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RORC Caribbean 600

With 87 yachts already entered and more expected, the 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will have another record fleet. Teams from at least 22 nations have entered the Caribbean’s famous offshore race.

Since 2009, yachts from Great Britain and America have made up the majority of the fleet, and this year is no different with the two countries accounting for over 30 entries. For the 10th edition however, a significant number of entries from France will be on the startline on Monday 19th February in Antigua. The thrilling race around the central Caribbean, includes three French islands as marks of the course; Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

Eric de Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine, overall winner of the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race, can be counted amongst the favourites for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy awarded to the best yacht under the IRC rating system. Eleven teams have already entered from France and the number of yachts flying the French Tricolour is expected to be bolstered by young Figaro teams from Guadeloupe.

Catherine Pourre's French Class40 Eärendil returns after an intense battle last year when three yachts in the Class40 division took the lead at various points in the race - photo © RORC / Arthur Daniel

Catherine Pourre’s French Class40 Eärendil returns after an intense battle last year when three yachts in the Class40 division took the lead at various points in the race – photo © RORC / Arthur Daniel

In the 2016 race, Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine was third overall and won IRC One in his previous boat, an A13. Looking ahead to the race, he comments: “The RORC Caribbean 600 is a very interesting race. The race course provides beautiful scenery, especially around Guadeloupe, but it is also tactically challenging with so many influences from the land, and at times, some strong wind and sea conditions… La Belle et la Bête -The Beauty and the Beast!”

The RORC Caribbean 600 is part of the Class40 2018 Championship and six pocket rockets are competing this year. The majority are from France and include Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil, returning after a terrific battle in last year’s race:

“The race is very well known and regarded by Class40 competitors and has a reputation of fierce competition and intensity, with a lot of manoeuvring and tactical issues,” explains Pourre. “All this in a wonderful environment with magnificent islands, a delicious climate and lovable people with a warm welcome. This is a physical race for the Class40s which is very demanding for the team; nobody is going to sleep for the entire race! In our view, it is more demanding for the crew than the Fastnet. I personally would be very pleased if we could finish this race as the winner. I am sure I am not the only one!”

Eric de Turckheim's French Teasing Machine is one of eleven French boats competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race this year © RORC / Arthur Daniel

Eric de Turckheim’s French Teasing Machine is one of eleven French boats competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race this year © RORC / Arthur Danielá

With two weeks to go until the 10th edition of the race, many of the yachts taking part are already in Antigua or neighbouring islands preparing for the start. Several used the RORC Caribbean 600’s Official Logistics Partner, Sevenstar Yacht Transport to get to the Caribbean for the race which is high on the bucket list of any offshore sailor.

RORC Caribbean 600 Virtual Regatta

Eight hundred or more sailors will be competing in this year’s RORC Caribbean 600 and if you fancy ‘taking them on’ enter the RORC Caribbean 600 Virtual Regatta. Skipper your virtual boat in real time, pitting your wits on the 600 mile course. Over 16,000 armchair sailors from all over the world entered last year. click.virtualregatta.com/?li=4865

For more information and to follow the race, please go to: caribbean600.rorc.org

by Louay Habib

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