600 miles of Match Racing

With only a few teams stil out a see, the Caribbean 600 continues to provide extraordinary racing and thrilling competition. During the last 24 hours, the majority of the fleet has finished, allowing for an early glimpse at what might well be the overall standings on corrected time. American Maxi and AAR-competitor Rambler 88 by George David managed to hold off fierce competition by team Privateer, a Cookson 50 with a very capable American crew which was accompanied by Team Vestas Skipper Charlie Enright for the Caribbean 600.

Even though the initial design of the Cookson 50 dates back to 2003, the canting-keel pocket-rocket still proves very capable of high performance offshore racing. Currently sitting in third place is the Volvo 70 “Warrior” sailed by USMMA Sailing Foundation. The former Volvo Ocean Race boat “Camper” was approx. 2 hours behind Rambler 88 and 1 hour in front of Varuna over the line. Varuna by Jens Kellinghusen put up a great performance during the race, sitting on top of the leaderboard on corrected time just until miles off the finish. However, as Varuna filed for redress having altered course to assist in the rescue of Fujin during the race, we might see changes in corrected times.

Currently sitting in fifth place on corrected times overall is Tilmar Hansens’ German Elliott 52ss Outsider. Like Rambler 88 and Varuna, Outsider will be racing in the AAR-Eastbound this summer from Bermuda to Hamburg then skippered by Dr. Harald Bruening.

In the Class40 division Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil managed to secure victory over Louis Burton’s BHB. “The team did a fantastic job”, said Pourre. “I didn't know we were going to break the record, but we have two crew from Tales who had the record and said we could do it with the forecast conditions,” commented Catherine Pourre. “We had 25 knots almost all the time, with 30 knot gusts. It was very, very wet on deck and inside the boat it was very rough as we were bumping on the waves. When we were upwind I got seasick and it was difficult for me to recover because we had no respite; even reaching was really rough.”

Impressions which all Caribbean 600 competitors share. In the Class40, two AAR-teams battled each other along the racetrack for over three days. In a mixture of match-racing and airborne dog-fight, team Red and team ISKAREEN put up a relentless high-speed chase which was literally decided on the last miles of the race with ISKAREEN taking the lead from Red on the final beat to the finish. ISKAREEN skipper Arnt Bruhns commented: “Our crew Max Droege managed to cut the decisive corner on Red this morning. All of the sudden we were in striking distance and decided to put up a fight for good. It was a very intense but very rewarding way to finish this race.” Describing impressions from his first regatta with the all new ISKAREEN Bruhns said: “It was windy, pretty rough with seas of around 4 to 5 meters. The waves were rolling in from the Atlantic, squeezing themselves through the Caribbean islands and hence becoming very steep. In addition, tropical cloud bursts and squalls made for an all but comfortable ride. Speeds in excess of 19 knots with cruising speeds of around 16 knots make sailing feel like wrestling with a fire-hose. Very spectacular!” Team Red finished half an hour behind ISKAREEN, coming in fourth in the Class40 division.

Just a few hours behind the Class40s came the three AAR-competitors and youth training yachts Haspa Hamburg, Bank von Bremen and Broader View Hamburg with Haspa Hamburg finishing just twenty minutes after ISKAREEN. Albeit sailing in different classes, the three teams are always in an internal battle for line-honor glories depicting the friendship and sportsmanship between the two clubs HVS and SKWB. For the Hamburg-based HVS it was rewarding to see Haspa Hamburg finishing in front of SKWBs Bank von Bremen. During AAR-Westbound, it was Bremen before Hamburg and we are sure the three crews will give it another shot during the AAR-Eastbound when its heading home to Hamburg.

AAR-crews of Swan 48 Dantés, Volvo 70 Monster Project and SuperMaxi CQS abandoned the race mainly for safety or technical reasons.

Follow the race here: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Tracking-Players/2018-fleet-tracking.html

Photo: RORC

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