Supermaxi ICAP Leopard leads the monohulls, but trimaran Region Guadeloupe is first to finish

Mike Slade’s Super Maxi, the 100ft ICAP Leopard, leads the monohulls by over 70 miles on the water. The racing yacht looks untouchable, and left the rest of the fleet far behind within hours of the start.

Mike Slade described his thoughts on the race so far: “Any ideas that this race was a holiday jaunt out of Antigua have now been binned! A cracking start into heavy seas soon dispelled any thoughts of an easy trip.”

“To enjoy a fabulous evening sail along the southern coast of Nevis and St Kitts. Flat water and 20 knots plus boat speed was as good as it ever gets and the reason why we were keen to support this RORC initiative, around what is undoubtedly one of the best yacht race tracks in the world.”

“It is very rough, unbelievably wet and we were glad to see dawn to bring on the sunshine,” added John Burnie, from the trampolines of the giant 60ft Trimaran, Region Guadeloupe. The trimaran finished the race this morning (25 February) at 07:51 GMT, averaging 15.5 knots along the rhumb line with a top speed of over 26 knots in ocean swell! Region Guadeloupe led the fleet from the first mark of the course.

Adrian Lee’s Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners, is also having a cracking race, pushing the boat hard and in with a shout of winning their class after time correction: “It was a long, long night; 12 hours of darkness and right now, it is very wet on deck but everyone is happy, as it’s warm water, a little different to Dublin Bay!” explained Adrian from the top of St. Martin.

In the Super Zero clas,s Danilo Salsi’s Swan 90 DSK Pioneer leads the class on the water, but Anders Johnson’s Swan 70 Blue Pearl is just 23 miles behind and in touch on handicap. DSK has a highly experienced Italian crew and the boat is racing for the first time. The principle helmsman is Andrea Casale, a highly accomplished Melges 32 and TP52 sailor and the current world J/24 Champion.

In Class Zero, Peter Hopps’ GY51 Nisida is in pole position. The boat races all over the world and won class in last year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race. David Aisher’s Rogers 46 Yeoman XXXII has had a set back after their terrific start: “During the night we got hit by a squall blowing out the A3 spinnaker.” Commented David Aisher. “We were without a spinnaker for three hours but have now rounded the top of St. Martin and are screaming along at 20 knots plus on our way to Guadeloupe.”

The one and only retirement so far is in Class Zero is Edward Krubasik’s First 47.7 Gilly B who pulled into St. Eustacia over night. They have a broken gooseneck but all are well on board, if a little disappointed.

In IRC Class One, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36 Café Americano High Tension is showing great form and considerable local knowledge, leading the class on the water. Bernie is a veteran of twenty Antigua Race weeks and his crew have some top sailors on board from Guadeloupe.

There are a bevy of Swans competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 and there are some great private battles going on. Adam Cleary’s Swan 62, Gieneh is having a close race with her Guadeloupe sister ship, Daniel Segalowicz’s, Scider and the two have been locked together since the start. Also Francois Hellot’s Swan 56, Albireo is having a great tussle with Olivier Moreau’s racing Swan 56 Deneb. The heavy displacement yachts are revelling in the Caribbean conditions and will be enjoying the company of near identical competition.

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