RORC 600 FRIDAY UPDATE Friday 24th February 2023
On the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600 all of the IRC Classes have been decided and plenty of teams that have finished the race are enjoying the hospitality of Antigua’s beaches, bars, and restaurants. Seven boats are still racing, with a big incentive to make tonight’s RORC Caribbean 600 Closing Party at the Antigua Yacht Club.
RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim racing NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA) has won the highly competitive class, placing second overall under IRC to Pyewacket 70. Second in IRC Zero and fourth overall was Kate & Jim Murray’s Pac52 Callisto (USA). Third in IRC Zero and fifth overall was Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet – 3 Corum (FRA).
“The RORC Caribbean 600 is one of the most fantastic 600 mile races in the world; it’s non-stop action with plenty of wind,” commented Eric de Turckheim. “The whole RORC fleet is an amazing sight at the start with such a variety of boats in one race: Volvo 70s, Classics like Pen Duick VI and the Class40s. This year we had a fantastic battle in IRC Zero with four highly competitive boats that Teasing Machine was in contact with all the time. We finished within 30 minutes of each other; that is exciting as well as the sailing itself. Callisto sailed really well and was always a threat. Further back, because they are 46ft, was Daguet. In the last race they beat us, this year we beat them. So well done to Callisto and Daguet for making this class very hard to win.”IRC 1
Dan Litchfield’s classic Hound (USA) put in a great last beat to the finish from Redonda to win IRC One. The Aage Nielsen 59 sloop was built in 1970, the oldest boat in the race. Laurent Courbin’s First 53 Yagiza (FRA) skippered by Phillippe Falle was second by just 24 minutes after IRC time correction. In third place was Andrew & Sam Hall’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra (GBR), just six minutes behind Yagiza after IRC time correction.
“We got pushed really hard by the other boats in our class and somehow we pulled it out at the end and it feels great,” commented Hound owner Dan Litchfield. “It was only when we were rounding Redonda that we thought the win was possibly for real and then we sailed right into a wind hole, but it picked up again and we were back in business. The Hound crew is the best I have ever sailed with.”
Dan Litchfield was quick to praise two long-standing RORC members on the Hound crew. “A big thank you to Ed Cesare who did a great job as navigator and Richard du Moulin for superb preparation. The RORC Caribbean 600 is our big race of the season. Hound will be heading back to Newport Rhode Island and I know our two daughters will have missed cruising her, as we will do in the summer.”
Peter McWhinnie’s JPK 1080 In Theory (USA) has won IRC Two by just under two hours from J/133 Vamoose (USA) skippered by Bob Manchester. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 (GBR) was third.
“It feels fantastic, it has been great to get around the course with a wonderful crew; I can’t thank them enough. It is an all-round crew, we all drive and trim and the work has been outstanding,” commented In Theory’s Peter McWhinnie. “It was a relief to get through the last beat as the wind got a little fluky and to make the finish was a very happy moment. One of the highlights of this race has been the close competition from other boats; we were always mixing it up with Vamoose, J Bella and EH01. There were a lot of great moments and a lot of hard sailing; it was pretty full on. The run down to Nevis from Barbuda on the first night was really beautiful. Compared to 2020, this time we passed most of the islands during day time which was nice and an incentive to come back and do it again.”
To follow the final boats still competing in the race and to keep up with regular updates from the competitors and media team go to: www.caribbean600.rorc.org
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