RORC UPDATE Thursday 23rd February 2023
Roy P. Disney's Pyewacket 70 (USA) has won Monohull Line Honours in the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600 with a time of 42 hours 45 mins 06 secs, becoming the fastest boat in the Disney dynasty and the first to take this title in the event.
The latest Pyewacket 70 is a turbo-charged Volvo 70 that features a taller mast, lighter hull, and deeper keel than the original box-rule. Two generations of the Disney family have previously raced under the Pyewacket name, which was inspired by the witch's cat in the film Bell, Book and Candle.
With line honours decided for both Multihull and Monohull boats in the RORC Caribbean 600, the focus turns onto the Class Winners and the ultimate prize; the Overall Win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. Forty one boats are still racing under IRC and seven under MOCRA. Out in the combat zone, with the overall winner nowhere near decided, competition is fierce for Class and IRC Overall Honours.
IRC Super Zero
Pyewacket 70 (USA) is ‘in the clubhouse’ and has won IRC Super Zero and leads the IRC fleet after time correction for the overall win. I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski finished the race in under 48 hours to claim second place in IRC Super Zero. Wind Whisper (POL) skippered by Joca Signorini was the first VO65 to finish the race. In an elapsed time of just under 50 hours, after IRC time correction, Wind Whisper completes the IRC Super Zero podium.
Gunboat 68 Tosca (USA) finished the race in the morning of day three to set the benchmark for the MOCRA Class. Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 (ITA) is second after time correction. MOD70 Zoulou (FRA), sailed by Erik Maris is currently third after MOCRA time correction, however Rob Merwin’s Gunboat 60 Cui Bono (USA) was passing Redonda at 14:00 AST and was in with a chance of snatching a podium finish.
The leading boats in IRC Zero are expected to make the finish at around sunset tonight; Wednesday 22 February. Kate & Jim Murray’s Pac52 Callisto (USA) was the first in class to round Redonda. Hot on Callisto’s heels was Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), skippered by Stefan Jentzsch, which rounded just 8 minutes later. RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) was 15 minutes behind Callisto. After IRC time correction, Teasing Machine was not only leading IRC Zero but also IRC Overall. Callisto was second in IRC Zero and Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 – Corum (FRA) was ranked third.
The leaders in the Class40 Division are closing in on the Barbuda Mark and expected to make Antigua at around midnight on Wednesday 22 February. An absolute cracker of a finish is keenly anticipated, with four boats in the hunt for Class40 glory in this year’s record fleet. Albi Bona’s IBSA (ITA) is leading by just one mile from Ambrogio Beccaria’s Alla Grande – Pirelli. Two miles from pole position is Axel Trehin’s Project Rescue Ocean (FRA). Marc Lepesqueux’s Curium Life Forward is six miles behind IBSA.
With around 200 miles to go, the leaders in the IRC One fleet are in the Guadeloupe ‘Casino’. The wind shadow of the largest island on the course seems to be giving jackpots to the IRC One boats. All of them are making good speed to the exit at Les Desirade. Jon Desmond’s Mills 41 Final Final (USA) leads on the water as the team have done from the very start of the race. Adrian Lee’s Swan 60 Lee Overlay Partners II (IRL) is second, but had to send a diver overboard earlier in the race to free a fish pot. Third on the water is First 53 Yagiza (FRA) skippered by Phillippe Falle. After IRC time correction, Dan Litchfield’s Classic Aage Nielsen 59 Hound (USA) is ranked first in class. However, analysis of the IRC corrected time shows the top five boats are all in with a chance of the title: Yagiza, Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR), Final Final and Lee Overlay Partners.
J/133 Vamoose (USA) skippered by Bob Manchester has a 17 mile lead on the water from Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR). Vamoose is making excellent headway through the lee of Guadeloupe and will be looking to extend their lead as the team reach the fresh wind of the Atlantic Ocean. A battle is raging for third on the water between Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA) and Ray Rhinelander’s J/133 Bella J (CAN). After IRC time correction, In Theory leads by two hours. Vamoose and EH01 are virtually tied for second place on corrected time.
Verdier 54 Notre Mediterranee - Ville de Nice (FRA), sailed by Fabien Biron & Pim Nieuwenhuis have continued to impress. The Franco-Dutch duo are halfway to the Barbuda Mark; 120 miles from the finish and they are leading the Two-Handed Class by an uber 10 hours after IRC time correction. Markus Moser’s Pegasus 50 Lifgun, racing with Marko Pas is in second place. Kate Cope & Emily Dresser racing Sun Fast 3200 Purple Mist has moved up the rankings to third overall. The all-women Two-Handed team is 300 miles from the finish and their current ETA is before the RORC Caribbean Prize Giving on Friday; now there’s an incentive!
By dawn on day four of the RORC Caribbean 600, 29 teams had finished the race with nearly all of them crossing the finish line in a hectic overnight period. The army of Antigua Yacht Club volunteers rolled up their sleeves to congratulate every crew with a warm smile, cold Carib beer and a team photo to savour. With the number of finishers approaching half the RORC fleet, class winners are emerging. Results link HERE
Gunboat 68 Tosca (USA) skippered by Alex Thomson has won the MOCRA Class after time correction. Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 was second with MOD70 Zoulou, sailed by Erik Maris in third.
“Apart from a few squalls we had plenty of steady breeze, which is great for Tosca - a perfect boat to do this race. You have the comfort of a superyacht and the speed of a Volvo 70,” commented Alex Thomson dockside. “Tosca has a great crew and together we are really understanding how to improve the boat’s performance. The MOD70s that were in front of us are amazing boats and there are great boats right through this class. We are really chuffed to win the MOCRA Class; it is a milestone for this boat. Now we are really looking forward to the Rolex Fastnet Race later this year.”
RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) has won the highly competitive class. Kate & Jim Murray’s Pac52 Callisto (USA) is second, with Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 – Corum (FRA) in third. Racing in IRC Zero is the Verdier 54 Notre Mediterranee - Ville de Nice (FRA), sailed by Fabien Biron & Pim Nieuwenhuis, which is the first IRC Two-Handed team to finish the race in an elapsed time of 02 days 17 hrs 15 mins 15 secs.
Albi Bona’s IBSA (ITA) held off a strong challenge from Ambrogio Beccaria’s Alla Grande – Pirelli (ITA) to win the 13-strong Class40 Division by one mile after 61 hours of racing. Completing the Class40 podium was Axel Trehin’s Project Rescue Ocean (FRA), just twenty minutes behind Alla Grande – Pirelli.
“We are very happy to win in a very good fleet. Brogio (Ambrogio Beccaria) comes from the North of Italy like me, so it is great to have two Italian boats at the top. This is the first time I have done this race. It is a great course for Class40 and it has been special to race with a team that knows it so well.”
IBSA crew for the race was an international team, skipper Albi Bona (ITA) was joined by Pablo Santurde (ESP), Luca Bertacci (ITA) and Luke Berry (FRA).
All of the teams in IRC One and IRC Two are still racing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Conditions out on the racecourse are generally nothing short of fabulous, with tropical heat, moderate sea state and stable easterly winds of about 15 knots.
Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR) is about to round Redonda. Pata Negra is leading the class after IRC time correction by 30 minutes from First 53 Yagiza (FRA) skippered by Phillippe Falle. Yagiza is just a mile astern of Pata Negra. The two teams know each other very well, but there will be no quarter taken or given for the gruelling beat to the finish. Dan Litchfield’s classic Aage Nielsen 59 Hound (USA) is ranked third, but only by five minutes. Hound is very much in the game if their water-line length and displacement come into play for the upwind slog to Antigua.
J/133 Vamoose (USA) skippered by Bob Manchester leads on the water and is the only boat to have passed Barbuda for the second time. About 30 miles behind three boats are in close combat with each other with one eye on the clock to win the class. Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA) still leads class after IRC time correction, but the two-hour time correction lead at Guadeloupe is now down to 37 minutes from Vamoose. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR) is still in the hunt but has dropped to third in ranking for IRC Two.
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