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RORC 600 - What to do after Christmas Day?

The presents have been opened, the Sydney-Hobart is over and thoughts turn to the UK winter season on dark, dank days . . . or maybe this year the 2018 RORC Caribbean 600!

Eric de Turckheim's Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine - Click image for a larger image

On Monday 19 February, teams from all over the world will be competing, lured by the thrilling conditions to race 600 miles around 11 Caribbean islands.

Two months prior to the start, 53 entries have already been received and the race starting from Antigua is on course to eclipse the record entry of 80 boats last year.

For the 10th anniversary of the race over a quarter of the early entries are yachts around 50 feet (15.24m), which should produce a phenomenal battle and potentially the winner of the coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.

George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 will be hot favourite for line honours and George Sakellaris' American Maxi 72 Proteus will be attempting an unprecedented third overall win under IRC.

Jens Kellinghusen's German Ker 56 Varuna has confirmed participation; the new canting keel carbon flyer boat had to retire from the RORC Transatlantic Race, but intends to sail to Antigua to make the start of the race.

Eric de Turckheim's Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine was the overall winner of the RORC Transatlantic Race and can be counted as one of the favourites for the RORC Caribbean 600.

Last year in a former boat, de Turckheim's team was third overall and winner of IRC One.

Giles Redpath's Lombard 46, Pata Negra - Click image for a larger image

Lucy Jones has competed in seven editions, organising teams to race on charter boats.

Lucy has tasted success with Swan 51 Northern Child, winning Best Swan overall in 2015, and has been part of racing teams that have come second in class on three occasions.

For the next race, Lucy will be racing on Giles Redpath's Lombard 46 Pata Negra, with a team from Howth Yacht Club, Ireland, led by Michael Wright.

"It's my favourite offshore race by a million miles,” commented Lucy. “The course is so varied and the wind is consistent so you don't get stuck in a hole."

"As the competition has grown in numbers, it has got harder to win class, but this year we hope to achieve that goal.”

Start: Antigua, West Indies - Monday 19 February 2018. Course: 600 nm non-stop around 11 Caribbean Islands.

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Gerald New - Sailweb
21 December 2017 9:55 GMT


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