In less than two weeks a fleet of 87 yachts will embark on a 600-nautical mile journey through the Caribbean Sea. Crystal clear waters, astonishing landscapes and relentless racing is what lies ahead of the crews who entered the RORC Caribbean 600. The race-track is challenging as it holds about countless course-changes while navigating through the Caribbean Islands. For the crews of the fast canting-keel and maxi-yachts it’s no rest for the wicked on this 600-mile offshore-classic.
Over the past years the RORC Caribbean 600 established itself as one of the finest regattas in the Caribbean. For many yachtsmen the start off Antigua marks the first event of a Caribbean racing season. No wonder that the fleet is packed with AAR-competitors. With a total of 87 yachts already entered, this 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will have another record fleet. Among the fleet of 22 nations are 11 German teams, most of which already competed in the AAR-Westbound last November.
The selection of AAR-Veterans includes the three youth training yachts, Andrews 56 „Broader View Hamburg“ and J/V 52 „Haspa Hamburg“, by the HVS and the J/V 53 “Bank von Bremen” by the SKWB. The von Eicken Family is back with their Swan 56R “Latona”, as well as Class40 “Red” who will be racing against a total of seven Class40s. Overall-Winner of AAR-Westbound in ORC, Tilmar Hansen is back on track with Elliott 52ss “Outsider”. The Team will revive the battle against French NMD 54 “Teasing Machine”, who was victorious in the IRC-overall during AAR-Westbound. Jens Kellinghusen’s “Varuna VI” has arrived safely in Antigua and will be right in the mix among the top contenders of this race.
Another German entrant to watch is Stefan Jentzsch's Carkeek 47 “Black Pearl”. She was the fastest yacht under 50ft in the 2017 edition and has a highly talented crew, including America's Cup and 52 Super Series navigator, Marc Lagesse: “The RORC Caribbean 600 is the first regatta that Stefan (Jentzsch) puts on the calendar; it's such a great race," commented Lagesse. "We will be looking forward to lining up with Maverick, which should be a handful now they have been racing the boat for some time. We would be happy with downwind and upwind angles, either in light or strong wind, but when reaching, Maverick will deploy their foil and we will be vulnerable. This will be my sixth race, so I have made enough mistakes to learn where gains can be made and losses avoided, and believe me there are plenty of opportunities on this course!"
For the crew of Swan 48 “Dantés” the RORC Caribbean 600 will provide an opportunity to get in tune with their yacht before the crew joins AAR-Eastbound this July. Follow the yachts during the RORC Caribbean 600 here: http://caribbean600.rorc.org
Photo Credit: RORC/Tim Wright