The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 5th edition of CARIBBEAN 600 yacht race will kick off from a popular Caribbean yacht charter destination – Antigua on 18th February. There will be several American competitors and boats participating this year. The Race has now become a classic offshore competition, with a total number of 47 entries having signed up this year, while the 2012 edition attracted 39 entries. The yachts range from 203ft superyacht Athos to 39ft sailing yacht Sleeper.
2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com
American entries include: Privateer, Bella Mente, Locura, Blackbird, Hound, Lilla, Triple Lindy, Phaedo, Slim
PRIVATEER, Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley (USA)
Ron O’Hanley’s American Cookson 50 yacht Privateer is back for a third attempt to win the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. Privateer came third overall in 2010 and had a fantastic race last year before a 10% penalty put them out of the running for the overall title. O’Hanley’s crew will consider this year’s race as unfinished business and charter yacht ICAP Leopard could face stiff competition for class honours.
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. Sailed to Antigua from Florida (1200 nm) took 5 days. Been racing offshore around the waters of the Caribbean this year. 13 crew mainly from USA with one Aussie and NZ on board. Ron has been racing for many years in Antigua.
Luxury yacht Bella Mente - Photo by Billy Black
BELLA MENTE, Judel/Vrolijk 72 Custom,
Owner/Helm: Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn./Naples, Fla, USA)
American Mini Maxi yacht Bella Mente can be considered a favourite for the overall Caribbean 600 Trophy.
When owner Hap Fauth is not competing on the water, he runs a number of businesses that span many industries from agriculture to aerospace. He brings many of the same principles and tactics that he uses in the boardroom to the development of his sailing campaign. This is the third boat under the Bella Mente name that Fauth has owned and raced.
Launched in Spring 2012, luxury yacht Bella Mente is a 72-foot Mini Maxi designed by judel/vrolijk: “It is a great opportunity to put the crew together in conditions conducive to crew distance training. We’ll have an opportunity to test some new sail work and crew co-ordination. Since we have never sailed this race, I am optimistic on podium results,” comments Rob Oullette, Racing Manager.
In 2013, their race calendar includes the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race but this is the only race they will enter in the Caribbean. A crew of 20 top sailors includes: Mike Sanderson (NZL), Ian Moore (GBR), Michele “Mickey” Cannoni (Bowman) and numerous other America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Olympic sailors.
PERUVIAN OWNER WITH CALIFORNIAN TRANSPAC CREW ON PERFORMANCE CRUISER
LOCURA, Nelson/Marek 92 Custom, Hector Velarde, PERU/USA
Locura yacht’s Peruvian owner, Hector Velarde is a member of Waikiki Yacht Club and the home port for the Locura superyacht is Lima, Peru. He purchased the yacht in 2012 and his crew are made up of amateur and ‘pro’ sailors from Southern California and include: Sailing Master Tom Corkett (Newport Beach, CA), Joe Lacey and William (Tad) Palmer III as navigator, 13 crew in total.
Luxury yacht Locura has cruised the Pacific, Tahiti and Mexico. The 2012 Antigua Sailing Week was Locura’s debut into racing in a regatta and she took a 2nd place in her division. Hector’s previous yacht raced in two Transpac Races from California to Hawaii and he’s bringing back the same crew to race in his first Caribbean 600.
“We signed up because of the course and the competition it offers, along with ideal sailing conditions. We are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of competing against world class boats and sailors from around the world,” Hector Velarde.
West Coast US: The boat captain, Tom Corkett is based in Newport Beach, California but the boat has a home port in Lima, Peru.
Blackbird yacht competing in RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com
THE BIRD RETURNS
BLACKBIRD – Tripp 75, Owner: Michael Reardon (USA, New England)
Skipper: Michael Joubert (SA)
The 75ft carbon fibre yacht Blackbird, designed by Bill Tripp, raced in the RORC Caribbean 600 last year and will be back with a crack crew on board.
Family run and raced boat
HOUND, Nielsen 59 Custom, Frank Eberhart, (USA, Maine)
The 60-foot classic yacht Hound will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the second time with a family crew. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.
Over the years the owners have used the boat to cross oceans with their four children, cruised the Baltic and competed in many races. The boat is a regular of the Caribbean, having sailed the area for the past 26 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: “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. This race is a fun addition to the boats racing resume.”
Lilla yacht under sail at St Barts
MULTINATIONAL CREW – SECOND C600
LILLA, C.N.B Briand 76, Simon & Nancy De Pietro (IRL)
Nancy De Pietro: “Team LILLA is a multi-national group of friends and family who love racing together. We have competed in 6 offshore races to date including Overall Winner in the 2011 Marion-Bermuda Race (current record holder) and Overall Winner Cruising Division in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race. This will be our 3rd RORC Caribbean 600. We hope to improve our performance and step-up to the challenge of a very competitive IRC Fleet. The challenging Caribbean course with All-Star Cast is irresistible racing.”
15 multinational crew members from UK, USA, South Africa, Canada, France. The core of the team is husband and wife owners, Simon & Nancy De Pietro, with friend Ian Martin who is LILLA’s Captain when Simon is off working. Simon makes a living developing wind and tidal energy projects and enjoys escaping to sail LILLA. Nancy manages the sailing/racing program and gets out on the water whenever possible.
Ian was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa winning a National Title for small keel boats at age 18. He went on to develop a very strong racing background including the Whitbread Round the World, Bermuda-Plymouth Race, double handed Plymouth-Newport, Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda, Marion-Bermuda, etc. The Caribbean has been Ian’s home for twenty years and he is no stranger to Antigua Race Week or the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.
From this background, Ian assembled a very talented team starting with son Jake Martin and fellow Caribbean sailors D. Randy West, Colin Campbell, Guillaume Bihet, Katherine Bieber, and Simon Spencer. He also calls on childhood friend Andy Schwartzkopff who brings fellow Connecticut racers Mike Lebov, Bruce Kuryla (U.S. Offshore Champion), and Bruce Galaski. When available, we are lucky to include Ian’s brother John Martin on the helm (competed in 2 BOC single handed Round the World Races).
New to Team LILLA for the 2013 Caribbean 600 will be husband and wife Sophie and Petro Jonker who live and work in St. Maarten running a day charter business on “Quality Time”. Last but not least we add avid sailor/racer/helmsman Jim Barnes who normally competes against team LILLA offshore and last year on Buzzard’s Bay during the Ensign Regional and Mattapoisett Yacht Club summer series. Will go on to do the Rolex Fastnet and Middle Sea Race later this year.
TRIPLE LINDY, SWAN 44, JOSPEH MELE (USA)
Joseph is a member of the City Island Sailing Club in New York and competed in this year’s Newport to Bermuda Race. Triple Lindy yacht is making her debut in the race.
Luxury yacht Phaedo - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com
Gunboat’s ready to battle it out
PHAEDO AND SLIM
There will be two Gunboat 66’s on the start line of the 2013 RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua on Monday 18th February. For Andrew Hearst’s Slim, this will be her maiden race before continuing a slow cruise around the world, but Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo yacht has a secret weapon on board in the form of racing legend, Brian Thompson. This will be their second race.
Maiden race for cruising cat on circumnavigation
SLIM, GUNBOAT 66
Owner: Austin Hearst (New York, USA)
Skipper/Helm: Travis McGarry (Durban, South Africa)
Flag: Marshall Islands, Northern Pacific Ocean
Yacht Club: Bikini, Marshall Islands
7 on board
Luxury yacht Slim is the last of her series, a Gunboat 66 designed by Morrelli & Mellivin as a fast Cruising catamaran. The boat left Cape Town on the 18th November ’12 and will be in the Caribbean for the winter season. Skipper, Travis McGarry says: “We are on a slow circumnavigation as we peel the miles away in comfortable speed exploring what the globe has to offer. We’ve set Slim up for both Tropical and High/Low latitude sailing.”
Travis McGarry is an Ultra Marathon runner and Triathlete that loves to sail: “For Slim’s maiden regatta we chose the RORC Caribbean 600 as we wanted a race where a bunch of friends could go out and have fun on the open ocean and enjoy what these magnificent boats do best. The Caribbean 600 met our needs perfectly. We are a group of friends crewing together to enjoy ourselves over the 600nm, while pushing the boat a little. We wanted and race that offered speed, tactics, open ocean and fits into busy work schedules. We couldn’t have picked a better suited regatta.”
Expectations for the race: “Some exciting speeds, tactical sailing and memorable experiences with some great friends onboard.”
RECORD HOLDER AND PRO CREW aim for podium position
TEAM PHAEDO, GUNBOAT 66
Owner: Lloyd Thornburg (USA)
Captain: Paul Hand (Australian)
Yacht Club: St Barth, Caribbean/Newport, Rhode Island
Supported by Bolle & Musto
8 crew: America, South Africa, British and Australian
Lloyd Thornburg (USA), Owner and creator of Team Phaedo yacht will be racing for the second time in the RORC Caribbean 600 along with Captain Paul Hand (AUS). He has a top crew on board for the race.
Crew includes: Brian Thompson, holder of 25 world sailing records including the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest boat around the world (just over 45 days) aboard the French maxi trimaran, Banque Populaire. He has more multihull sailing miles than any other Briton today and is a vastly experienced and successful offshore racer.
Brian Sharp (USA) – Competed in three America’s Cups, winning in 2007 with Team Alinghi. He has competed in many world sailing championships and has campaigned for a place on the USA Olympic sailing team in the Star Class.
Angus Roberts (GBR)– new this year and mate of boat
Sam Bason (AUS)– lives on St Barth and is old friend of Lloyd has done 99% of all races
Chris Robson (AUS) – new crew for this race
Racing Pedigree: Team Phaedo: 2011 – C600 5th on line, 1st in class, Heineken regatta 1st in class, Antigua Race week 2nd in Class, Transatlantic TR011, 4th over line, 1st in class, Fastnet 2011 – 1st at rock, 5th at finish
2012 – Les Voiles de St Barth – 2nd in class
2013 – C600 and Transpac
Lloyd Thornburg: “We have re-entered the C600 with the aim to do even better than before. The boat has had some R’nR and now has some nice new North Sails including a square top main. We have brought with us some new crew, including Brian Thompson to help guide us around. We are hoping for a podium position.”