The 4th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Caribbean 600 yacht race starts from Antigua on Monday, February 20. The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean islands. There are 40 yachts competing and nearly a quarter of the fleet are yachts coming from the USA.
USA Entries in the Caribbean 600 yacht race include:
TEAM P2 – Perini Navi 38 – Gerhard Andlinger – Taking the Jaguar off-road with Team P2
The 38m (124ft) sailing yacht P2 by Perini Navi owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger, will make her debut into offshore racing with a star cast on board including Peter Holmberg, top Caribbean sailor, Finn Class Silver Olympic medallist and America’s Cup sailor. Other helmsman for the race include Maurice ‘Mo’ Kurg, also from St Thomas, US Virgin Islands and Paul Scoffin, ex-New Zealand America’s Cup sailor.
Peter Holmberg: “P2 is a Perini Navi/Philippe Briand– design accustomed to fast cruising and serious day racing in the superyacht fleet,” said Peter Holmberg, “but the owner is intrigued with the adventure of the Caribbean 600 course and the challenge it presents. It will be a bit like taking a Jaguar off-road, so we will have to sail smart, and will hope to have a good result against similar type yachts.”
Team P2 Racing Manager and skipper, Jonathan Kline is looking forward to the challenge: “Having sailed with the owners of P2 for 10 years, a circumnavigation on Perseus and now three years of racing and cruising on P2, I am very excited that we will be sailing the Caribbean 600. The long distance course, the islands as marks and the drama of trade wind sailing in sunlight and moonlight will provide a memorable life experience for the boss. We know it will be rigorous, but out of the fatigue and effort we know we will find a sense of clarity and satisfaction.”
PRIVATEER, Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley (USA)
Racing in the 2010 Caribbean 600, the Cookson 50 yacht Privateer claimed third overall. Ron O’Hanley is President of Fidelity’s Investments Asset Management and Corporate Services divisions and has successfully campaigned his Cookson 50 yacht Privateer in the Caribbean and in/around Newport, New York Yacht Club Races etc. He’s on the Board of Sail Newport and IYRS (International yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island). Brad Read, Head of Sail Newport will also be onboard for the race.
RAMBLER 90, Reichel Pugh 90, George David (USA)- Fight to retain line honours
In 2011 American George David skippered Rambler 100 to smash the monohull course record in the Caribbean 600, taking line honours and overall victory. David’s team is back, this time with the Reichel Pugh 90 luxury yacht Rambler and they are unlikely to give up the title without a fight.
Rambler 90 was launched in 2002 as Shockwave before being renamed. She has had a successful record under George David’s direction since 2007 and in 2011 the team raced Rambler 100 in the RORC Caribbean 600 1st (record), Transatlantic Race and the Rolex Fastnet Race. The yacht will go on to race in the Les Voiles de St Barth’s after the Caribbean 600.
The crew consist of top sailors from around the world: George David (USA), Wouter Verbraak (NED), Peter Isler (USA), Wendy Touton (USA), Mick Harvey (USA), Mike van Beuren (USA), David Petersen (NZL), Duncan Maitland (GBR), Jan Dekker (FRA), Robbie Naismith (NZL), Justin Clougher (AUS), Jesse Fielding (USA), Tim Dawson (USA), Bob Wylie (AUS), Stu Wilson (NZL), Joe Fanelli (USA), Marty McNary (USA), Chris Welch (USA), Greg Gendell (USA), Jerry Kirby (USA), Matt Mialik (USA), Scott Beavis (NZL).
Mick Harvey: “Great Race, wonderful sailing conditions in a warm climate. We raced last year aboard Rambler 100 and had a great result. We hope to have a good result this year but the competition will be tough. Given the usual conditions, we should be able to do well.”
TEAM SELENE, SWAN 80, Wendy Schmidt – Unfinished business for Team Selene
The Swan 80 yacht Selene by Nautor´s Swan is owned by Wendy Schmidt (USA) and Skipper, Benjamin Davitt from Cowes, Isle of Wight is back with Team Selene to complete ‘unfinished business’ after she was forced to retire in the 2011 race.
Skipper, Benjamin Davitt: “Team Selene has gone to great lengths to ensure the success of this year’s regatta. From the owners perspective, it is seen as ‘unfinished business’ and all involved are very much looking forward to the event!”
Team Selene consists of 18 crew from: UK, US, Australian, Croatian and New Zealand. The team usually compete in IRC racing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean including the Swan World and the Lora Piana Superyacht regatta. After the RORC Caribbean 600, the team will race in the Voiles de St. Barths.
BLACKBIRD – Tripp 75, Michael Reardon (USA)
The 75ft sailing yacht Blackbird is a carbon fibre monohull designed by Bill Tripp which raced in the RORC Caribbean 600 last year, but with a previous owner and name, Bella Pita. Making her way to the Caribbean in the Caribbean 1500 race from Hampton, Virginia to Nanny Cay, Tortola, she finished first on corrected time.
LUCKY – TP 52, Bryon Ehrhart (Chicago, USA) – 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race winner on world tour
Sailing yacht Lucky USA 52152 was built by Goetz and designed by Farr in 2004. Her home port is Chicago and since Bryon Ehrhart (a financier from Chicago) has owned the boat, she has won the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2010 as well as competed in the following races: Transpac, Chicago Mac, Newport Bermuda, Rolex Fastnet and Giraglia Race.
Ehrhart, an active member of both the New York Yacht Club and Chicago Yacht Club, is on a world tour with the boat and will eventually compete in some of the Asian events followed by the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Lucky just recently sailed across the Atlantic from Valencia, Spain to Antigua. Captain, Will Finlay is now putting the yacht in racing trim at Jolly Harbour Marina ready for the Caribbean 600.
The rest of the crew is a mixture of professional and experienced ISAF Cat 1 sailors. Nearly all of the crew have raced together and know each other very well. There is also a mix of cultures onboard with crew from USA, Australia and New Zealand.
HOUND, Nielsen 59 Custom, Frank Eberhart, (USA) – Family run and raced boat
The 60-foot classic sailing yacht Hound, will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice. Hound is a 1970 Nielson designed sloop owned by a family of avid sailors.
Over the years the owners have used the yacht to cross oceans with their four children, cruised the Baltic and competed in 8 Newport Bermuda Races. The Hound yacht is a regular of the Caribbean, having sailed the area for the past 25 winters. In the summer months Hound can be found sailing the coast of Maine and points north, enjoying the Canadian Maritimes and her homeport in Penobscot Bay, the Island of Vinalhaven. Hound is a family run and raced boat.
Frank Eberhart from Vinalhaven, Maine. New York: “Hound has been sailing the Caribbean for nearly 30 years. This race is a unique opportunity to enjoy Caribbean sailing with a twist, while experiencing the beauty of the Leeward chain. There will be only two hired crew onboard, the rest will be family and friends of the owner – all with offshore racing experience. This race promises to be a fun addition to the boats racing resume.”
Skipper, Nicholas Pucello from Marion, Massachusetts: “I’m hoping for a few days of great sailing in ideal Hound conditions, hopefully exceeding 200 mile days.”
TRIMARAN PARADOX, 63′ Trimaran, Nigel Irens/Benoit Cabaret – Peter Aschenbrenner (USA) – Possible record breaker?
French Skipper, Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board the 63ft yacht Paradox are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members are spending winter racing in the Caribbean and some of the crew have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.
HIGH TENSION – Mumm 36, BERNIE EVAN-WONG – Long road for local racer in his 4th Caribbean 600 race
Bernie Evan-Wong has sailed and raced for over 50 years primarily in the Caribbean. Competing in virtually all of the regional regattas in a series of different boats, his Mumm 36 yacht High Tension is the smallest yacht in the fleet. Evan-Wong has taken part in every RORC Caribbean 600 race since it started, but not without incident:
“This is my 4th RORC Caribbean 600 race in this boat. We won our class in the first event, the wind died in the second and we lost our mast in the third event when in a leading position after 220 miles! I have just replaced the rig with some modifications to simplify the rig, moving mast aft and eliminating runners by using swept spreaders. It has been a long road to get to this point since last February, but we are back and will be out there giving it our best shot for the 2012 event.”
Bernie Evan-Wong’s most successful boat must be his Classic 1967 Cal 40 yacht Huey Too which he has owned for the past 34 years. In this time he has achieved Class wins at many of the Regional events including Antigua Sailing Week and St Maarten Heineken Regatta, also winning the top award for the ‘Most Worthy Performance’ of this event a few years ago.
For the Caribbean 600, crew include: Raoul Jean Noel who has represented Guadeloupe in many single handed transatlantic events, and is a National Sailing Coach; Mathieu and Gavin are both North Sails employees in Antigua and Guadeloupe and seasoned sailors; Gavin Dove being the son of Andrew Dove the Caribbean Regional North Sails Representative:
“Wayne is an experienced boat Captain in his own right, having once sailed single handed from Jamaica to Antigua, so is excellent at taking the 2-4 AM watch,” says Even-Wong.
Bernie Evan-Wong: Quote “The Caribbean 600 appeals because it is the first real regional ocean race and it’s a real fun event which takes an awful lot of logistical planning, but I really enjoy the challenge of putting it all together and then living the dream.”
Memorable Caribbean 600 moment: “One of the most memorable moments in the past three Caribbean 600 events for me must be planing down the waves at 12 – 15 knots on the south side of St Kitts at 2.00 AM when a school of dolphins started swimming with the boat in a phosphorescent sea! An unforgettable moment. Sailing a race like this helps me get through the rest of the year.”
Worst moment in Caribbean 600: “At the other end of the spectrum must be my worst moment in the first race when I fell on board on the second night out, I broke two ribs, but with help from my crew, we still went on to win our class in that event and for a while had the big boats worrying that we might win overall! Over the past three events we have gained a lot of valuable experience on the course, so we plan to apply that knowledge hopefully to our benefit.”
NORTHERN CHILD, SWAN 51, Christian Reynolds – Rookie Crew up for the challenge
Northern Child has been a charter yacht since 2001, completing the Atlantic circuit every year. 12 inexperienced racers on board the Swan 51 yacht will be led by pro skipper, Christian Reynolds.
Reynolds comments: “The RORC 600 is my favourite offshore race above the Rolex Fastnet. There are lots of different legs creating varied and exciting sailing in warm beautiful water around a very scenic race course. We hope to achieve first in class.”