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Irish Offshore Skipper David Hanks Steers to RORC Nelson’s Cup Success in Opening Races

15th February 2023
Irish Offshore Sailing skipper David Hanks from Dublin Bay, who is skippering the Antiguan Farr 65 Spirit of Juno receives English Harbour Rum prizes from the PRO Stefan Kunstmann
Dublin Bay skipper David Hanks from Dublin Bay, who is skippering the Antiguan Farr 65 Spirit of Juno receives English Harbour Rum prizes from the PRO Stefan Kunstmann Credit: Tim Wright

The RORC Nelson’s Cup Series ahead of the Caribbean 600 Race got underway on time in spectacular conditions off the south coast of Antigua. With tropical heat, 16 knots from the east and a significant swell, the south coast of Antigua produced awe-inspiring racing. 

In IRC Two, Antiguan Farr 65 Spirit of Juno skippered by Dublin Bay's David Hanks scored a memorable victory in the first race, taking class line honours and the win after IRC time correction by just over two minutes from Marie Tabarly’s 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI (FRA). Szymon Kuczynski’s Figaro Hultaj (POL) was third. 

In the second race, Spirit of Juno scored their second bullet of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series, with Pen Duick VI second by just three minutes after IRC time correction.

“We have a charter crew on board, with myself and Verity Rouse as permanent crew, and it was a no-brainer to enter the RORC Nelson’s Cup,” commented Spirit of Juno skipper David Hanks. “When the race series was announced, we were delighted because it was the best way to train for the RORC Caribbean 600; train hard - fight easy. Today, we had two starts, loads of hoists and drops and mark roundings, which was a great way to get the teamwork going for the big race.”

Spirit of Juno skipper David Hanks invited Emily Gaillard on board who is just 15 and the Antiguan Optimist champion. “Emily was a natural on the helm and fitted straight in with the team. We are looking forward to having Emily on board Spirit of Juno for the rest of the series including the Caribbean 600,” commented Hanks. 

OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno skippered by Davis Hanks of Ireland Photo Tim WrightOnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno skippered by Davis Hanks of Ireland Photo Tim Wright

The daily prize giving for the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series was held at the Antigua Yacht Club with English Harbour Rum honouring the lucky winners and the amazing volunteers from the Antigua sailing community, plus Axxess Marine providing complimentary cold beers.

Published in Caribbean 600

Caribbean 600 Race Live Tracker 2023

Track the progress of the 2023 Caribbean 600 Race fleet on the live tracker above 

The 14th edition of the 600-mile race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club starts on Monday, February 20th from Antigua. Team

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RORC's Caribbean 600 Race

The 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will start from Antigua on Tuesday, 14th February 2023.

The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth's


2020 - Tilmar Hansen, Outsider, TP52 (GER)
2019 - David and Peter Askew, Wizard, Volvo 70 (USA)
2018 - George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA)
2017 - Hap Fauth, Bella Mente, JV72 (USA)
2016 - George Sakellaris, Maxi 72, Proteus (USA)
2015 - Hap Fauth, JV72, Bella Mente (USA)
2014 - George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA)
2013 - Ron O'Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA)
2012 - Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán (GBR)
2011 - George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA)
2010 - Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)
2009 - Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL)


Multihull record (2019): Giovanni Soldini, Maserati, Multi 70 (ITA) - 30 hours, 49 minutes, 00 seconds
(I day 6 hrs 49 mins 0 secs)

Monohull record (2018): George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA) - 37 hours, 41 minutes, 45 seconds
(1 day 13 hrs 41 mins 45 secs)

At a Glance - RORC Caribbean 600 2023 Calendar


Monday 13th February 2023 - Skippers Briefing + Welcome Drinks

Tuesday 14th February - Race Day One (2 races scheduled) + Daily Prizegiving

Wednesday 15th February - Race Day Two (2 races scheduled) + Daily Prizegiving

Thursday 16th February - Lay-Day/Reserve Day

Friday 17th February - Antigua 360 - Race around the Island

Saturday 18th February - RORC Caribbean 600 Welcome Party + Antigua 360 Prizegiving

Sunday 19th February - Lay-Day

Monday 20th February - Start of the 14th RORC Caribbean 600

Friday 24th February - Final Prizegiving

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