Overall honours to Proteus
George Sakellaris' Maxi72 Proteus is the overall winner of the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. While several yachts are still racing, this afternoon in Antigua the remaining teams were 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 his previous Maxi72, Shockwave. Proteus was also the winner of the highly competitive IRC Zero class that included four Maxi72s.
"I would like to congratulate all competitors for attending such a great, great event. I am glad to have been part of it. We got a little bit lucky and won the day, but this event has many great teams and sailors. I am so happy; we hope to see you next year," exclaimed George Sakellaris, owner of Maxi72, Proteus.
The four Maxi72s lined up for the first event in their 2016 circuit. Around the race track, the lead changing hands on numerous occasions, but Proteus was the first to finish, just over 20 minutes ahead of Dieter Schön's Momo with Sir Peter Ogden's Jethou third. Last year's overall winner, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente retired with keel problems.
"We have beaten some great boats and the sailing was great and we had a beautiful venue," smiled Sakellaris. "During the race we had boat-on-boat action with all of the Maxi72s; Bella Mente, Jethou and Momo, and their teams are all great sailors. Proteus is a powerful boat which helps, but it is all down to the team."
Proteus afterguard, Stu Bannatyne commented after the finish: "Our game plan for this race was to try and not get beaten by ourselves. We were a bit late arriving here and our preparation was not ideal, so our plan going into the race was to do things smartly, but try not to be too clever with fancy stuff as we had not practiced a lot, we wanted to keep things simple. We have a great team on board so we focused on sailing the boat well and tried to minimize the mistakes we made. For this race, we had the boat configured as the highest stability boat and that really showed on the race course; whenever the conditions were pressed up, we felt we had a little edge in speed.
"The race between the four Maxi72s was always going to be intense and it certainly proved to be the case. All four of us were battling it out at times during the race. At the end of the day, we managed to slip past Bella Mente at Guadeloupe and you have to get a bit of luck, and we did there.
"These boats are not designed for a 600 mile race, they have very little concessions for sailing offshore. The inside of the boat was full of water and with all the manoeuvres and corners it was hard work for the crew. The watch system was six hours on and then three off, but if anyone got three off, they were very lucky."