The overall winner of the 12th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 was Tilmar Hansen's TP52 Outsider (GER), skippered by Bo Teichmann; the first German boat to lift the RORC Caribbean Trophy, breaking a seven-year winning streak of winners from the USA.
Runner-up was the defending champion, David and Peter Askew's Volvo 70 Wizard (USA), which also took monohull line honours. One of the smallest boats in the race was third, Peter McWhinnie's JPK 10.80 In Theory (USA).
“This is a great race, one of the greatest experiences in my 38 years with this team,” Tilmar Hansen commented.
“We kept going and that is down to excellent teamwork and a well-prepared boat. Outsider is not just a German boat; the team is also from Australia, Denmark, USA, Poland, Netherlands and Austria. Congratulations to the RORC for their meticulous organisation and also to Antigua for the fantastic welcome.”
The winner of the MOCRA Class was Adrian Keller's Nigel Irens 83ft catamaran Allegra. Christiaan Durrant (AUS) racing his Nigel Irens 63ft Trimaran Shockwave was runner-up. Jason Carroll's MOD70 Argo (USA) was third. Multihull Line Honours went to Peter Cunningham's MOD70 PowerPlay (CAY).
IRC Zero was won by Outsider, with Wizard second. Eric de Turckheim's NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) was third. The Bella Mente Trophy was won by Landry, Siwicki and Roesch's Mills 68 Prospector (USA).
IRC Two was won by Scarlet Oyster; the sixth class win for the Oyster 48 and the seventh for the boat’s skipper, Ross Applebey (GBR). Pamala Baldwin's J/122 Liquid (ANT), skippered by Jules White was runner-up in both IRC Two and CSA Two. Global Yacht Racing's First 47.7 EH01 (GBR), skippered by Andy Middleton, was third in IRC Two.
“That was easily the toughest race I have done both mentally and physically; there was so may twist and turns,” Applebey said.
“The close racing with young friend Jules (White), and of course Andy (Middleton) with EH01 saw us stick together with a bungee for half the race. When you get parked up you have to regroup and come back, and our crew just kept working – they were incredible. It was a real war of attrition the whole way around. You invest so much into this race, to try and do the best you can, and this year it was very close.”
IRC Three was won by Peter McWhinnie's JPK 10.80, In Theory (USA). Richard Oswald's Emily of Cowes, skippered by Katy Campbell (CAN) was second. Yoyo Gerssen at the helm of his Ohlson 35 Cabbyl Vane, was determined to finish the race, and after almost exactly five days, crossed the line to take third.
IRC Two Handed was won by Richard Palmer's JPK 10.10 Jangada (GBR), adding to their overall win in the RORC Transatlantic Race. Last year's winner, Jeremi Jablonski's Hanse 430 Avanti (USA) was second.
Peter McWhinnie's team is mainly from the Larchmont YC situated on Larchmont Harbor in Westchester County, New York: “The team is very experienced and in Long Island Sound we have learnt a few tricks on how to keep going in light airs,” he said.
“The biggest gain during the race was in the lee of St. Kitts. We kept going and stretched out six miles on our class. If the wind had not dropped off on Thursday, we would have had a real chance of winning the race overall. The team is all Corinthian and we are really happy with our performance.”
The Class40 Division was won by BHB, sailed by Arthur Hubert (FRA). Morgane Ursault Poupon's UP Sailing (FRA) was runner-up. Arnt Bruhns' Iskareen (GER) completed the podium.
The last boat to finish the race, Cabbyl Vane, arrived the morning after the prize giving. The 1974 Ohlson 35 has been beautifully restored and optimised for offshore sailing. Last year Dutch brothers, Yoyo and Jan Gerssen, raced two handed, but retired, exhausted in the tough conditions. This year they were joined by Sam Frampton and Gertjan Andel. There was a huge gathering at the Antigua Yacht Club cheered their arrival.
“This means so much to us,” smiled Yoyo Gerssen. “We were determined to finish the race – and that is down to the crew and a great boat. Racing 600 miles in Cabbyl Vane is a long way, but she was solid and so were the team.”
Seven hundred sailors from 37 countries, joined by the Antiguan yachting community, gathered at the Antigua Yacht Club for a grand finale to congratulate winners. All participating teams were honoured with a personalised souvenir in the shape of decanters, suitably filled with English Harbour five year-old rum.
Representing Antigua and Barbuda at the Prize Giving were His Excellency The Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, The Hon Charles Fernandez Minister for Tourism, Walter Christopher, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry and Tourism and Shirlene Nibbs, Consultant to the Ministry of Tourism.
Full Results: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Race-Information/Results/