The 76 strong fleet from 20 different countries started the 2019 RORC Caribbean 600 in spectacular conditions off the south coast of Antigua.
Early in the race for the overall win, Volvo 70 Wizard, TP52 Tala, and Botin 65 Caro are estimated to be the top three after IRC time correction. Bella Mente was the shock early retirement.
The majority of the fleet are racing under IRC for the overall win and the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, plus a record Class40 Division and one of the finest multihull fleets ever assembled for the race.
In IRC Zero, Volvo 70 Wizard owned by David and Peter Askew (USA) got a great start and powered up the beat to be the first in class to Green Island. Fully launched downwind in a show of immense power, Wizard pulled out a substantial lead on superyacht JV115 Nikata. Wizard was caught on the YB Tracker speed camera doing well over 20 knots on a screaming reach.
Showing enormous respect for their opposition, Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 (ITA) agreed to a delay to the race by just two hours to allow Jason Carroll’s Argo (USA) just enough time to finish repairs to their MOD 70. The match race kicked off two hours after the rest of the fleet.
At the start, Argo got away well, but Maserati was soon snapping at their rivals, playing the bays along the coast of Antigua. Snarling into an epic duel with the gloves full off. At Green Island, Maserati hit the after-burners, aided by their fully-foiling set up, screeching away at over 30 knots of boat speed. Maserati made Barbuda in 107 minutes, averaging an astonishing 26 knots.
In the ten-strong Class40 Division, four French teams dominated the start. Luke Berry’s Lamotte – Module Création’s red-hot hull made a cracking start and was ahead of the two port flyers at Green Island. The chasing peloton includes Aymeric Chappellier’s Aïna Enfance Et Avenir.
In IRC Two, after a text book start controlling the fleet inshore, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster (GBR) revelled in the upwind conditions and was the first to Green Island. Pamala Baldwin’s Antiguan based J/122 Liquid skippered by Julian White (GBR) was going well.
Performance Yacht Racing’s Grand Soleil 43 Quokka, skippered by Christian Reynolds (GBR) was third to the first corner of the course.
In IRC Three, Sun Fast 3600 Black Sheep owned by Trevor Middleton (GBR) nailed a very crowded pin end, but the lightweight flyer could not hold on upwind to Jonty and Vicki Layfield’s Swan 48 Sleeper (GBR), blasting upwind to make Green Island first in class.
The Multihull Class racing under the MOCRA Rule got away well with Beiker 53 Fujin, owned by Greg Slyngstad (USA) showing the fleet the way and at Green Island, Fujin was substantially ahead.