It is already being celebrated as “The Race of the Year”, even though 2017 is barely two months old. But it is difficult to visualise any forthcoming contest that will quite match the 600-miles-plus ding-dong that was the battle for the win in the RORC Caribbean 600 in February. Two of the most potent racing monohulls currently on the world scene, the Maxi 72s Proteus and Bella Mente, ended up in a red-hot race of their own that made the rest of the splendid fleet seem almost an irrelevance.
Not only was it two great boats in perfect tune, but the crew lineup on both was world class through and through. Ireland had sent of her very best, as Gordon Maguire was on the strength in Proteus, while Ian Moore was sailing as navigator/tactician on Bella Mente.
Threading your way through the Caribbean 600’s unique multi-island course results in a track chart which looks like the preliminary sketches for a bulimic Dalek. Thus the navigator/tactician’s already important role becomes even more significant. But as they closed towards the finish and Ian Moore’s positioning of Bella Mente showed he’d made the win move, the destination of the Afloat.ie “Sailor of the Month (Racing)” award for February 2017 became indisputably clear-cut.