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2012 RORC CARIBBEAN 600 yacht race: A Sensational Success

February 27, 2012

The 2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy and a myriad of trophies, medals as well as prizes for class winners were present at the prizegiving party taking place at Antigua Yacht Club.

The RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy and an array of trophies, medals and prizes Credit Tim Wright Photoaction

The RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy and an array of trophies, medals and prizes Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

The fourth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club was a sensational success. The Caribbean‘s only offshore yacht race attracted some of the world’s most fabulous yachts as well as corinthian entries. 578 sailors from 36 different countries took part in a memorable race. This year, the race attracted a truly international field including a number of world-class Spanish sailors racing on Volvo 70 sailing yacht Gran Jotiti and Swan 56 yacht Clem.

There were also a significant number of Russian sailors, no doubt enjoying getting away from the cold Russian winter. Oscar Konyukhov’s 90ft Maxi yacht Med Spirit crewed by amateur Russian and French sailors, put in a great performance against fully professional competition. Anders Nordquist, owner of Swan 90 yacht Nefertiti was taking part in his first ever offshore race and loved every minute of it.

This year, the sailing conditions were more complex than usual and there were epic battles between competing yachts throughout the fleet. During winter, Antigua is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary yachts and five yachts over 100 ft entered this year’s race. The glorious 214ft Baltic superyacht Hetairos skippered by Vincent Fauquenoy was destined to take line honours, crossing the finish line in Antigua in an elapsed time of 2 days 2 hours 39 minutes and 32 seconds. The monumental ketch was well outside the record time set by Rambler 100 last year, however the international team aboard Hetairos were all smiles as they were greeted by well-wishers and a cacophony of horns from megayachts in Falmouth Harbour.

Dijkstra sailing yacht Adela Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

Dijkstra sailing yacht Adela Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

Hetairos navigator, South African Marc Lagesse modestly admitted to being somewhat surprised to be the first yacht to finish: “I have to say, I am genuinely surprised. I honestly thought that we wouldn’t take line honours. From a navigators point of view, I got a few calls not quite right. However, we did have a few decisions work out for us by chance and I would always say it is better to be lucky than good! I really enjoyed this race, an illustrious fleet with great people and a big atmosphere.”

The luxury yacht Hetairos were pushed hard all the way by George David’s 90ft maxi superyacht Rambler. It was not until half way through the race that Hetairos managed to pass Rambler. The all star American team put in a fantastic performance but could not match the pace of an opponent over twice their size.

George David spoke candidly shortly after the race: “It was great to get back in the saddle for a 600-mile race after the Fastnet and to hold out so long against Hetairos. Mick (Harvey) is a great project manager and Norm (David Petersen) is a great Boat Captain and all the Rambler team are just so much fun to sail with.”

Niklas Zennstrom’s JV72 yacht Rán was the next yacht home, less than an hour behind Rambler to claim the overall win after time correction. Rán’s owner and principle helmsman, Niklas Zennstrom looked tired but full of joy after completing a race that he has wanted to do for some time: “The whole of Team Rán have been looking forward to this race for a while. A few of the crew have done the race before but it has been somewhat new territory for us, which is always exciting. It is a complex course, more like a series of coastal races. I think the reason I was attracted to the race so much was that we enjoyed Antigua Sailing Week and the idea of an offshore race in the Caribbean is very appealing. Any 600-mile yacht race is hard but the fantastic conditions make this one even more satisfying. The close reach down to Guadeloupe from St. Barths was very memorable, fast reaching conditions in beautiful surroundings, some of the best sailing you can imagine.”

Wendy Schmidt, owner of Swan 80 yacht Team Selene and skipper Benjamin Davitt proudly hold the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy for Best Swan in IRC Overall. They were also 3rd in IRC Zero  Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

Wendy Schmidt, owner of Swan 80 yacht Team Selene and skipper Benjamin Davitt proudly hold the Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy for Best Swan in IRC Overall. They were also 3rd in IRC Zero Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran yacht Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux won this year’s race in the multihull class but failed to better Region Guadeloupe’s course record. However, Paradox did set an unofficial speed record with a ballistic 30 minutes run at night past Montserrat, close to 30 knots of boat speed!

Jules Verne record holder, Brian Thompson was racing with old friends on Spirit of Juno, Ondeck’s Farr 65 but he suggested that giant multihull Banque Populaire V could complete this course in about 30 hours. The MOD 70s would also be able to achieve that and it would be great to see a bigger multihull class next year.

Two Superyachts enjoyed an incredible battle around the course, Peter Harrison’s 115ft charter yacht Sojana and Gerhard Andlinger’s 124ft superyacht Team P2 have never done battle before in an offshore race. The two magnificent superyachts had a 600-mile match race around the entire course. P2 were the first home by just over 13 minutes in a race lasting over two and a half days. However, the charter yacht Sojana was well over an hour quicker than P2 after time correction. The two skippers, Marc Fitzgerald and Jonathan Kline spoke dockside as the two yachts finally came to rest in Falmouth Marina.

“P2 has done lots of bucket racing and superyacht events but what attracted the charter yacht P2′s owner Mr A to the race was that we could sail long legs and let P2 do what she was designed to do,” commented P2′s Kline. “The RORC Caribbean 600 gave P2 a chance to shine and give the owner the experience of long distance sailing offshore but still in the vicinity of great islands and magnificent views.”

“We don’t often have a match race on Sojana, we try an avoid it to be honest, especially when you are up against someone as good as Peter Holmberg who was at the wheel of P2,” admitted Sojana’s Fitzgerald. “P2 got away at the start but we reeled them in on the reach to Barbuda.  All credit to P2, they came back at us at Guadeloupe and we didn’t pass them until after the Barbuda mark. We had our problems on the beat to finish, which slowed us down but P2 sailed extremely well and made it a great race.”

The RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the sailing yacht RAN Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

The RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the sailing yacht RAN Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction

Both the luxury yacht Adela and the Windrose of Amsterdam superyacht capture the imagination of years gone by. In spectacular surroundings the golden age of the schooners was recreated in an epic battle between two magnificent yachts and just before dawn on the fourth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, the gentlemanly duel was settled.

The wondrous 180ft schooner Adela crossed the finish line to take the gun just 1 hour and 42 minutes ahead of great rival, the 154ft schooner, Windrose of Amsterdam. The two schooners had enjoyed an intense battle around the 600-mile course with the two yachts trading places for the lead on eight separate occasions, Adela counted 51 energy sapping sail changes during the race.

Windrose of Amsterdam was chartered for the second year running by members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, including past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and current RORC Commodore, Mike Greville. Windrose skipper, Alex Howard said dockside: “It was a tiring race with only 5 hours sleep and an interesting battle with Adela, but they got away from us and after Desirade. It’s a shame we didn’t do better, but there is always a next time. It was a great race and it is good to get five big Superyachts and Spirit of Tradition boats in this event for sure.”

Adela’s skipper, Greg Perkins spoke after the race: “This season, Adela races Windrose at three regattas and we have a barrel of rum on each event and I am two up at the moment, so I think Alex will be fuming! The boats are evenly matched; we have had tacking duels, luffing matches and all great fun. I would love to say that Adela will do the race next year if there is a schooner class, I say bring them down.”

Without doubt, the closest racing for this year’s event was in IRC One. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62 yacht Uxorious IV, was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win. Buffin and his young team knew that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time. Just over three and a half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by just 21 seconds on corrected time. There were euphoric scenes dockside as the Spanish crew of Clem celebrated. The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin sportingly applauded their rivals. Amanda Hartley spoke of their win.

“We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy. 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.”

Scarlet Logic came close to a fairy tale finish, the Oyster 48, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron had been vying for the overall. In the end Scarlet Logic missed out, but the team had put in an incredible effort to take a convincing win in IRC Two. Scarlet Logic also recorded best corrected time in IRC One, Two and Three and as a result were awarded the fantastic prize of a week’s accommodation generously donated by race sponsor, The Inn at English Harbour.

“Fantastic, elated but bloody tired,” admitted Tim Thubron, co-skipper of Scarlet Logic. We were aware that we were in with a chance of beating the big, well funded professional teams and that really spurred us on. A lot of credit must go to the whole team, especially Ross Applebey. Scarlet was immaculately prepared, however we did need to drop the main to replace a sail slide. The main back up in eight minutes, that to me says it all about the crew work on board.”

The Class40s division produced a battle royale between Christophe Coatnoan’s French Partouche and Christof Petter’s Austrian Vaquita. The two Class40s were locked in a heroic tacking duel for the final push to the finish line. Vaquita crossed the line just 15 minutes ahead of Partouche. However, Vaquita failed to start the race correctly and to the Austrian crews disappointment, the class win was awarded to Partouche: “It was a tough race and we had a couple of moments that really slowed us down,” commented Christophe Coatnoan who raced two-handed with Eric Calmard. “We picked up a fishing float after Nevis without realising and we probably lost 8 miles before we knew it was there. Later at Guadeloupe, I had to dive into the water to free Partouche from yet another fishing buoy. The race was an excellent test for our new design especially for our sails as I think we used every one of them during the race.”

Without doubt the biggest reception for any of the yachts was reserved for Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36 yacht High Tension. Falmouth Harbour exploded with noise as the smallest yacht in the race tied up right outside the Antigua Yacht Club. Thunderous blasts from megayachts, superyachts and foghorns literally shook the dock as the whole of the sailing community in Falmouth heralded the arrival of local hero Bernie and his crew.

“I said we would be here by tonight but I always like to be early for appointments,” joked the Antiguan dentist. “It was a hard but satisfying race and the beat from Redonda to the finish seemed to take forever. We could see Antigua but it just didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, however a few miles out a massive rain squall hit and veered the wind favourably. After last year’s dismasting, I think maybe someone was looking out for us!”

The RORC Caribbean 600 now attracts some of the world’s best professional offshore sailors but they are not the only ones. Corinthian crews such as the Lloyd’s of London Yacht Club took on the professionals in Class Zero and the vast majority of the hundreds of sailors were sailing for pleasure not for pay. Probably the most noteworthy entry was the Spirit Of Venus yacht. The First 40.7 was chartered from Ondeck by the Royal Armoured Corps Offshore Racing Team, many of whom were returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. A ripped mainsail before the start was heroically replaced by local charter skipper Chris Jackson. The Royal Armoured Corps was late on parade by nearly half an hour however, Spirit of Venus charged out of Falmouth Harbour. The British Army team may have been the last yacht to finish but their valour and determination was nothing short of commendable.

2012 RORC Caribbean 600: Day 4 – an epic battle between 180´ sailing yacht Adela and 154´ Windrose of Amsterdam superyacht

February 24, 2012

Both the 180´ sailing yacht Adela and the 154´ Windrose of Amsterdam superyacht capture the imagination of years gone by. In fantastic surroundings the golden age of the schooners reappeared in an epic battle between two spectacular yachts, finishing their gentlemanly duel just before dawn on the fourth day of the RORC Caribbean 600.

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Day 4 - an epic battle between 180´ sailing yacht Adela and 154´ Windrose of Amsterdam

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Day 4 - an epic battle between 180´ sailing yacht Adela and 154´ Windrose of Amsterdam Photo by T. Wright/photoaction

The wondrous 180ft luxury yacht Adela crossed the finish line to take the gun just 1 hour and 42 minutes ahead of great rival, the 154ft superyacht Windrose of Amsterdam. The two schooners had enjoyed an intense battle around the 600-mile course with the two yachts trading places for the lead on eight separate occasions.

Greg Perkins, skipper of the Adela superyacht spoke dockside after the win: “The RORC Caribbean 600 is a race that really suits schooners. There is lots of reaching involved rather than upwind, so I suggested to the boss that this would be great race to do. Unfortunately the owner could not come due to work commitments but one of the owner’s business friends came aboard as a guest and I think he thoroughly enjoyed it and he fitted in really well and enjoyed the experience.”

The Adela yacht’s guest was Erik Hershman a friend and business associate of the owner: “That was a bit different to my usual experience on Adela. When I saw all the cushions packed away and all the creature comforts removed or covered in protective tape, I realised that we were in for a wild ride. I could not believe how wet the boat was and how tough it was on board. I knew I was in for a hard time when I was served my dinner in a plastic bowl, the silver service was nowhere to be seen, but it was such a great time. I would definitely do it again but not in cotton shorts!”

Adela skipper, Greg Perkins continued: “It was a stunning race, we had such a great battle with Windrose, a match race of schooners over 600 miles. I think that it is a race that will grow in the future as it is such a great romp around the Caribbean. Adela was not designed to race, but over the years we have got into new sails and tweaked a few things.”

“The race has been very popular with the crew. I had to turn away a lot of good people. Everybody gelled well together and there was a lot of banter on board with plenty of laughter. All in all it was a great experience. 28 people on board all had the time of their lives, no injuries and we only broke one snap shackle.”

Alex Howard, Skipper of the luxury yacht Windrose of Amsterdam: “It was a tiring race with only 5 hours sleep and an interesting battle with Adela. We were doing alright until we got around the back of Guadeloupe and then they got away from us and after Desirade it was a drag race really so that’s that, they got us. It’s a shame we didn’t do better, but there is always a next time. We’d like to have got Adela but that’s the way it goes. Compared to the race last year it was a bit slower due to the wind, but it was a great race and it is good to get five big superyachts and Spirit of Tradition boats in this event for sure.”

“I think it is important to recognise all of the hard work into making the RORC Caribbean 600 such a great success, especially past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine, RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen and Stan Pearson. It has been a very good second year for Windrose and we have been delighted to have so many RORC members sailing for the second year in a row.”

Andrew McIrvine, Past RORC Commodore, the Windrose of Amsterdam yacht: “I think this year was much more fun as we had people to race against. It was cat and mouse all the way to Saba, and we had a fantastic tacking duel in the Aguilla Strait and came out in front, so that was exciting and then on the long reach they just got away. But we had great fun with other yachts including Lloyd’s IDEA and Blackbird. Last year there was nobody to race against, we didn’t see anybody that much. I think that all the crew enjoyed the race, including wife. Deborah hasn’t been on a long race before and she enjoyed the night sky and I haven’t had any complaints from the rest of the crew so that’s all good.”

The ‘meet and greet’ team on shore and crew on board Windrose sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to RORC Commodore, Mike Greville just before he was ceremoniously thrown into the water. A dripping wet Mike commented: “You know who your friends are for sure. I wondered why someone wanted to borrow my phone. The race for us wasn’t too much like hard work. A nice comfortable bunk, air conditioning, good food and lots of young lads to do all the hard work! We had a great race with Adela who unfortunately managed to get in front of us but our watch did manage to get ahead of them more than Andrew’s (McIrvine). I don’t think Andrew’s watch passed Adela once, where as we did at least three times. They also made us get up for ‘all hands on deck’ twice and we never made them do that.”

It is only fair to give the victors the last word: “This season, Adela races Windrose at three regattas and we have a barrel of rum on each event and I am two up at the moment, so I think Alex will be fuming! The boats are evenly matched; we have had tacking duels, luffiing matches, and all great fun. I would love to say that Adela will do the race next year, if there is a schooner class, I say bring them down,” says Greg Perkins, Adela.

RORC CARIBBEAN 600: Superyacht Hetairos in front

February 22, 2012

The 214ft supermaxi sailing yacht Hetairos claimed poll position in the RORC Caribbean 600 at 1500 local time, passing to leeward of George David’s 90ft maxi yacht Rambler off the east coast of Montserrat.

S/Y Hetairos let loose on a broad reach, blasting through the Caribbean surf at a speed in excess of 22 knots. The Hetairos superyacht has twice the water line length and more than double the sail area of Rambler but the American maxi with RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen on board, is not giving up without a fight. Rambler has put up every sail they can to “send it” and Hetairos are finding it difficult to shake them off.

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February. Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February. Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

Yachts Hetairos and Rambler will probably make the northwest corner of Guadeloupe well before dark and they are expected to finish the race tomorrow morning. However they are both unlikely to finish the race by Wednesday 0340 to break the course record set by Rambler 100 last year.

Sailing yacht Rambler’s navigator, Peter Isler blogged this from the boat:

“Hi from the weather rail of Rambler. We’ve been watching a sail on the horizon creep up on us over the past 5 hours – we are on the race’s longest (145 mile) leg and it’s a fast jib reach. The boat coming up from behind is of course Hetairos, the giant ketch. This is a leg perfectly suited to her strength; straight line reaching speed. It’s only a matter of a few hours and she’ll be past us unless things get tricky, which appears unlikely until our next turning mark Guadeloupe, one of the trickiest parts of this race track, as we sail below (downwind) of the biggest and tallest island on the course. Last year on Rambler100 we drifted for a few hours in Guadeloupe’s wind shadow and that sort of tricky sailing might give us a chance to make some gains on Hetairos… time will tell.”

Isler continues: “Beautiful sailing on deck, T-shirt, shorts and everyone but the helmsman grinders and trimmers hiking out. Lots of flying fish going aerial to get away from our bow wave. It’s plenty hot down below though; as most hatches are shut to keep spray from coming in. We just enjoyed our first freeze-dried meal, beef stew that was popular amongst the crew. The watch system is being strictly adhered to now; no sail changes in the last few hours so hopefully everyone will be charged up for the battle under Guadeloupe and the rest of the race. We’ve seen much shiftier and lighter winds than last year when the Rambler100 set the monohull course record that record is definitely secure until 2013 at the earliest.”

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

Niklas Zenstrom’s JV72, Rán is the new handicap leader after time correction. However, Rán is likely to arrive on the northwest corner of Guadeloupe after dark and experience a significant wind shadow. Second overall is Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, which was rounding St.Martin at the top of the course at 1500 local time. Third overall is Scarlet Oyster, which is in good breeze south of St.Martin. The weather forecast for the next 48 hours shows a significant increase in wind strength, freshening to over 20 knots. This may well favour Scarlet Oyster and Clem but both yachts are heavy displacement and are unlikely to plain. Jaime Torres’ First 40.7, Smile and Wave is lying fourth overall and lining up for a wild sleigh ride tomorrow. As the Puerto Rican team come off the breeze and turn south for what promises to be a ballistic 150-mile surf to Guadeloupe.

Jonty and Jack Layfield are racing two-handed on J/39, Sleeper. The father and son team were approaching the Anguilla Strait at the top of the course at 1600 local time today. No doubt Jonty and Jack will be looking forward to a long reaching leg and possibly the first real rest they will have had since starting the race nearly a day and half ago. Perhaps Sleeper will be a very apt description of what the Layfields will be looking forward to the most.

The RORC Caribbean 600 has two magnificent schooners racing: Greg Perkins, skipper of sailing yacht Adela and yacht Windrose of Amsterdam, skippered by Alex Howard have barely been apart since the start of the race. Hugh Agnew, Adela’s navigator called in by satellite phone as the two Spirit of Tradition yachts rounded Tintamarre. Adela was on a tight reach, all 300 tons of her doing 13 knots:

“I don’t think there has been more than two miles between us since we began. It has been a fascinating encounter and one that is all about boat on boat tactics,” said Hugh. “We had an heroic tacking duel through the Anguilla Strait. The leg down to Guadeloupe looks like a tight reach in building breeze, classic conditions for these awesome yachts. We have just cracked off after rounding Tintamarre. We have an enormous amount of sail up and we have opened up a ¾ mile lead but no doubt Windrose will catch us up and we will have another bout of energy sapping sail manoeuvres on the south side of Guadeloupe in the early hours, I have to say this is a truly epic race.”

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Med Spirit under a rainbow off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Med Spirit under a rainbow off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

2012 RORC Caribbean 600: The George David’s RP90 sailing yacht Rambler out in front

February 21, 2012

George David’s RP90 sailing yacht Rambler is currently leading in the battle for line honours in the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race. Coming from the USA, the Rambler superyacht is over 20 miles ahead of the 214ft superyacht Hetairos, even though Rambler is less than half the size.

The George David's RP90 sailing yacht Rambler

The George David's RP90 sailing yacht Rambler Photo Credit: T. Wright/photoaction

The luxury yacht Rambler rounded the Tintamarre just after dawn this morning to begin the 160-mile power reach south to Guadeloupe. Rambler barely stalled for speed right through the night. The American maxi cut the corner at Nevis, as better than expected breeze hurried their progress. Except for dropping below ten knots in the wind shadow of St.Martin, Rambler has been absolutely launched. The supermaxi Hetairos may close the gap on the reach but the superyacht is now well behind Rambler. Rambler provisionally lead IRC Zero after time correction with Niklas Zennström’s JV72 yacht Rán lying in second place. Swan 80 yacht Selene had a good first night to take up third place on handicap.

In IRC Two, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 yacht Scarlet Logic is provisionally leading overall in the RORC Caribbean 600. Over night, the predicted fall in wind speed never materialized and Scarlet Logic maintained good boat speed throughout. After rounding Saba, Scarlet Logic was back on the wind and trucking along at seven knots. Smile and Wave, Jaime Torres’ First 40 found ballistic pace during the night and is in second. Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 yacht Clem did not have such a good night and has dropped back to third.

As expected, the largest yacht in the fleet, Hetairos lead the five superyachts by some margin. The 214ft carbon fibre ketch was flying last night reaching at a speed in excess of 18 knots rounding St.Kitts. By midnight Hetairos was rounding Saba and beating north. However, none of the 36 crew will have retired below. In the dead of night, the tricky slalom course through St.Barths and past St.Martin would have required all hands. Behind Hetairos two monumental duels are playing out, the charter yacht Sojana and the luxury charter yacht P2 have enjoyed each others close company virtually from the start.

Race fans may have noticed however that P2 have completely split from the usual heading after rounding Saba. The 38m Perini Navi superyacht P2 looks to be ‘banging the corner’ going to the far extremity of the course. This morning P2 was on a beam reach at full speed heading to St.Barths, whilst Sojana was beating to windward. It will be interesting to see which tactical play wins out. The sailing yacht Adela and the superyacht Windrose of Amsterdam are enjoying a titanic sparring match and there is nothing between the two yachts on the water, however Adela does give Windrose a significant amount of time under IRC.

IRC One has a new provisional leader after time correction. The Smile and Wave yachts had great pace off the breeze during the night, however the beat around St.Barths should favour Spanish entry Clem. Colin Buffin’s Uxorious IV elected to take a more northerly course after Saba and the Swan 62 looks to be pointing higher than rivals.

Bernie Evan Wong has just cleared the wind shadow behind St Kitts. However, shortly after sunrise, the High Tension yacht made an unusual bare-away in the lee of St.Kitts, presumably to effect some sort of repair. It was almost exactly the same spot as High Tension dismasted last year. Happily, Bernie and his team are going well and enjoying the ride.

40m J-class luxury yacht Rainbow by Holland Jachtbouw launched

February 21, 2012

The renowned Dutch shipyard, Holland Jachtbouw successfully launched its 40m J-class sailing yacht Rainbow on February 17, 2012. Re-designed by Dykstra & Partners Naval Architects according to the original concept of William Starling Burgess, the Rainbow superyacht is an amazing racing vessel, providing her guests with full comfort and the first J-class yacht fitted with hybrid propulsion. She is currently being stepped and sea trials will start in March. Rainbow is expected to participate at the 2012 summer´s regattas, including the J-class races in England.

The launch of the J-class superyacht Rainbow

The launch of the J-class superyacht Rainbow

For her launch Rainbow was brought outside the ultra-modern main construction hall at Holland Jachtbouw, wheeled onto a barge and lifted by two cranes into the water. This sophisticated operation took full advantage of the yard’s rare capacity to launch vessels with a draught of five metres (Holland Jachtbouw can actually accommodate yachts of up to 5.5 metres draft and 65 metres in length).

“It is such a thrill to be able to fully appreciate a design that was last seen in the open almost eighty years ago,” says the yard’s co-director Tako van Ineveld. “This ‘new’ Rainbow took us over two years to build while her predecessor was completed in just one hundred days. This does not mean we are slower… It is a reflection of the incredible degree of sophistication that is now contained within these timeless lines. The original Rainbow was an empty boat with a deck of sailing gear and a powerful aluminium rig. This Rainbow is a different proposition altogether.”

The project’s naval architects were Dykstra & Partners, and this office also partnered with deVosdeVries design on the interior. The original Rainbow was drawn by William Starling Burgess in the early 1930s and the vessel was scrapped in 1940. This design has now been incorporated into an all-aluminium yacht that meets the J-class Association maximum performance rules.

All modern functional requirements have been integrated with full respect for Rainbow’s heritage, while the decks have been kept as clean and flush as possible featuring only a mahogany doghouse and skylight. The latter offers a quite spectacular contrast with the superb jet black-coloured hull and gold leaf cove stripe. “We believe that Rainbow is the most beautiful J on the water today,” says Van Ineveld. “But more importantly, she is built to win races!”

Gerry Dijkstra and his team have utilised all their vast experience and the very latest computer modelling to optimise the superyacht Rainbow’s performance via a lightweight construction with a high degree of overall stiffness. The rig includes a Southern Spars high-modulus carbon mast, boom and spinnaker pole, continuous carbon fibre rigging, North Sails 3Di racing sails and Lewmar high-speed hydraulic winches. All are entirely customised to the luxury yacht Rainbow’s specific requirements and, like everything metallic on deck, anodised to create a light grey look.

All the new generation of Js need to have a fully functioning interior under JCA rules, and the Rainbow yacht’s owner has spared no expense when it comes to luxury accommodation and premium equipment, including full air conditioning.

The original Rainbow yacht did not have an engine room so there was obviously not a great deal of space to accommodate one within the lines plan. Holland Jachtbouw’s solution has been to create an ingenious hybrid propulsion and power system especially for this project.

As a result, the sailing yacht Rainbow can be operated entirely on her Hy-Store Li-ion batteries, including sailing, navigation and hotel load. This also meets the owner’s request for silent periods onboard, without generators running, from 11 pm to 7 am. And that in turn promises much for those who enjoy cruising and, potentially, chartering Rainbow.

This hybrid solution replaces the conventional main engine and two generator configuration found on other Js, which have a larger engine room than the comparatively lighter Rainbow (170 tonnes). The main engine replaces the second generator, while the remaining generator is a variable speed electric unit. The main engine generator can also act as an electric motor that can also run the propeller. This solution is smaller in size and saves on fuel. The batteries can also be charged while sailing without losing more than 1.5 knots of speed.

Other key overall benefits of this innovative propulsion solution include a dramatic reduction of the ecological footprint, a 30 percent reduction in the fuel required to generate the hotel load, and a similar reduction in the maintenance costs for the power plant in hotel load. Redundancy is built-in with five power sources available: The hybrid battery, the variable speed generator, the variable speed engine generator, the shaft generator (when sailing) and shore power (when available). There is also a substantial reduction in audible noise levels both inside the yacht and out.

In terms of styling, the Rainbow yacht’s interior features raised and fielded mahogany panelling with art deco details. The owner’s stateroom is aft and there are two ensuite twin guest cabins, each with a Pullman berth. In addition to offering accommodation to up to eight guests, Rainbow will have a permanent crew of seven led by Captain Nick Haley who has previously skippered two other members of the Holland Jachtbouw fleet, namely the sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam and the superyacht Athos.

This April a team of race professionals will join the permanent crew for the first time to embark on seven days of extensive training in the North Sea. All will look very impressive thanks to a sponsorship agreement with Pelle Petterson. This renowned competition yachtsman has taken a keen interest in the Rainbow project and offered to supply his trademark Pelle P technical sailing clothes.

During the J-class regattas in Falmouth and Cowes, the Rainbow yacht will be accompanied by a support vessel to accommodate the larger crew at night.

Rainbow also has a full schedule of engagements to compete in the other major regattas of 2012. The general public will be able to admire her at the Monaco show where Rainbow will be on display close to the Holland Jachtbouw stand.

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.

4th RORC Caribbean 600 Crews Welcome by Antigua

February 20, 2012

The Antigua Yacht Club organised some legendary parties in the past, however last night’s welcome party for well over 500 sailors competing in the 4th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 was the biggest in recent history.

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600 Crews Welcome by Antigua Photo Credit T. Wright Photoaction

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600 Crews Welcome by Antigua Photo Credit: T. Wright/Photoaction

Mike Greville, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club will be racing on the sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam and he welcomed the huge crowd, “It is my first time in Antigua and I am amazed at the fabulous yachts moored in front us. We could not do this without the support of the Antigua Yacht Club. When the idea of running this race was first put forward, I was one of the sceptics who doubted that it would last. But the race continues to grow year on year and I am confident that it will be become one of the classic 600 mile ocean races. I would therefore like to put to rest any doubts that we will continue to support the race and so it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we will continue to run the race on an annual basis. Let me wish everyone a safe and fast passage in this year’s race.”

The Hon John Maginley, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Culture and The Environment gave a huge Antiguan welcome to competitors in the Caribbean 600, “Welcome to our wonderful Island and thank you so much for coming here. I remember that the crowd was much smaller in 2009, this race has grown significantly and The RORC Caribbean 600 is now very important to Antigua. We will listen to your needs and improve your enjoyment during your stay and I hope you will return with your family and friends and chose Antigua for a holiday.”

“We want to encourage young Antiguans to go sailing as it’s a wonderful sport and we have the most fantastic waters in which to do this. The National Sailing Academy offers the opportunity for young Antiguan school children to learn to swim and sail. Their local hero is Carl James, Antigua’s Olympic sailor. He will be on board the charter yacht Sojana once again for this race and Bernie Evan-Wong’s 36ft High Tension is the smallest boat in the race, but his determination to win is as big as the magnificent superyachts competing.”

The latest weather forecast for the start predicts consistent trade winds from the east, with a warm breeze of 15 knots providing near perfect sailing conditions with a moderate sea state. However, the wind speed is expected to increase during the race. By Wednesday, we could see well over 20 knots of wind providing fast surfing conditions in the RORC Caribbean 600.

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.

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.

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.

Double award-winning triumph for Holland Jachtbouw 42m Calliope Superyacht

November 28, 2011

Holland Jachbouw 42m motor yacht Calliope has now received not one but two major industry motoryacht awards in her class. Having already won a prestigious Neptune Trophy for the best planing motoryacht in 2011 World Superyacht Awards, the stunning Calliope superyacht has recently received the prominent Showboats Exterior Design & Styling Award for a semi-displacement motoryacht.

Double winner 42m motor yacht Calliope by Holland Jachtbouw

Double winner 42m motor yacht Calliope by Holland Jachtbouw

“This is a remarkable achievement for any superyacht,” comments Tako van Ineveld, Commercial Director at Holland Jachtbouw. “But it is surely unique that a yard like Holland Jachtbouw – which has made its name for creating famous sail yachts like charter yacht Windrose of Amsterdam and Athos yacht – could beat all the dedicated powerboat yards to win these two awards. Moreover, Calliope is only our second motoryacht, which speaks volumes for the way we have been able to incorporate sailing yacht standards of finish and fine detailing into the fully custom powerboat environment.”

Calliope Superyacht´s luxury design by Bill Langan and Rhoades Young Design

Calliope Superyacht´s luxury design by Bill Langan and Rhoades Young Design - Credit Nicholas Claris

The luxury yacht Calliope’s double award winning performance is also a testimony to her owner’s dedication to perfection and the exquisite design by Bill Langan and Rhoades Young Design. ” Calliope has been dubbed ‘the ultimate Gentlemen’s yacht’ and I think this is a fair assessment,” Van Ineveld continues. ” She is by no means a typical motoryacht in terms of her colour or shaping, and has a very distinctive look. The fabulous interior is also a key reason why our industry peers have been so impressed with this fascinating project.”

These are busy times at Holland Jachtbouw. The build of the awesome new J-Class sailing yacht Rainbow is now at an advanced stage as the yard gears up for the 2012 regattas in and around Cowes. Construction also recently got underway on another magnificent sailing yacht, a 45m high performance sloop from the boards of Dixon Yacht Design. And the yard’s success with motoryachts will continue, having just signed the contact for an extensive interior refit of the 42m motor yacht Life SAGA.