RACE RECORDS, LINE HONOURS, AND TOP PODIUM POSITIONS
Caribbean 600 Is A Showcase of Success for North Sails Powered Entries
📸RORC / Arthur Daniel / Tim Wright
The 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 proved successful for North Sails clients, who captured top podium positions, claiming multi and monohull line honours, and setting a new race record. The 600-mile non-stop race is the Caribbean’s premier offshore ocean race and a highlight of the winter sailing season.
Peter and David Askew’s VO70 Wizard claimed monohull line honors and also the coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, scoring the best corrected time under IRC in their event debut. Skippered by two-time Volvo Ocean Race veteran Charlie Enright, Wizard was powered up and planing around the islands in what the Askew brothers agree is a great race. Starting the year with an early victory sets Wizard up for an intense 2019 sailing schedule which includes the Transatlantic Race, Rolex Fastnet, and Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Multi 70 Maserati, skippered by Giovanni Soldini raced around the islands in a record-breaking 1 day, 6 hours and 49 minutes. Soldini and crew had a formidable opponent in Jason Carroll’s Mod 70 Argo who made a quick recovery from a training day capsize and followed Maserati less than ten minutes behind. In a race that almost didn’t happen, Soldini commended Argo for an all-hands-on-deck effort to make the start line on Monday. “It was the first time in history that a multihull so big came back from a capsize like that – incredible,” commented Soldini. I was very happy to agree to delay that start, to race against one of the best teams in the world.”
Wizard claimed first place IRC overall, with TP52 Tala up in second. The Caribbean 600 was the first event in the ex-Spookie for David Collins who recently outfitted Tala with the North Helix sails. Tala deployed their Helix Fractional Zero on the first leg North and launched their Helix Masthead Zero on the way to Saber and Rodonda.
Gunboat 62 Chim Chim sits on top of the podium with the best correct time under MOCRA in the multihull class. Owner John Gallagher was quick to comment on having a great regatta, crediting mother nature for putting a Super Moon on display for the fleet. Second place Fujin was back for the 2019 race after experiencing a capsize and safe rescue off Saba Island in 2018. Back on the dock in Antigua, Fujin owner Greg Slyngstad remarked that crossing the finish line was emotional, and a milestone in moving past the events of 2018.
After CSA time correction, the overall winner of the CSA Division was Wizard. Franco Niggeler’s Cookson 50 Kuka 3 skippered by veteran ocean racer Chuny Bermudez claims second place. Todd Stuart’s Carkeek 47 White Rhino 2 rounds out the CSA Overall podium with third place.
Class 40 Earendil from France won their class against a record number of entries in 2019. This is the second consecutive win for skipper Catherine Pourre who said the race was stressful and boils her team’s success down to smart sail selection. “The key factor was having the right sails for the different legs,” remarked Pourre. “It was match racing all the way, especially at the end and we were really under pressure all of the time.
Superyacht Nikata saw 12-18 knots of boat speed as they dashed around the Caribbean islands. Navigator Askel Maghdal remarked, “the Caribbean 600 is super busy, we’re turning corners all the time. We didn’t get much sleep, but this race is a must do to put on the calendar.”