#caribbean600 – Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Privateer has clinched the overall IRC win in the RORC Caribbean 600 after a wellnigh perfect race which saw the Newport, Rhode Island boat and crew sweep into the finish at Antigua to topple the much-fancied JV 72 Belle Mente (Hap Fauth) from the winning slot by just over 22 minutes on corrected time writes W M Nixon.
In one of the toughest Caribbean 600s yet sailed, this is the second time a Cookson 50 has won overall – the inaugural race in 2009 had Privateer's Irish sister-ship Lee Overlay Partners (Adrian Lee) taking the title. The continuing list of successes confirms the Farr-designed canting keel boats built by Mike Cookson of New Zealand as a modern classic – Adrian Lee's boat, then known as Ger O'Rourke's Chieftain, was overall winner of the 2007 Fastnet, and the marque has had many other successes since it first hit the water in 2004.
The Irish contingent has had mixed fortunes in this year's race, but two of the bigger boats – the hundred foot Cape Arrow (IRL 1416) owned by Tuskar Shipping, and the Briand 76 Lilla (IRL 7600) owned by Kinsale YC members Simon and Nancy de Pietro, are finished and well placed, with Cape Arrow at 12th overall while Lilla is better again, 8th overall and currently lying first in IRC 1. We'll have a full report and analysis in the Sailing on Saturday blog.