Stunning picture highlights from photographers Tim Wright and Emma Louise Wynn Jones.
George Sakellaris’ Maxi72, Proteus (USA) has been declared the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. Whilst several yachts are still racing, the remaining teams will be unable to better Proteus’ corrected time under IRC.
Sakellaris was awarded the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best corrected time under the IRC Rating rule.
It is the second time that George Sakellaris has skippered the overall winner, having won the 2014 race with Maxi72, Shockwave. Proteus was also the winner of the highly competitive IRC Zero class featuring four Maxi72s.
Hurtling around the Caribbean at speeds in excess of 30 knots and topping out nearer 40, often barely a boat length apart, the epic duel between MOD70s Concise 10 and Phaedo3 came to a conclusion after 32 hours of hot racing. Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson crossed the finish line at Fort Charlotte in an elapsed time of 31 hours, 59 minutes, 04 seconds, breaking their own multihull race record set last year by 1 hour 34 minutes 26 seconds.
Barely out of sight of each other the entire race, Tony Lawson’s MOD70 Concise 10, skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield was just 9mins 52seconds behind.
Jim Clark & Kristy Hinze Clark’s American VPLP-Verdier 100 Comanche crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 at 03.45 on Wednesday morning with an elapsed time of 40 hours 53 minutes 2 seconds, taking monohull line honours for the race and only 33 minutes outside the record time set by George David’s Rambler 100 in 2011.
Comanche Skipper, Ken Read: “Comanche is built to come in first to finish and when Mother Nature co-operates we have the pedigree to break records,” was Ken Read’s reaction to the wind coming from the south-east making the leg from St Marten to Guadeloupe a beat, which for previous record holder – Rambler 100, was a fast fetch. “Going around these islands is a ball; whales breaching, volcanoes smoking, it doesn’t get any better than that. We will be back, I promise you – this is a great race.”
Spirit of Tradition Class
The magnificent 213ft schooner, Adix finished the RORC Caribbean 600 at 0703 AST on Thursday 25 February in an elapsed time of 2 days 19 hours 33 minutes 5 seconds to win the Spirit of Tradition Class.
Gonzalo Botin’s Class40, Tales II finished at 0336 AST, over three hours before Adix and was the winner of the Class40 division for the third year in a row. They broke their own Class40 record by 11 minutes and 23 seconds to set a new Class40 record of 2 days 16 hours 26 minutes 29 seconds.
Eric De Turkheim’s French A13, Teasing Machine finished at 0710 AST on Thursday 25 February in an elapsed time of two days and 20 hours to provisionally win IRC One and claim third overall for the race.
In the eight editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 no other boat under 50ft has made the podium for the overall prize. As Teasing Machine moored stern to at Antigua Yacht Club, the mass of soaking wet offshore clothing on board was testament to a tough race.
Currently, Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster look unbeatable, though Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7, skippered by Andy Middleton has been hot on their heels for the last beat to the finish.
Performance Yacht Charter’s First 40, Southern Child is now third after time correction.
Winner is yet to be confirmed. The three leaders are Conor Fogerty’s Irish Sunfast 36, German Swan 44, Best Buddies and Peter Hopps’ Sigma 38, Sam.
Five yachts retired from the race; Jonty Layfield’s Sleeper 11, Riccardo Pavoncelli’s Rosalba, David Ballantyne’s Jings and Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling, and Hap Fauth’s American Maxi72 Bella Mente.
Bella Mente afterguard Terry Hutchinson commented: “We are not really sure what happened. We were beating up to La Desirade, tacking up the shoreline and we heard a loud ping from down below, from inside the boat. It was really rough and we didn’t think much of it because you occasionally do hear random noises from these kind of boats. We got around the corner, set the Mast Head Zero and we were off doing 26 knots with Adrian Stead on the helm, coming into Proteus who had got around us in the wind shadow of Guadeloupe. As we accelerated we could feel the fin pitching back and forth. It felt like the boat was going one way and the fin another; that is speculation but it didn’t feel right. It felt very unnatural, so we slowed down. Moose (Mike Sanderson) said: ‘Did everybody feel that?’ We tried to arc it back up again and the motion was very noticeable; it felt like the fin was going to drop out of the boat. The correct thing to do at that point was stop and high-tail it for Antigua. It’s frustrating because throughout the race we had always kept ourselves in the hunt and we always knew that if we were in the hunt at that quarter, we could finish the race well, so it is frustrating.”