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Breeze and Torrential Rain For RORC 600 Fleet

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  • Breeze and Torrential Rain For RORC 600 Fleet

    More Argyll than Antigua


    Posted in News 2017

    After a champagne start to the race there was a huge change in weather conditions by the end of the first day. The low pressure system emanating from the north arrived earlier than anticipated, extinguishing the trade winds to provide a windless night for many competitors. However, in the early hours of Tuesday morning a highly unusual north westerly wind was effecting the majority of the fleet rounding St.Kitts and Nevis. The arrival of the wind was accompanied by torrential rain – more Argyll & Bute (Scotland) than Antigua & Barbuda! By dawn on the second day, the majority of the monohull fleet were beating to Saba Island to turn downwind towards St. Barth.

    In the MOCRA Multihull Class, the two duelling MOD70s are now a distant memory from the rest of the fleet. Giovanni Soldini's Maserati rounded the Barbuda mark less than a minute ahead of Lloyd Thornburg's American Phaedo3 and the two yachts set off on a broad reach to Nevis, hitting 25 knots of boat speed. However, on Port gybe without a foil, Maserati was unable to shake off the attentions of Phaedo3. Turning upwind at Nevis, the advantage turned towards Phaedo3 who passed Saba Island 22 seconds ahead of Maserati. Phaedo3 continued to pull away from Maserati through the chicane at the top of the course to lead by nearly 10 minutes as they passed Tintamarre Island around Midnight. Both MOD70s experienced light winds for the first part of the leg to Guadeloupe, but once through the windless zone, the two combatants were back to full speed as they both rounded Montserrat to Port. At dawn on the second day of the race, Phaedo3 and Maserati were close together, about to enter the wind shadow of Guadeloupe.

    all images © Tim Wright 2017 /

    For yachts racing under the IRC Rating Rule, George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 was leading on the water by 48 minutes at Tintamarre Island, six miles ahead of Mike Slade's British Maxi, Leopard 3. Lionel Pean's French Volvo70, SFS II was third on the water, but leading IRC Canting Keel Class after time correction.

    At dawn on the second day, the two Maxi72s were enjoying an intense battle at the top of the overall leader board for IRC. Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and George Sakellaris' Proteus were rounding St.Barth for the second time on the long leg to Guadeloupe. The two yachts had been no more than seven minutes apart in 240 miles of racing. Approaching the halfway stage in the race, Proteus was estimated to be leading by less than one minute on corrected time. Dixon 100, Danneskjold, sailed by Simon Hill is estimated to be third in IRC Zero, just ahead of Stefan Jentzsch's Carkeek 47, Black Pearl, after time correction.

    IRC One
    Marc Lepesqueux & Philippe Paturel's Class40, Saint Pierre & Miquelon is estimated to be leading the class from C.n.b. Briand 76, Lilla, sailed by Simon & Nancy De Pietro. Giles Redpath's Lombard 46, Pata Negra is third. With all of the 18 yachts in the class on the leg between Saba and St.Barth at dawn on the second day, there is close racing right through the division.

    IRC Two
    Ed Fishwick's J/122, Redshift on El Ocaso is estimated to have a slender lead on class champion Scarlet Oyster, skippered by Ross Applebey. At dawn on the second day, Redshift on El Ocaso rounded Sabre Island 13 minutes ahead of Scarlet Oyster. Dominic Hurndall's Grand Soleil 43, Jua Kali, was estimated to be third after IRC time correction.

    IRC Three
    Jonty Layfield's Swan 48, Sleeper X leads the class on the water and after IRC time correction. Sleeper X is estimated to have a handsome three hour lead in the class from Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson's Swan 48, Isbjorn. Peter Hobbs' Sigma 38 Sam, is estimated to be in third position.

    Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron’s Class40, Campagne de France is locked into a close battle for the class with Peter Harding's Ph-orty. The two teams are approaching St.Barth, barely a mile apart, with Campagne de France just in front. Catherine Pourre's Eärendil was leading the class during the first night but is now lying in third position.

    A battle is developing between the two magnificent schooners racing in the RORC Caribbean 600. The 182ft twin-masted Adela, skippered by Greg Perkins is 14 miles ahead of its rival the elegant 162ft Eleanora. However Adela enjoys additional waterline length and sail area, and after IRC time correction Eleanora holds an estimated lead of just 14 seconds. Sail changes and manoeuvres on board will have been both numerous and exhausting among the classic yachts racing. As testified by Mathew Barker, owner of The Blue Peter. “A lot of tacking during the night with boats all around us which adds an element to the physicality. A great chilli meal on board, which was very welcome with the foul weather, all good on board.”

    Infiniti 46, Maverick, skippered by Oliver Cotterell has retired from the race having reported a hand injury to a crew member. The Maverick team are safely ashore at Nevis.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Neck And Neck On The Mod 70's

    Maserati Multi70 in a head to head fight for the lead with Phaedo3

    After 24-hours of racing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race the Maserati Multi70 trimaran skippered by Italian ocean racer Giovanni Soldini is locked in a fierce struggle for the lead with the race record holder Phaedo3. Despite being hampered by lighter winds than are optimum for their state-of-the-art flying multihull to perform at its best, Soldini and his seven-man international crew have been trading the lead back and forth with the non-foiling American MOD 70 since the race started yesterday afternoon, European time.

    all photos© Richard Langdon / Team Phaedo

    Wind conditions early in the race were considerably better than the flat calms forecast for the 600-mile race around 11 of the Caribbean islands. The Maserati Multi70 crew took full advantage on the first northerly stage of the course up Barbuda, putting their boat into flying mode to blast spectacularly past their American rivals at speeds over 25 knots. There was nothing between the two multihulls at the Barbuda turn and the pair maintained this close formation as they scorched their way around the first half of the complex racecourse. When they reached Saint Martin, the most northerly extreme of the course, around midnight it was Phaedo3 that held the advantage, exiting the Anguilla Channel with a lead of around 10 minutes over Maserati Multi70.

    Since then the gap between the two yachts has been expanding and contracting in synch with variations in the undulating breeze. The lighter spells favouring the leader and the windier moments benefitting Maserati Multi70. "The first half of the race was in 13 to 15 knots of wind and we were competitive with the other guys", Soldini reported from his boat shortly before dawn this morning. "They are sailing very well and have not made any mistakes. The breeze is up and down and in every light spell they can extend a little on us. Now and then it comes up enough for us to make gains back on them". "Generally the wind has been stronger than the forecast suggested so we are hoping this continues and we can get into some stronger winds that will suit our flying boat better".

    This morning (early afternoon in Europe) Maserati Multi70 was slowed significantly for a while by super light winds on the approach to the western side of Guadeloupe, allowing Phaedo3 to quickly pull away. The Italian boat was soon back up and running again, however, with the crew making the most of fresh breeze to achieve spurts of speed up to 26-knots. By the time they reached Iles des Saintes island and started to turn north the gap between the boats was down to four miles.

    The Maserati Multi70 crew continued to make gains and at midday local time (17.00 in Italy) Soldini's men trailed Phaedo3 by less than half a mile with 185-miles to race until the finish in Antigua.

    On the second day of the RORC Caribbean 600, Lloyd Thornburg's American MOD70, Phaedo3 and Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70, Maserati have passed La Desirade on the Atlantic side of Guadeloupe. After 24 hours of high octane racing, Phaedo3 was just 35 seconds ahead of Maserati.

    The northwesterly breeze had churned up a confused sea state at a part of the course, notorious even without the unusual wind angle. The two flyers felt the full brunt of the conditions as they cracked sheets and pulled the trigger towards Barbuda, blast reaching at over 30 knots of boat speed.

    Phaedo3 proved to be the faster of the two, opening up a slim lead of under half a mile. The breeze is due to turn north and if it does, the two MOD70s will be reaching to Redonda and then onto the finish. At La Desirade the two MOD70s were 25 minutes off record pace. However, if the wind clocks north, both Phaedo3 and Maserati will be on for the multihull record, but they need to cross the finish line off Fort Charlotte before 19hr 39min 04sec AST on Tuesday 21 February.

    In the MOCRA Class, third place on the water is Greg Slyngstad's Bieker 53, Fujin, an all-carbon flyer with daggerboards and T-Rudders designed by Californian Paul Bieker. However after MOCRA time correction, Robert Szustkowski's H66, R-six is in third place behind the two MOD70s. R-Six flies the Polish flag and is skippered by Robert Janecki. Fred Ball's American Newick 50, Lucky Strike is in fourth place after time correction. Michael Butterfield's Dazcat 46, Dazzla suffered rig failure on Tuesday morning; all of the crew are well on board and heading for St. Maarten under engine.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      High Speed Duel Goes To Phaedo 3

      Photo© Tim Wright/Ocean Images

      Maserati Multi70 finishes a close second in the ninth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600
      The Italian trimaran finished 13 minutes after Phaedo3

      Maserati Multi70, the state-of-the-art ocean racing trimaran skippered by Giovanni Soldini, has finished in second place in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race after a race-long high-speed match race with the American trimaran, Phaedo3.

      Soldini and his seven-man international crew brought Maserati Multi70 across the finish line off Charlotte Point in Antigua at 21.33.55 local time Tuesday February 21, (02.33.55 on Wednesday 22 in Italy), 13 minutes behind Phaedo3.

      The Italian multihull completed the course in 1 day, 9 hours, 53 minutes and 55 seconds.

      Lighter, less consistent winds than are characteristic of the Caribbean at this time of year meant neither team was able to improve on the race record time of 31 hours, 59 minutes and four seconds, set by Phaedo3 in 2016.

      Photo© Ted Martin

      Photo©Rachel Fallon Langdon / Team Phaedo

      Maserati Multi70 and Phaedo3 were racing in the MOCRA class for multihull boats and finished far ahead of the rest of the record 80 boat fleet of mainly monohull yachts.

      The two crews were locked in close combat for virtually the entire race as they matched each other’s every move around the course play for play.

      When Maserati Multi70 was slowed by a calm patch on the approach to Guadeloupe, Phaedo3 scooted away into a 13-mile lead – the greatest distance the two boats had been separated by since the start.

      The Italian trimaran came storming back immediately and by the next turning point - Iles des Saintes at the southern end of the racecourse - Soldini’s crew were back challenging for the lead.

      A freshening breeze for the final 100-miles of the 600-mile racecourse saw Maserati Multi70 scorch around the last two legs at over 30 knots as Soldini’s crew tried everything they knew to overtake their rivals before the finish.

      But it was not to be. When Phaedo3 was first to make the final turn around the miniscule Redonda Island and point her bows at the finish line, there were no tactical options left for the Maserati Multi70 crew to try to exploit.

      After the finish Soldini was quick to congratulate the winning crew on Phaedo3 who he said had made virtually no mistakes during the race. Exhausted but happy, the Italian skipper also paid tribute to his own crew who he said had sailed a great race.

      «We are very happy and I think we sailed a good race», Soldini said on the dock in Antigua. «We didn’t have very much time when the conditions suited us. Mostly it was around 10 knots so our foiling gear in the water slowed us down».

      Soldini said Maserati Multi70 – which has a standard MOD 70 foil on the right side and a custom L-foil on the left - was only able to fly on two occasions during the race. The most memorable flight, he said, was shortly after the start when they overtook Phaedo3 at speed.

      «This has been an important race for us», Soldini said. «Sailing so close to Phaedo3 has allowed us to try things out and I think we have learned a lot about how to get the most out of our boat».

      On board Maserati Multi70 with skipper Giovanni Soldini for the RORC Caribbean 600 race were: Guido Broggi, Vittorio Bissaro, François Robert, Oliver Herrera, Carlos Hernandez, Francesco Malingri and Matteo Soldini.

      The next outing for Maserati Multi70 will be the Transpacific Race from Los Angeles to Hawaii in July when Soldini hopes to have the boat configured to fly on both sides. Before then the trimaran will make a long passage from the Caribbean to the west coast of the USA via the Panama Canal.


      While the multihull race record was not broken this year, Phaedo3 and Maserati had an incredible 600 mile high-speed duel.

      Lloyd Thornburg's MOD70, Phaedo3 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Tuesday 21 February 2017 at 21 hrs 20 mins 46 secs AST, taking Multihull Line Honours.
      The winning crew were:- Lloyd Thornburg (Skipper), Brian Thompson (Co-skipper), Paul Allen, Peter Cumming, Michel Desjoyeaux, Robert Greenhalgh, Damian Foxall and Miles Seddon.
      Phaedo3 held on to win the battle of the trimarans, just 12 minutes ahead of Giovanni Soldini's Italian MOD70, Maserati. The high-speed battle saw the lead change hands at least four times during the race. The experimental semi-foiling Maserati showed incredible speed on a reach and it took a momentous effort from Phaedo3's well established team to hold off the challenge. There was high drama at Guadeloupe with vicious squalls and heroics from Maserati's crew diving into the water to free the boat from a fish trap.

      Once back on the dock in Antigua, Lloyd Thornburg, Skipper of the American Phaedo3 summed up the race: "Maserati gave us a heck of a run and it was really tough to stay ahead of a foiling boat. They kept coming at us with more pressure and they definitely have more speed at certain angles. The run down to Redonda was a real nail-biter and we knew that after that, the beat home would be in our favour and to cross the line ahead was just awesome. Every year, I get reminded how insane a race this is and after this race, our navigator Miles Seddon said to me that we have turned the insanity up again this year. You never get used to this race - hanging on reaching at 36 knots, it is just incredible. All of our team had to dig so deep and we love Antigua and had an amazing reception."

      Co-Skipper of Phaedo3, Brian Thompson commented on the unusual wind direction that had been predicted before the start: "We had a lot more wind speed for the race, which was a surprise. Off Guadeloupe we had huge rain squalls which are really quite dangerous in a MOD70 and we had 30 knots of wind from nowhere and shifting 50 degrees in seconds, with Maserati pushing us all the way. The big gennaker stayed up and we had to put in a few big bare aways to avoid capsize. With the strange wind direction we had to really think on our feet. It was an amazing race with Maserati though and we got away several times, but they always caught us up. Right near the start they went blasting past us flying through the air, hooting and hollering and waving at us. That is what they had come for and they have learnt a lot about foiling a MOD."

      Maserati skipper, Giovanni Soldini was full of praise for both his Maserati team and their rivals Phaedo3. The Italian MOD70 has an experimental foil enabling them to literally fly when the boat is on starboard, but not when they are on port, enabling them to give Phaedo3 a really close fight.

      "Phaedo are a very, very good team. They have known the boat for many years, whereas we are just beginning to get to know ours. We really flew a few times and we were able to play with Phaedo and I am really pleased with my crew as they were fantastic. At the start of the last leg, we were just a minute behind. We have learnt a lot by racing with Phaedo and so we are improving our performance. Our dream was to make a MOD70 fly and in a couple of months we will have foils on both sides and life will be much more simple."

      Maserati’s race was not without incident. "When we were past La Desirade we caught a buoy on the rudder but we didn't realise until near Barbuda," explains Soldini. Carlos Hernadez heroically jumped into the water when it was blowing 20 knots and the boat would not stop, so he had to swim very fast!"

      George David's American Maxi Rambler 88 is expected to take Monohull Line Honours for the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 at midday today local time (1600 UTC). At dawn on Day Three of the RORC Caribbean 600, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente was winning the battle of the Maxi72s approaching Barbuda. Bella Mente holds a two mile lead from 2016 RORC Caribbean Trophy holder, George Sakellaris' Proteus, and is estimated to be top of the leader board overall under IRC.

      Simon & Nancy De Pietro racing C.n.b. Briand 76, Lilla are approaching Guadeloupe and are estimated to be leading IRC One by a slender margin from Theodore Kane, Jr's Swan 66 Bounty. Three yachts are in a close battle for victory in IRC Two. Dominic Hurndall's Grand Soleil 43, Jua Kali has taken the normal route on the downwind leg to Guadeloupe. However Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster and Ed Fishwick's Redshift on El Ocaso passed Montserrat to port. After IRC time correction, there are just seconds separating the three yachts after 330 miles of racing. In IRC Three, Jonty Layfield's Swan 48 Sleeper X is enjoying a comfortable lead after IRC time correction and by 22 miles on the water from Andy Schell & Mia Karlsson's swan 48, Isbjorn. Peter Hobbs' Sigma 38, Sam is approaching the halfway stage in the race and is estimated to be in third in class.

      A close battle is raging in the Class40 Division as the three leaders approach the wind shadow of Guadeloupe with barely a mile separating them. Catherine Pourre's Eärendil is just ahead of Peter Harding's Phor-ty and both team have chosen to take a line close into Guadeloupe. Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron’s Campagne de France has chosen to go offshore by approximately 8 miles.

      In the battle of the schooners, the 182ft Adela, skippered by Greg Perkins is rounding Iles des Saintes with 220 miles to go. The 162ft schooner Eleonora, skippered by Brendan McCoy is 44 miles behind Adela on the water.
      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        Rambler 88 Takes Monohull Line Honors

        George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88 finished the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 11 hrs 56 mins 17 secs AST taking Monohull Line Honours.

        This year was George David's third line honours win in the RORC Caribbean 600. However, the record set by his previous boat, Rambler 100 in 2011 remains intact for another year. However, George David was very content with the performance of the team and Rambler 88.

        “The forecast was right on for direction as the breeze went a full 360 degrees, but we had a bit more velocity than anticipated. It was a good race and we enjoyed it very much but this was a different race altogether. It was more like the English Channel than the Caribbean and Rambler 88 will be racing there this summer in our build up to the Rolex Fastnet Race. I have never taken part in those races before so that will be interesting as well.

        “This year we had a full-on reach all the way from St. Barth to Guadeloupe. When you are at the helm and the boat is beautifully balanced, and you are doing 20 knots with a poled out J1 and staysail for 150 miles, you can't help but smile. It is great to have taken line honours again, but we have only won this race overall one time. We will come back because it is such a great place to be; everything about the race is nice”

        Tactician, Brad Butterworth was quick to commend the Rambler 88 crew dockside shortly after finishing the RORC Caribbean 600:

        “We were looking through the data all through the race and between Anguilla and St. Maarten we had to gybe while our competition got the new pressure and by dawn, they were right behind us, so we lost most of our lead there. Racing a boat like Rambler 88 you need a really good crew and we have guys that have the experience to get the boat going faster all the time. This year the race was not as tough as previous years, but it is far from a Caribbean holiday. We had to make a lot of sail changes which is very gruelling on the crew. This boat is like a Volvo 70 on steroids; it has unlimited power and in these conditions the helm is still relatively easy to handle and there is a lot of water coming over the bow, but we don't go up there!

        Mike Slade's British Maxi Leopard 3 is expected to be the second monohull to finish the race in front of two Maxi72s vying for the overall win under IRC: Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and George Sakellaris' Proteus. Lionel Pean's French Volvo70 SFS II is also expected to finish the race today, 22 February at 17:30 AST
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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        • #5

          The All-American Maxi72 battle in the RORC Caribbean 600 lived up to expectations with Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and George Sakellaris' Proteus enjoying an epic match race. The lead in the Maxi72s changed hands on seven occasions during the race. Bella Mente counted 85 sail changes and at one point, both yachts were way-over canvassed, smoking along at 30 knots in a gigantic squall. Bella Mente crossed the finish line just 14 minutes ahead of Proteus to set the bar for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy which will be awarded at the Prize Giving to the yacht scoring the best time under the IRC Rating Rule.

          Hap Fauth was delighted to have won the match race with Proteus and full of praise for the event, the competition and above all, his team.

          "We are beat; there is nothing left as the whole team gave 120% or more...unbelievable! We are just delighted to have prevailed. We had a match race for 500 miles with Proteus and that is a really well sailed boat. It was really, really good sailing. This is an iconic race that you cannot miss at all.

          "The RORC should be congratulated for organising another great race. This was an interesting course because with the conditions it was totally new and fresh. We expected a maximum wind speed of 15 knots and at one point we were doing 25 knots of boat speed, just ripping, so it was terrific. Not until we got to Barbuda for the second time did we really establish ourselves. We had a tacking duel with maybe 15 tacks and extended out by four miles, we just kept our lead. A really good race and it doesn't get any better.

          "Last year we didn’t finish the race and we had to put the old girl back together. Bella Mente is the oldest Maxi 72 on the circuit and I am the oldest helmsman, but if I am still out of the ground next year, I will be back. This crew is the best in the world. I just stay at the back and get all of the applause."

          Bella Mente tactician, Terry Hutchinson, explained some of the key aspects in the battle with Proteus:

          "If you haven't done this race you have to come and do it, even with the unusual conditions it was really good. Way more exciting than we thought it would be. What surprised me was we finished the race a lot earlier than we thought, but the battle with Proteus was just as we expected. We passed each other seven times during the race! Getting that extra gust of wind and different sail combinations were big factors. Proteus was quick on a reach and Bella Mente had a slight edge upwind and downwind. At Guadeloupe, we had set a spinnaker first at Iles des Saintes, but we couldn't make the corner and then couldn't get our spinnaker down either, so we were on the back foot going around La Desirade. For the 90 mile beat, Bella Mente was going about as good as ever and we were a mile behind, but by Barbuda we were two miles ahead. It will be interesting to hear if something wasn't quite right on their boat. We got ahead when it counted, but massive kudos to the Proteus team, they sailed a great race."

          George Sakellaris' Maxi 72, Proteus © RORC/ELWJ Photography

          Last year's overall winner, George Sakellaris racing Proteus described the race as one of the best ever despite losing out to Bella Mente.

          "We had everything in this race; it was an epic battle but something went wrong with the boat on the beat to Barbuda. We even backed up the boat to try to shake off some weed or whatever it was slowing us down. Up until then it was a great race, one of the best I have ever done. We had close company all the way and not just Bella Mente, we had Leopard and SFS to contend with as well. The team is fantastic and it was very exciting. At one point we were sailing with the A1 (largest spinnaker) in 37 knots of wind and the boat was doing 30 knots. That is why I go racing, that is what I live for."

          Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard 3 © RORC/ELWJ Photography

          Mike Slade's Maxi Leopard 3 finished the RORC Caribbean 600 in second place on the water behind George David's Rambler 88 to claim third in class. "Leopard has not been beaten on the water by a Maxi 72 or a Volvo 70 in this race and that still stands," commented Leopard 3 Boat Captain, Chris Sherlock. Lionel Pean's French Volvo 70 finished the race just under two hours behind Leopard 3 and after time correction is runner up to Rambler 88 in IRC Canting Keel. "It was a great pleasure to race along side two Maxi72s and our target was be ahead of the other Volvo 70s and we achieved this with a good result. We had great sailing and a good fight all along but it was a hard race."

          Lionel Pean's French Volvo 70 SFS © RORC/ELWJ Photography

          On the fourth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, over 50 yachts are still racing. Bernie Evan-Wong's Antiguan RP37, Taz is leading in IRC One. Ed Fishwick's British J/122, Redshift on El Ocaso is leading in IRC Two and Jonty Layfield's British Swan 48, Sleeper X is leading IRC Three. Peter Harding's British Class40 Ph-orty is back in the lead for the Class40 Division.

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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