RORC Caribbean 600 – Day 2

Antigua, 20 February 2024: By morning (0800 AST) on day two of the RORC Caribbean 600, the vast majority of the fleet was negotiating the northerly extreme of the course, weaving through the chicane of islands; Saba, Sint Maarten, and St. Barths. The leading MOD70s were negotiating the infamous wind shadow of Guadeloupe; Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA) was four miles ahead of Erik Maris’ Zoulou (FRA). The two boats are locked in a battle for line honours, likely to be decided later today, Tuesday 20 February. Alexia Barrier’s MOD70 Limosa – The Famous Project (FRA) was 14 miles behind Argo, less than 30 minutes in MOD70 speed.

Argo’s Chad Corning managed a quick message as they passed out of the wind shadow of Guadeloupe: “All good out here; we managed to survive Guadeloupe and are on our way to the point at Grande Terre. We have had a nice battle with both MOD’s – hoping to stay in front!”

The leading monohull was Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff, which was halfway down the long leg from St Barths to Guadeloupe. Prior to the race start, the wind was due to drop on Wednesday 21 February, but the latest forecast shows an improved picture for the smaller, slower boats in the RORC Caribbean 600. The trade winds are still forecast to become unstable, but more wind is now expected.

Class Analytics 0800 AST 20 February

IRC Overall

Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet (FRA) was leading overall under IRC by 32 minutes from Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE). Leopard 3 was 90 minutes behind Daguet. The overall lead has seen many changes since the race start, and it is far too early to predict who will lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.

IRC Super Zero

Farr 100 Leopard 3 leads the big boat class by six hours after IRC time correction. Marten 72 Aragon (NED) skippered by Nadir Balena was six hours behind Leopard after time correction. Third in IRC Super Zero, nine hours behind Leopard was the Wally 107 Spirit of Malouen X (FRA), skippered by Stephane Nieve and sailed by the Paprec Sailing Team.

IRC Zero

Daguet 3 leads IRC Zero, but that is likely to change as the leading boats are bracing themselves for fast reaching conditions later today. Rán has just passed St Barths and is about to hit the turbo-chargers what looks like a windy power reach south to Guadeloupe. Peter & David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA) is eight miles behind Rán. Daguet, Wizard, as well as James Neville’s Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR) know that this is a crucial part of the race where Rán maybe at their strongest.

Class40

James McHugh’s Tquila has been the class leader for much of the early part of the race and is hanging on by a few minutes to that lead as the Class40s negotiate the Anguilla Strait. Just three minutes behind is LHOROne (FRA) skippered by Guillaume Pirouelle. Melwin Fink’s Sign for Com (GER) was in third. Tquila is one of the older generation Manuard designs and has been the star performer so far. However, with a long reach to come, the modern scow bows may shake up the leader board.

IRC One

The three JPK 1180s in the race are having an intense battle on the beat to St. Barths, literally matching each other for speed. Richard Fromentin’s Cocody (FRA) has the lowest IRC rating of the three JPK 1180s and leads the class. In the mix with the JPK 1180s after time correction was Frans van Cappelle & Michelle Witsenburg’s J/122 Moana (NED), which is ranked second ahead of Sunrise III powered by Zen (AUS), skippered by Gordon Ketelbey. Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader (GBR) is just off the podium in fourth.

IRC Two

The leader on corrected time in IRC Two is still Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA). However Gavin Howe’s Sun Fast 3600 Tigris (GBR) is giving In Theory plenty to think about. Tigris is 90 minutes behind after IRC time correction. Just about every boat in IRC Two is beating towards St Barths, and Bernie Evan-Wong’s Lapworth 39 Huey Too (ANT) is revelling in the upwind conditions, challenging the leading boats after IRC time correction.

TRACK THE FLEET

All yachts are fitted with a race tracker for the duration of the race and their progress can be followed at:

https://caribbean600.rorc.org/tracking or download the YB Races App.

HOW TO FOLLOW THE RACE: https://caribbean600.rorc.org/how-to-follow-the-2024-rorc-caribbean-600

Facebook: www.facebook.com/royaloceanracingclub
Instagram: instagram.com/rorcracing

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