Since its inception in 2009, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s RORC Caribbean 600 has earned recognition as one of the world’s classic and unique offshore races and has become a firm fixture on the international offshore racing calendar for any serious offshore sailor.
Starting and finishing in Antigua, the unique 600-mile course uses 11 Eastern Caribbean islands as turning marks, providing an interesting challenge for navigators and crew. Starting on Monday, 18 February, with such a long course, finishing times vary over a number of days. The RORC work with the Falmouth-based Antigua Yacht Club and their wonderful army of local volunteers: every yacht that finishes the race is met with cold beer!
The race attracts professional competitors the world over, plus enthusiastic Corinthian sailors and regular RORC racers. Participation in the RORC Caribbean 600 has grown steadily each year and in 2018 a record 85-boat fleet, including some of the world’s fastest yachts, brought the spectacular race to the attention of media and sailing fans worldwide. Any resemblance to a Caribbean cruise was quickly dismissed as 25 knots of solid trade winds with gusty squalls and a confused sea state delivered a challenge to over 1000 sailors from six different continents!
George David’s American Maxi Rambler 88 scorched around the track to set a new monohull course record of 37 hours 41 minutes and 45 seconds and was declared overall winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.
In 2019, entries include the largest privately owned yacht in the world, Athos, at 203ft, together with the three fastest ocean-going trimarans Maserati, PowerPlay and Argos.
Chris Stone, RORC Racing Manager says, “We are delighted to be back in Antigua for the 11th edition of the event for which we are expecting close to 100 boats from all over the world, coming to Antigua to enjoy the challenging racing and amazing weather. We should have an extremely good mix within the fleet, seeing our smallest competitors tussling with the larger race machines for the prestigious IRC overall trophy – not forgetting our famous Caribbean 600 social programme! We love seeing all our sailors coming together to enjoy the best of Antiguan food and music”
Further information: www.caribbean600.rorc.org