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Irish Crews in the Mix for Today's Caribbean 600 Race Start

20th February 2023
An international fleet of 70 yachts is gearing up to start the 600nm RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua on Monday, 20th February
An international fleet of 70 boats is gearing up to start the 600nm RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua on Monday, 20th February Credit: Tim Wright

The 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts on 20th February at 11:00 AST (UTC-4). Seventy boats from all over the world are ready in Antigua for the non-stop 600nm race around 11 Caribbean islands. With over 550 sailors from 30 nations taking part, the  Caribbean 600 is truly an international affair.

Dublin Bay's David Hanks has already scored a victory in this week's RORC Nelson Cup warm-up as skipper of Spirit of Juno; Royal St. George former race winner Adrian Lee is back on the Swan 60 Lee Overlay (with RStGYC sailing manager Ronan Adams on board). Cliodhna Connolly on Swan 82 White Rhino. Kenny Rumball is the navigator on the Volvo 70 HYPR with a number of Irish crew. Will Byrne is on the Mills 41 Final Final. Seamus McHugh is racing on the Class40 T'quila, James Carroll returns on Black Pearl, and Cork's double Volvo Race winner Justin Slattery races on Ran 8. 

Kenny Rumball is the navigator on the Volvo 70 HYPR500Kenny Rumball is the navigator on the Volvo 70 HYPR500 charterted to an Irish 'Emerald Race Team' for the C600

Dublin Bay’s Emerald Racing team have chartered the Volvo Open 70 Hypr Ocean Racing to compete in the RORC Caribbean 600. Hypr is one of four Volvo 70’s in the super zero class, with Roy Disney’s Pyewaket and I Love Poland expected to present stiff competition within the class. Emerald Racing has based itself at Falmouth Harbour Antigua for pre-race training and has tested both themselves and the yacht in big breeze in the lead-up to the 600-mile classic under boat captain Jens Lindner. The Dublin-based Emerald Racing crew members include Ben Duncan, Kenny Rumball, Brian Moran (RSGYC), Mal Moir (RIYC), Jake Mealy ((RSGYC), Joe Turner (HYC), Philip Connor (NYC), Jim Foley and Roman Mouchel.

On Monday 20th, February, the first warning signal will sound at Fort Charlotte for an epic race featuring a highly competitive and varied fleet of IRC Offshore boats, Class40s and Multihulls.

Entry List Link is here

11:00 AST Start - IRC One & IRC Two

Twenty-eight teams racing in IRC One and IRC Two will be first away. The largest start features a bounty of different boats racing under the IRC Rating System.

Among the favourites for IRC One are Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) and Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA). The highest-rated boats in IRC One are two Akilaria 40s designed by Marc Lombard; Stephane Bry’s Sirius II (FRA) and Marek Culen & Miroslav Jakubcik’s Sabre II (SVK). Jon Desmond’s Mills 41 Final Final (USA) is one of the fastest boats in IRC One.

The largest boat in the first start is the famous 73ft ketch Pen Duick VI (FRA), skippered by Marie Tabarly. Two other classics include the Whitbread winner Briand 58 L’Esprit d’Equipe (FRA), skippered by Lionel Regnier and the Nielsen 59 Hound (USA), owned by Tom Stark. Challenger 72 Discoverer of Hornet (GBR) is sailed by the Royal Navy. The smallest boat in IRC One is RP37 Taz (ANT); owner Bernie Evan-Wong has skippered boats in every race. 2009 winning skipper Adrian Lee will be racing his Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II (IRL). Antiguan Farr 65 Spirit of Juno (ANT) skippered by David Hanks, has the youngest sailor in the race - Emily Guillard is just 15 years old.

Among the favourites for IRC Two are Peter Lewis’ all-Bajan team on J/111 Whistler (BAR) and Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA), which was a class winner and third overall in 2020. Bob Manchester’s J/133 Vamoose (USA) was in fine form winning class in the Antigua 360 Race, part of the new RORC Nelson’s Cup Series. The largest boat in IRC Two is Clipper 60 Bluejay of Portsmouth (GBR) skippered by Andy Young.

The smallest boat in the race is Szymon Kuczynski’s Figaro One Hultaj (POL), which is one of five teams racing in IRC Two-Handed. Kate Cope’s Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist will also be in the first start. Kate is racing with co-skipper Claire Dresser; the first all-women double-handed team to finish the RORC Transatlantic Race. 

IRC One: Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra from Wales Photo: Rick TomlinsonIRC One: Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra from Wales Photo: Rick Tomlinson

IRC Two: Peter Lewis’ all-Bajan team on J/111 Whistler (BAR) Photo: Tim WrightIRC Two: Peter Lewis’ all-Bajan team on J/111 Whistler (BAR) Photo: Tim Wright

11:10 AST Start - IRC Zero & Class40

Twenty five boats will be in the second start featuring 10 carbon-fibre IRC weapons and a record entry of 13 hi-tech Class40s. A truly international spectrum with boats from 13 different countries. 

Race pundits are predicting an overall winner under IRC coming from IRC Zero, but which boat will lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy is far from certain. 

Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine (FRA) is among the favourites having won the RORC Transatlantic Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race. The fastest rated boat under IRC in the second start is the Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER) skippered by Stefan Jentzsch. Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán 8 (SWE) is rated the second fastest under IRC, and third highest is Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN).

The largest boat in this year’s race will be in the second start; Tod Stuart’s Swan 82 White Rhino (USA). The two smallest boats in IRC Zero are RORC Commodore James Neville’s HH42 Ino XXX and Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 – Corum (FRA). Kate & Jim Murray’s Pac52 Callisto (USA) and Evans & Sheehan’s JV52 Hooligan will definitely be in the mix, as will the lightweight canting keel flyer Henry de Bokay’s Elliott 52 Rafale (GER).

A record entry of 13 Class40s will be blasting off in the second start of the RORC Caribbean 600, including some of the latest designs of the pocket-rocket flying machines. The Class40 Race Record was set in 2018 by Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil (FRA): 61 hours, 0 minutes, 15 seconds. Racing under Class40 rules, the first Class40 to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 will be the winner of the Concise Rum Barrel, suitably filled.

Marc Lepesqueux’s Lombard Curium (FRA) and Mach5 IBSA (ITA), co-skippered by Albi Bona and Pablo Santurde are both newly launched boats. Ambrogio Beccaria’s Alla Grande – Pirelli (ITA) was second in the 2022 Route du Rhum. James McHugh’s Mach4 Tquila (SUI) was fourth in the Route du Rhum, raced by former owner Simon Koster who will be on board. Past race winners include the Verdier-designed BHB (FRA), now raced by Paul Brandel, and the Botin-designed Tales 2 (FRA) now raced by Route du Rhum finisher JB Daramy.

IRC Zero: Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER) skippered by Stefan Jentzsch and with James Carroll onboard Photo: Tim WrightIRC Zero: Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER) skippered by Stefan Jentzsch and with James Carroll onboard Photo: Tim Wright

Class40: Ambrogio Beccaria’s Alla Grande – Pirelli (ITA) Photo: Martina OrsiniClass40: Ambrogio Beccaria’s Alla Grande – Pirelli (ITA) Photo: Martina Orsini

11:20 AST Start - IRC SuperZero

IRC Super Zero promises to be a thrilling shoot-out for seven round the world canting-keel raceboats. Boats competing come from Austria, Spain, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and the USA. It is likely that one of these boats will take Monohull Line Honours and maybe, just maybe, win overall under IRC as David & Peter Askew's American Volvo 70 Wizard did in 2019. 

The favourite for Monohull Line Honours is the turbo-charged Volvo 70 Pyewacket 70 (USA) owned by Roy Pat Disney, which is the highest rated boat under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600. A close tussle is expected on the water between two Volvo 70s; Jens Lindner’s HYPR (ESP) is skippered by Seamus Fitzpatrick, and the all-Polish team on I love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski, which took Line Honours in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Johannes Schwartz’s Volvo 70 Green Dragon (NED) has 15 RORC members on board, including most of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s main committee. 

Three VO65s will have a full-on one design battle as a sabbatical from the on-going race around the world: The Ocean Race. No doubt the battle with the Volvo 70s will also be spicing up the action. Wind Whisper (POL), skippered by Volvo Ocean Race winner Joca Signorini is the leading VO65 in The Ocean Race. Third in The Ocean Race, Sisi (AUT) skippered by Gerwin Jansen is also racing. Ambersail 2 (LTU) has been chartered for the race and skippered by Poland’s Przemyslaw Tarnacki.

Multihull: Giovanni Soldini's Multi 70 Maserati Photo: Arthur Daniel/RORCMultihull: Giovanni Soldini's Multi 70 Maserati Photo: Arthur Daniel/RORC

11:30 AST Start - Multihull

Ten multihulls are the last to start in the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600. Racing under the MOCRA Rule for class honours, there is no doubt that two boats will be lighting the afterburners for Multihull Line Honours and potentially the outright Race Record; Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 (ITA) and MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) with Erik Maris at the helm. Jason Carroll’s Argo set the outright record last year: 29 hours, 38 mins, 44 secs. Maserati and Zoulou are both very capable of setting a new record.

Two Gunboats will be in action; Gunboat 68 Tosca (USA) co-skippered by Ken Howery and Alex Thomson is by far the quickest. Gunboat 60 Cui Bono (USA) is owned by race debutant Rob Merwin and skippered by Canadian Freddie Mills. The MOCRA Class features two historic multihulls; Formula 40 Spirit (USA) owned by Bostonian AJ Meyer, and Guy Chester’s Lock Crowther trimaran Oceans Tribute (AUS). High Performance multihulls racing include Guyader Saveol (FRA) skippered by Gwen Chapalain, MG5 (FRA) co-skippered by Marc Guillemot and Ben Dale-Jones, Oren Nataf’s Pulsar 50 (MON) Rayon Vert, and Vince Willemart’s TS42 Banzai (BEL).

Watch the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 LIVE! Tune into the RORC YouTube Channel ( from 10:30 AST (UTC-4) Monday 20th February.Watch the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 LIVE! Tune into the RORC YouTube Channel ( from 10:30 AST (UTC-4) Monday 20th February.

To follow the race with satellite tracking below

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.


Louay Habib

About The Author

Louay Habib

Email The Author

Louay Habib is a Maritime Journalist & Broadcaster based in Hamble, United Kingdom

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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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