Supermaxi show down

Strong line-up expected for the RORC's inaugural Caribbean 600 race

Thursday November 6th 2008, Author: Trish Jenkins, Location: United Kingdom
The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s inaugural RORC Caribbean 600 looks set to stage the first battle between the two 100ft super maxi’s Leopard and Speedboat.

Chris Sherlock, boat Captain of Mike Slade’s Leopard announced recently: “It is likely that we will be racing against each other for the first time in the RORC Caribbean 600 which starts in Antigua on 23rd February 2009.”

As the event mini-site went live and Pre-Notice of Race became available on-line, interest in the race has been flooding in since the announcement earlier this year by the RORC and Antigua Yacht Club to hold the first ever offshore race to circumnavigate the Caribbean Islands.

The race has attracted great interest from all over the world: George David’s maxi yacht Rambler, which won the 2007 Rolex Middle Sea Race, is joining the battle with Leopard and Speedboat. Peter Harrison’s 115ft super yacht Sojana is a definite entry and classic yachts such as the 155ft schooner Windrose and J Class Velsheda also intend to join the race scheduled to fit snugly between other major events in the busy Caribbean racing calendar.

Eddie Warden Owen, the Chief Executive of RORC is delighted with the response to the race announcement: “The quality of the boats interested in joining the race is very good and I am delighted that Leopard and Speedboat will do battle for the first time in our race. For these big boats, the number of islands to round will make it a very tough race for the crew, as all the sails in the inventory are likely to be used at some time in the race. The race will be run under IRC and CSA and by the expressions of interest we have received, I would expect to see a large and impressive fleet of offshore race boats.”

The 605nm non-stop race comprises 13 legs around the Leeward Islands and will also be hotly contested amongst the smaller classes, with expressions of interest received from a number of yachts including the Corby 45 Incisor of Wight; High Tension, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36; the Stimson 42, GYR-P42 Caspian Services and Markus Seebich’s Class 40 Pogo 1.

Full details and the latest news can be found on the new RORC Caribbean 600 mini-site which can be found here.

Pre-Notice of Race and details of all the yachts intending to compete, plus a detailed study of the race course is available online for this exciting new race.

The RORC Caribbean 600 Race starts on 23 February 2009 off Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour, Antigua. The course takes the fleet to the north passing a mark off Barbuda, the islands of Nevis, Saba and St Barths, to circle St Martin before heading down to Guadeloupe as the most southerly point, then back up to a mark off Barbuda before returning to finish in Antigua. A total of 605 nautical miles.

Race entries will close on Thursday 5 February 2009. Boats are encouraged to register their interest in competing in the race by emailing the RORC here. Boats will then receive updates about the race and a copy of the 2009 RORC Programme which will constitute the official Notice of Race.

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