39 yachts race around Caribbean islands

The 4th Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Caribbean 600 starts this morning (Monday 20th February) south of Fort Charlotte between 1100 and 1200 Antiguan time (1500 GMT). During the race, every yacht is fitted with a Yellowbrick Tracker and their progress can be followed from the RORC Caribbean web site.

This year, the RORC Caribbean 600 has 13 yachts competing over 70′ and five yachts over 100′. These yachts need considerable sea room to manoeuvre and several of the highly experienced volunteers will act as on-the-water marshals maintaining an exclusion zone to keep spectator boats a safe distance from the yachts racing.

With 39 yachts taking part, from 215ft Hetairos to 36ft High Tension,
the race will showcase some spectacular yachts sailing in Caribbean

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 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.

Start times (Antigua local time)

11:00 – Multihull
11:10 – IRC 1, 2, 3 & Class40
11:20 – IRC Z (except Superyachts) & Canting keel
11:30 – Superyacht (yachts greater than 100ft)

Watch the videos below for an insight into the RORC 600: