RORC Nelson’s Cup Series – Antigua 360

The 2024 Nelson’s Cup Series was back in action on Friday 16th February, with the Antigua 360 Race. Thirty four entries included multihulls racing under MOCRA, three IRC Classes, and the Class40 Division.

A light south easterly breeze provided a comfortable start for the RORC fleet. The start line mirrored the RORC Caribbean 600, providing great practice for the showcase 600-miler which will run for the 15th edition on Monday 19th February. In the IRC Two start Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader got away to a flyer, as did James Neville’s Ino Noir in IRC One. Jason Carroll’s Zoulou and Adrian Keller’s Allegra got the best start in the Multihull Class.

Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE) © Arthur Daniel/RORC
Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE) © Arthur Daniel/RORC

The best corrected time under IRC for the Antigua 360 was scored by Niklas Zennstrom’s Carkeek 52 Rán (SWE) in IRC One. Leopard 3 (MON) racing in IRC Zero was just a minute behind Rán after IRC time correction.

Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) © Alex Turnbull
Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) © Alex Turnbull

“A good result for Rán, and that is what matters, but we had a really good tussle with Wizard all the way around the course,” commented Niklas Zennstrom. “We got a little bit of a better start but they went offshore and got better breeze and came back into us. We held Wizard off, but off the North East Coast of Antigua the wind went to 10 knots of VMG downwind and they passed us. After that the wind went to a reaching angle and we passed them and extended from there to the finish. It was a really tight race. For 75% of the time Wizard was ahead on corrected time, it was really only the last hour. Team Rán puts a lot of emphasis on preparation, and the intensity of racing is difficult to create in practice. The Nelson’s Cup Series is a great event and we fully support the RORC in organising it.”

PRO Stefan Kunstmann staggered the starts with the multihulls last away. This produced an epic duel approaching the finish as Erik Maris’ MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) ducked Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON), skippered by Joost Schuijff. Leopard 3 crossed the finish line just 11 seconds ahead of Erik Maris’ MOD70 Zoulou! Kiteboarder Tiger Tyson, who will be representing Antigua & Barbuda in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games started last, but finished first. Setting a personal record time of 2 hours, 13 mins 42 secs for the 52-mile race around Antigua.

Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 Argo (USA) © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com
Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 Argo (USA) © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 Argo (USA) took Multihull Line Honours in an elapsed time of 3 Hours, 14 mins 23. Zoulou was second over the line, eight minutes behind Argo, with Alexia Barrier’s MOD70 Limosa (FRA) third over the line. After MOCRA time correction Argo was the winner, but only by less than two minutes from Adrian Keller’s Irens 84 Allegra (SUI). Fabrice Cahierc’s Ocean Fifty Planet-R (FRA) was third in class. This was the first race between the three MOD70s since Argo won the RORC Transatlantic Race.

“We have been practising starting a lot over the last few days and we stuck to the system for the Antigua 360. We were also very interested in the first beat and the transition at Green Island, all good information for the ‘600. Jason (Carroll) was back on the helm and we are all set for the RORC Caribbean 600 start. Everything went well and Jason and the crew are all happy,” commented Argo’s Chad Corning.

Results for the Antigua 360 race can be found HERE

For more information, go to: https://caribbean600.rorc.org

ENDS/….Louay Habib

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