for the first part of the passage across the Atlantic. Most of the fleet experienced a ‘wind hole’ as they closed in on Saint Lucia but it still managed to be the fastest passage since 2006. S/Y Clem completed the ARC crossing in 15 days, 21 hours on corrected time to finish in second place in the RORC IRC Racing Division Class A.

The final evening of the St. Lucia programme saw a packed house at the Gaiety Nightclub in Gros Islet Town for the ARC 2011 prize giving ceremony. All boats that did not divert en route made the finish line in time for the festivities. The 2011 Swan Transatlantic Challenge has been an immense success with 17 entries successfully completing the race. Yacht Clem took home the esteemed silver Asprey trophy.

Jaime Olazabal, Owner and Skipper, of the Clem sailing yacht commented; “We had the best crossing imaginable, great sailing, great food and above all great company, we even managed some fishing! The icing on the cake has definitely been the Swan Transatlantic Trophy, it means a great deal to us to be the proud custodians of this beautiful trophy for a year. Our boat Clem has once again behaved herself impeccably…. I am a very happy Swan owner.”

Part one of the prize giving also included some special awards which included ARC’s youngest skipper award presented to Lucy Reynolds, 24, of Swan 51 sailing yacht Northern Child.

Superyachts ready for the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Race in February

December 13, 2011

Several well known superyachts are ready for the David versus Goliath challenge during the upcoming 4th RORC Caribbean 600 Race, which shall begin in just over two months. For the lucky few, who will be enjoying their Caribbean charter holiday during this period, the race will start on Monday 20th February, 2012 with the yachts circumnavigating 11 beautiful Caribbean Islands, starting and finishing in Antigua.

Those superyachts entered so far range from 35m (114ft) to 66m (216ft) and will make an impressive sight as they line up for the start of the RORC Caribbean 600. As well as racing against comparable boats, they will also have to vie with a formidable fleet of much smaller, but highly competitive racing yachts in this challenging and tactical race. These include the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race winner Rán, the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner Lucky and Privateer, the winner of the 2009 Montego Bay Race.

Baltic 67m Super Yacht HETAIROS

Baltic 67m Super Yacht HETAIROS

The Goliath: Sailing Yacht Hetairos

Heading up the superyacht fleet is the largest yacht in the 600nm race – the six-month old, 66m (216ft) Hetairos, which recently took line honours in the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta from Tenerife to Virgin Gorda in her inaugural race, completing the 3,069 mile crossing in 8 days 10hrs 58mins 30secs. Her classic looks and sleek green hull may be based on the early 19th century pilot cutters, but as well as being built for comfort with a stunning interior, she is an ultra-modern competitive yacht and one of the largest composite sailing yachts in the world which also boasts the largest composite standing rigging.

The recent race across the Atlantic was a good training ground for the ‘fresh out of the box’ superyacht, as Captain and Racing Manager, Vincent Fauquenoy explains: “It is certainly with great pride that we secured line honours in the race (Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup) and we really look forward to racing competitively in the RORC Caribbean 600 in February. Superyacht Hetairos performed admirably and we all enjoyed sailing her very much. It was a good training test for the boat and her crew for the RORC Caribbean 600 and the next regattas of the season.”

Perini Navi P2 -  Sailing

Perini Navi P2 - Sailing

Taking the Jaguar off-road with Team P2

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

“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.”

Memorable Experience
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.”

Also competing for the Superyacht Class perpetual trophy (awarded along with a keg of rum from North Sails Caribbean) will be Peter Harrison’s magnificent 35m (115ft) Farr, Sojana superyacht (GBR). Peter has been a fan of the race since its conception and he competed for the first time this year finishing second in IRC Zero and third Overall. Charter yacht 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 Caribbean 600 includes one of the race founders in Antigua, John Burnie and veteran Caribbean sailor and author, Don Street.

Luxury charter yacht SOJANA

Luxury charter yacht SOJANA

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 Hetairos (66m!) entered; old sparring partners Sojana and P2 going head to head for the first time offshore, plus the battle of the schooners, with yachts Adela, Windrose and others on the start line. I can’t wait.”

Two yachts built on classic lines will compete in the Spirit of Tradition Class. The 55m (180ft) superyacht Adela will line up against 47m (155ft) schooner, Windrose of Amsterdam, chartered by Andrew McIrvine (past RORC Commodore) who will present the winning trophy in Antigua.

Size Isn’t Everything

Whilst S/Y Hetairos may be the Goliath amongst the fleet, David may certainly be the much smaller Class40 contender, Vaquita. The yacht was recently the first across the Atlantic in the RORC Racing Division of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to St Lucia. The highly competitive crew took on the giants in the ARC fleet and arrived in St Lucia a full 36 hours ahead of the nearest competition and followed just behind the 28m (91ft) maxi, Med Spirit who took line honours amongst the 217 boat fleet, a few hours shy of the fastest time ever. Vaquita is from Austria and blasted her way across the Atlantic, exceeding 23 knots at times during her surfing runs, and managed to sustain 18-20 in the fresh conditions, covering the 2,800 nautical mile course in just over 12 days; a magnificent feat for a 40-footer.

Vaquita‘s owner, Christof Petter, will race with two friends, supported by three professional sailors, including ex-Volvo Ocean Race skipper Andreas Hanakamp who summed up their thoughts on the Caribbean 600:

“So far we have mainly been racing against non-Class40 boats, so we are looking forward to lining up with some equal boats to figure out where we are standing. The Caribbean 600 is very attractive for us as it is a mid-winter event with the world’s best and most famous racing yachts competing. Great sailing conditions accompanied by attractive social events, a good combination. We look forward to the Race as it has lots of reaching predicted, something a Class40 is best at.”

Saint Barths Bucket Super Yacht Regatta

Saint Barths Bucket Super Yacht Regatta

Forces determined team spirit

Lt Col Paul Macro from The Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club’s Offshore Racing Team have chartered a First 40.7 from Ondeck: “We are conscious that we will be one of the smallest entries in this race, but we are determined to live up to the example set last year by the Army Offshore Team, which won Class 2 in British Soldier. Our emphasis is to encourage young soldiers and officers to take part and to provide demanding, exciting, but different sailing for soldiers. Both for those who have been RACYC Offshore squad members in the 2011 season, but also to encourage less experienced soldiers to try racing offshore.”

“Because the Army 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. This adventurous team spirit is required by a successful offshore racing crew just as it is by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle,” continues Lt Col Macro who has 10 crew signed up to the challenge, all self funded by the soldiers themselves and relies on discounted charter fees and assistance of charitable welfare funds such as the Army Sports Lottery and the Berlin Infantry Brigade Memorial Fund.

Underwriter’s ‘room’ for improvement?

“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, sailing 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 yacht, 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 RORC Caribbean 600 is fast developing a reputation as an offshore classic with perfect sailing in perfect (warm) conditions.

Swan Sailing Yacht Arethusa Wins Swan Caribbean Challenge

May 05, 2011

The crew of Club Swan 42 sailing yacht Arethusa came away from the 2011 Antigua Sailing Week as the champions of the Swan Caribbean Challenge following their impressive win in Class 3.  The Club Swan 42 was entered by Phillip Lotz, of the USA and also gained the title of Best American Yacht.  Yacht Arethusa won the class by a fair margin; the Club Swan 42 registered three race wins across the five days of racing and not once faltered out of the top three. 

Swan Sailing Yacht Arethusa Wins Swan Caribbean Challenge

Swan Sailing Yacht Arethusa Wins Swan Caribbean Challenge

Other strong performances came from Jonty Layfield’s immaculate Swan 44 yacht, which scored its fifth win at Antigua Sailing Week to take the Class 5 title.   

At Saturday evening’s Prize giving ceremonies at Nelson’s Dockyard, a host of awards and prizes were presented to a number of worthy skippers and crews.  Along with trophies for first, second and third in the separate classes, prizes were also given in special categories based on class points.  Among those winners was Swan 77 La Forza Del Destino who was the second placed yacht over 15 years old in Class 2.  The same award in Class 5 went to Sleeper closely followed by Swan 51 Northern Child.  Sleeper also took the silver award for Best British Yacht whilst Northern Child took silver for Best Crewed Charter Yacht.

Antigua Sailing Week marked an exciting end to the 2011 Swan Challenge Series which also included the Heineken S tMaarten Regatta and the International Rolex Regatta.  Incorporating a range of prestigious regattas across an international racing circuit, the Swan Challenge series covers six regional categories, with the highest ranking Swan yacht in each of the assigned events being awarded one of the Asprey Silver Swan Challenge trophies. 

The 2011 Challenge has been won by sailing yacht Arethusa after posting strong results in Antigua and at the International Rolex Regatta.  She was presented with the prestigious Asprey Swan Caribbean Challenge trophy at Antigua Sailing Week’s prize giving.  Coming in joint second place were La Forza Del Destino and Swan 48 CR Affinity.