Glimcher's J/122 CATAPULTs To The Front(Antigua- Feb. 23)- This latest bluewater classic is both a navigational and tactical challenge. First, imagine that you are in blue waters sailing up and down an island chain in the Caribbean that spans about 250 miles. Start and finish a race of about 600 miles from none other than the infamous and renowned English Harbour on Antigua. Wake up one morning with a mild hangover realizing that for a few days you will experience extraordinary sunrises, sunsets, spectacular cloud formations, gorgeous island backdrops and have to sail in t-shirts and shorts heading first NW downwind towards St. Maarten, round a few marks then head back upwind through the middle of the chain up and around Guadeloupe, leaving it to port and head back downwind to the finish off Antigua. Yes, life doesn't suck if this is all you had to work for this past week.
Near the head of the pack in this cool and very challenging ocean race is Marc Glimcher's J/122 CATAPULT, leading IRC 1 and potential for a podium finish Overall. Marc and his crew are all from the East Coast of the United States and compete in many regattas; often in a fleet of J/122s. Marc and his crew are having a great race and are currently amongst the leaders in the RORC Caribbean 600 overall on IRC handicap. Currently, they are making a critical rounding Wednesday evening of Guadeloupe in light, shifty, very spotty winds. If they escape, it's likely they can be one of the winners on the podium.
CATAPULT crewman, Brock Callen took a few minutes to talk about the ride: "It's freezing cold back home in Massachusetts right now and I am wondering why my sailing buddies at home aren't doing this race? The sailing conditions are just gorgeous. Last night as we were on deck, just in t-shirts, a Humpback whale came right up to the boat. Watching the sun go down with the spinnaker up and surf under the hull is a great experience. We have a good spirit on board and we all have specific jobs, especially on maneuvers. At Barbuda we gybe peeled from the 3A to the 2A and it was a smooth operation. It paid off, as we passed several boats shortly after the rounding. Things have been going really well and the skipper and the crew are enjoying this race, so much. The next leg looks like it will be a beat, possibly all the way to Guadeloupe and the wind may go lighter. We will be trying not to get too frustrated and concentrate on sailing the boat to the best of our ability."
The majority of the fleet are entering another stage in this tactical race. At the moment light headwinds are forecast for the boats on the leg to Guadeloupe. After spending a long period with little rest, the sailors will begin to feel the effects. It is often easier to concentrate when the boat is flying along. In light airs, tiredness can become a big problem.
You can track the yachts and read the messages that are coming in by accessing the Tracker Page or the Boat Blogs page on the official RORC Caribbean 600 web site.