RORC Caribbean 600 back in action –
The break is over – the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Caribbean 600 is back and is set to debut in Antigua on February 21, 2022.
The first entries include teams representing a dozen different countries from around the world. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a race for everyone, attracting the fastest boats on the planet and Corinthians passionate about performance racers / cruisers and classics. A full house is expected for the 600-mile race around eleven Caribbean islands.
An astonishing peloton of multihulls will crisscross the course, including race record holder Maserati Multi70. The flying Italian stallion is skippered by Giovanni Soldini. Defending class champion and 2020 Line Honors winner Peter Cunningham of Cayman Island will pilot the MOD70 PowerPlay. The multinational team, led by Ned Collier Wakefield, are ready to vigorously defend their title. Back for another apple bite, Jason Carroll’s American MOD70 Argo with multi-record holder Brian Thompson on the roster.
Antoine Rabaste and Jacek Siwek will take part in their second race with the largest multihull in the fleet, the 80-foot French Maxi Multi Ultim’Emotion 2.
Among the expressions of interest to date, the favorite for the Monohull Line Honors is the 100ft Supermaxi Comanche, with a triple A crew skippered by Australian Mitch Booth. The VPLP-Verdier 100 last participated in the race in 2016, finishing in just over 40 hours. Considering the strong trade winds for the race, Comanche is quite capable of breaking the monohull racing record, set by George David’s American Rambler 88 in 2018 (37 hours 41 minutes and 45 seconds). Among the current entrants, the biggest threat to Comanche will be the boat that set the original record, the Farr 100 Leopard 3 under a new owner.
The overall winner and the winners of the individual classes for the RORC Caribbean 600 are determined by the IRC time correction. Tilmar Hansen’s German Outsider TP52 is expected to defend its overall victory from 2020. Most often the winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy comes from the big boat class.
David Collins’ Botin IRC 52 Tala finished second overall in 2019 and can compete with Outsider all the way. From Larchmont YC USA, Christopher Sheehan will compete Pac52 Warrior One, winner of the 2021 Transpac Honolulu Race class.
Two new designs will debut in IRC Zero. German skipper Stefan Jentzsch has competed in the race several times, but this will be the first RORC Caribbean 600 for the IRC 56 Black Pearl with a multinational team, including South African Marc Lagesse. The Infiniti 52 Zeus will also make its racing debut. Boat captain Matt Brushwood confirms the 52-foot carbon yacht is nearing completion in the United States. One of the main design features is the transverse sheets of the Dynamic Stability System (DSS).
Irishman Adrian Lee has had a love affair with the RORC Caribbean 600 since his overall victory in the inaugural race. Adrian will be racing with Lee Overlay Partners, hoping for a strong breeze suitable for the Swan 60. Speaking of love stories with the RORC Caribbean 600, Antiguan Bernie Evan-Wong has competed in all twelve editions and will be back for another with his Reichel Pugh 37 Taz. Pamala Baldwin’s J / 122 Liquid also flies the Antiguan flag with a young crew.
British interest in the 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 is stronger than ever with four top boats making their racing debuts. The big winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021, the JPK 1180 Sunrise of Tom Kneen is confirmed, as well as the HH42 Ino XXX of the RORC Commodore James Neville, second in the general classification of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader will debut, as will Christopher Daniel’s J / 122 Juno.
Lombard 46 Pata Negra has raced in the last four editions and won the IRC One in the last race. Now owned by Andrew Hall, Pata Negra is back for a fifth race. Facing the RORC Caribbean 600 with its multitude of maneuvers is a real challenge for teams of Two. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada and Tim Knight’s Pogo 12.50 Kai are among the first entries.
French interest in the 2022 edition includes new boats for racing and around ten Class40s are expected to replay the fantastic battle in 2019. Racing Under IRC will be Jean Pierre Dreau’s Mylius 60 Lady First 3, who was fourth in the class . for the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021 and the Spirit of Tradition Classic Faiaoahe by Remy Gerin.
Jacques Pelletier’s Milon 41 L’Ange de Milon, Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza, skippered by Philippe Falle, and Dominique Tian’s Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen will also be in the running. While this is the first race for the 100% French crew, like Tonnerre de Breskens, the boat has won the class twice. In the MOCRA class, Christophe Cols’ French F40 Chaud Patate is ready for a return to racing after racing for the last time as Dauphin Telecom – Johnny Be Good in 2014.
Lance Shepherd’s Telefonica Black will ride with charter guests, as will Jens Lindner’s HYPR Ocean Racing team. It’s hard to imagine a more exciting experience for Corinthian sailors than racing down the RORC Caribbean 600, competing against professional teams in a Volvo 70! Antigua’s Farr 65, Spirit of Juno, will also compete with charter guests and will be under the leadership of Paul Jackson in its seventh race.
Ross Applebey will compete in his ninth race at the controls of the class-winning Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster seven times. Scarlet Oyster’s long and friendly rivalry will continue with Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01. Two First 40s will add a chapter to their long history in the RORC Caribbean 600. Susan Glenny, competing in her fifth race, will ride the Olympia’s Tigress with a Californian crew. Yuri Fadeev will be on race number six, on Optimus Prime with a crew from St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Canadian teams will replace the frozen seas for the heat of the tropics will be J / 121 Wings, skippered by American Bill Wiggins, and Ray Rhinelander of the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club will race J / 133 Bella J. Morgen Watson and Meg Reilly co-skipper Pogo 12.50 Hermes with a multinational crew. This will be the fifth race for the Canadian boat. Jonas Grander’s Elliott 44 Matador of Sweden is also back for another incline and will compete in the very competitive IRC One Class.
For more information see: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/
By Louay Habib