High and Mighty

High and Mighty
23 Feb 2018

High winds and mighty seas continued for the third day of the 2018 RORC Caribbean 600. Eight teams have finished the race and 34 yachts have now officially retired, with 40 teams still racing.

Peter Aschenbrenner’s team racing his 63ft trimaran Paradox will be celebrating tonight. After MOCRA time correction, Paradox cannot be beaten for the overall win in the multihull category. In the Class40 division Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil is expected to round Redonda at dusk to hanker down for a brutal 30-mile beat to the finish. Eärendil can sense victory with a 24-mile lead on their nearest rival, Louis Burton’s BHB.

George David’s Rambler remains in pole position for RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best corrected time under IRC, however 35 yachts in the record IRC fleet are still racing. Jens Kellinghusen’s Ker 56 Varuna is currently fourth overall and has filed for redress having altered course to assist in the rescue of Fujin during the race. “It was rough and very wet,” commented Jens Kellinghusen. “However, we have no injuries to our crew and we didn’t break anything. Varuna now has additional structure of 180 kg and the boat has held up extremely well.”

Jens Kellinghusen’s Ker 56 Varuna is currently fourth overall © RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Tilmar Hansen’s German Elliott 52 Outsider was just eight minutes behind Varuna in IRC Zero.

Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer has come the closest to beating Rambler 88 for the overall win. The team mainly from Rhode Island USA, finished the race in just under 52 hours, falling short of the best corrected time by just over one hour. “We lost our headstay on the first night and we were hanking on the head sail,” explained Privateer’s boat captain, Tim Dawson. “The bow team deserve a huge round of applause and it was great to get such a greeting as we docked in Antigua for the legendary ‘600 welcome. For sure we left a bit out on the race course; we also had to take a full batten out of the main which really hampered our upwind speed for the final beat. I have done a lot of races and that has to be one of the toughest.”

2013 race winner, Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer on the dock in Antigua © RORC/Mags Hudgell

Vestas 11th Hour Racing skipper Charlie Enright, taking part in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race was on board Privateer for the race. Audio interview here: https://soundcloud.com/louay-habib/2018-rorc-caribbean-600-charlie-enright-privateer

In IRC One, nine teams are still racing: Philippe Frantz’s French NM43 Albator is the provisional leader and is en-route to Redonda, 120-miles from the finish. Kevin & Sean McLaughlin’s American J/44 Spice and Lombard 46 Pata Negra, skippered by Irishman Michael Wright and his Howth YC team are in a close battle for second.

In IRC Two, 10 yachts are still racing. Ossie Stewart and Ross Applebey’s British Dufour 45 Scarlet Island Girl is estimated to be leading the class by over an hour after time correction. Scarlet Island Girl has completed the rough ride around Guadeloupe and are setting reaching sails for the blast up to Barbuda.

In IRC Three, four yachts are still racing. Conor Fogerty’s Irish Sunfast 3600 Bam is locked in a tremendous battle with British Two Handed JPK 10.10 Jangada, skippered by Richard Palmer, sailing with Jeremy Waitt.

For more information and to follow the race, please go to: http://caribbean600.rorc.org

Tracker: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Race-Information/Tracking/

Philippe Frantz’s French NM43 Albator is provisionally leading IRC One © RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Currently leading IRC Two – Scarlet Island Girl at the start of the 10th edition of the race © RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Battling it out in IRC Three: Conor Fogerty’s Irish Sunfast 3600 Bam © RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com