Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

2024 RORC Caribbean 600 Gets Off to a Classic Start

20th February 2024
A glittering start to the 15th RORC Caribbean 600 from Antigua on February 19th 2024
A glittering start to the 15th RORC Caribbean 600 from Antigua Credit: Tim Wright

Over 500 sailors from around the globe gathered off Fort Charlotte, Antigua, on Monday, 19th February, to participate in a stunning start to the 15th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.

The non-stop 600nm race, which involves sailing around 11 Caribbean islands, saw 64 boats take to the start in perfect conditions.

A south-easterly breeze, gusting up to 17 knots, ensured a fast start to this Caribbean classic.

Among the Irish sailors competing, Irish crew, Tom McWilliam of Royal Cork is racing on Leopard in IRC Super Zero, and fellow Corkonian Justin Slattery is onboard Ran in IRC Zero.

Just one month after finishing the world's toughest rowing race across the Atlantic, Mark Bolger is on the crew of Andrew and Sam Hall 's Pata Negra and he is joined in Antigua by his younger sister Jane, who is based in Newport and works as a First mate on a Swan.

Peter McWhinnie's 'In Theory' Takes the Lead in IRC Two Five Hours into the Caribbean 600

The outer distance mark was very busy for the first start with four charter boats giving their guests on board the thrill of winning the pin end: Harmony 52 Sao Jorge (GBR) skippered by Anne Tyler-Morgan and First 40.7 Escapado (GBR) skippered Andy Parritt jostled for position along with Elan 450 Emily of Cowes (GBR) skippered by Richard Laver, and Katy Campbell’s Salona 45 Panacea X (CAN). Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) got a great start near the pin, as did Gavin Howe’s Sun Fast 3600 Tigris (GBR) all the way inshore.

Approximately five hours into the race, the leader on corrected time in IRC Two is Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA). The leader for IRC One was Richard Fromentin’s JPK 1180 Cocody (FRA). Joel Aronson’s Hylas 49 Rule One (USA) was over the line but returned to start correctly.

The IRC One & Two start shows Gavin Howe's Sunfast 3600 Tigris (GBR914R) on port tack Photo: Tim WrightThe IRC One & Two start shows Gavin Howe's Sunfast 3600 Tigris (GBR914R) on port tack Photo: Tim Wright

Peter & David Askew's Wizard Leads IRC Zero

The second start was a combination of some of the most technically advanced boats in the race, and the race to the line was just as competitive as the first start. RP42 Rikki (USA) skippered by Bruce Chafee was the closest to the line in the minute before the start. Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet (FRA) made a bold move reaching in from an offshore position into a ball of boats but managed to find enough room to get onto Rikki’s tale and then just get the bow down for an electric start. Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE) made a good start inshore of Rikki and Daguet. Peter & David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA) also got away well. James Neville’s Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR) was over the line, but returned to start correctly. Five hours into the race, leading the IRC Zero Class after time correction was Peter & David Askew’s Wizard.

In the Class40 division, Richard Palmer’s Jangada 40 (GBR) skippered by Rupert Holmes made a clean start inshore. James McHugh’s Tquila and Mathieu Jones’ Alternative Sailing - Constructions du Belon (FRA) also got away to a flyer. Five hours into the race Tquila was the clear leader in the Class40s.

The Botin 52 Wizard (USA) & Carkeek 52 Rán close to shore after the Fort Charlotte start of the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 race.  Photo: Alex TurnbullThe Botin 52 Wizard (USA) & Carkeek 52 Rán close to shore after the Fort Charlotte start of the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 race.  Photo: Alex Turnbull

The Class40 Start in a near-perfect south easterly breeze, gusting up to 17 knots for the  start of the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 race Photo: Tim WrightThe Class40 Start in a near-perfect south easterly breeze, gusting up to 17 knots for the  start of the 2024 RORC Caribbean 600 race Photo: Tim Wright

Leopard 3 Takes the Lead in IRC Super Zero

Four Maxis barrelling into the pin at top speed was a breath-taking sight for the IRC Super Zero start. In the mix were Farr 70 Ocean Breeze (AUT) skippered by Johanne Schwartz and VO65 Sisi (AUT) skippered by Gerwin Jansen. Just tucked in behind the pair was Atlas Ocean Racing’s Juan K 70 Il Mostro (CAN). Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff and Sergio Giglio’s Southern Wind 102 Egiwave (ITA) were bow level at the start, but Leopard pulled clear and five hours into the race was the leading monohull on the water and after IRC time correction.

Farr 100 Leopard 3 and Paprec Sailing Team on Spirit of Malouen X France's Spirit of Malouen X , a Wally 107 skippered by Stephane Neve to weather Photo: Tim Wright/RORCFarr 100 Leopard 3 and Paprec Sailing Team on Spirit of Malouen X France's Spirit of Malouen X , a Wally 107 skippered by Stephane Neve to weather at the start of the Caribbean 600 Race Photo: Tim Wright 

Another view of the IRC Super Zero Farr 100 start of the Caribbean 600 Race with Leopard 3 and Paprec Sailing Team on Spirit of Malouen X Photo: Tim Wright/RORCAnother view of the IRC Super Zero Farr 100 start of the Caribbean 600 Race with Leopard 3 and Paprec Sailing Team on Spirit of Malouen X Photo: Tim Wright/RORC

Realites Planet-R Takes the Lead in Epic Multihull MOCRA Race 

The last start featured 11 multihulls, including three MOD70s vying for the race record and Multihull Line Honours. As with all of the previous starts it was rush-hour at the pin end. However, Erik Maris’ MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) started on port, blasting right over the top of the fleet like Zoulou had been shot out of a cannon. Adrian Keller’s Irens 84 Allegra (SUI) got a great start at the pin end. Alexia Barrier’s MOD7 Limosa – The Famous Project (FRA) got away to a fast start, but Jason Carroll’s MOD70 Argo (USA) was late over the line. Guy Chester’s Ocean Tribute (AUS) and Wooldridge & Davis’ Triple Jack (BVI) got a clean start. Five hours into the race, Argo was leading on the water from Limosa – Famous Project, with Zoulou in third. After MOCRA time correction, Fabrice Cahierc’s Ocean Fifty Realites Planet-R (FRA) was leading after five hours of racing.

The MOD70 Zoulou of France in full flight after the  start of the RORC Caribbean 600 Photo: Tim Wright The MOD70 Zoulou of France in full flight after the  start of the RORC Caribbean 600 Photo: Tim Wright 

No Limit and the diverse MOCRA fleet begin the non-stop 600nm race, which involves sailing around 11 Caribbean islands Photo: Arthur DanielNo Limit and the diverse MOCRA fleet begin the non-stop 600nm race, which involves sailing around 11 Caribbean islands Photo: Arthur Daniel

“It is always great to see the fleet all get away to a clear start,” commented RORC Race Director Steve Cole. “The RORC Race Team will be monitoring the fleet 24-7. All teams in the race will be greeted by the invaluable Caribbean 600 Volunteers with warm smiles and cold Carib beers. We wish all competitors a great race and look forward to seeing them all safely back in Antigua after they have finished.”

Teams in the RORC Caribbean 600 are sending in videos, pictures and messages from the race course which are posted on the live blog. The RORC Social Media Channels are also covering many aspects of the race. The RORC Caribbean 600 forms part of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Season Points Championships, the world's largest offshore racing series.

Published in Caribbean 600

Caribbean 600 Race Live Tracker 2024

Track the progress of the 2024 Caribbean 600 Race fleet on the live tracker above 

The 15th edition of the 600-mile race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club starts on Monday, February 19th from Antigua.

 

Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

PAST WINNERS: RORC CARIBBEAN 600 TROPHY - IRC OVERALL: (Best corrected time under IRC)

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)

RACE RECORDS:

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 2024

The 15th anniversary edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts in Antigua on 19th February 2024.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating