Friday, March 10, 2017

J/122 Crushes RORC Caribbean 600

J/122 sailing RORC Caribbean 600 race (English Harbour, Antigua)- It was an awe-inspiring start for the ninth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.  The fleet started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever-offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. A southeasterly breeze, occasionally gusting up to 15 knots and a relatively calm sea state provided conditions for the perfect start with some close battles on the water.

Ed Fishwick's J/122 REDSHIFT ON EL OCASO nailed the pin end, continued to lead at Green Island and, ultimately, took the gun at the Antigua finish line for 1st in IRC 2 Class and 1st in CSA 2 Class! In CSA Overall, REDSHIFT took 5th and in IRC Overall they placed 6th- a fantastic performance considering it was an “all big boat” race!

Fishwick's crew consisted of Nick Cherry, Robert Hillier, James Holmes, Ed Males, Luke Patience, Alan Roberts, Nick Bubb and Tom Whicher.

"We have competed in this race with classic trade wind conditions, but this year we had a massive variety in weather on the course from big breeze in squalls, to fickle light winds. The guys did a fantastic job and we all agreed that this was the best 600 we have ever done. The whole crew was sensational," commented skipper, Ed Fishwick.

"I couldn't have picked a better offshore race than the RORC Caribbean 600. It was a really cool experience, a great bunch of guys and my first offshore race," exclaimed Olympic 470 Silver Medallist, Luke Patience, a REDSHIFT crew member.

Islands Race humpback whales"Day one we saw a water spout, hump back whales; it was all kicking off, just epic! It was wonderful steering a boat at night, sailing by feeling the flow underneath you. The watches just flew by, I really enjoyed the race and it was very inspiring. The difference between offshore and Olympic sailing is that this is relentless; you are at it day and night. Where the two are wildly different is that with offshore sailing you are not in control all the time, you have to give a good handover to the next watch. However both disciplines require that you never take your foot of the gas."

The RORC Caribbean 600 came to its traditional conclusion with a memorable prize-giving party at Antigua Yacht Club. Class winners were presented with a fine array of silverware, decanters, medallions and an engraved English Harbour Rum decanter for every boat! The RORC were delighted to have Shirleen Nibbs (Consultant to the Ministry of Tourism) and Colin James (CEO of Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority) at the proceedings to present the trophies to the winning crews.

Michael Boyd, Commodore of the RORC, thanked the Government of Antigua & Barbuda, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, Antigua Yacht Club, all sponsors, the 80+ volunteers and supporters of the race, as well as the 800 competitors from over 30 different countries for taking part in the 9th edition of this class offshore race.

The party continued late into the night with dancing to the sound of Asher Otto and Itchy Feet, by which time the majority of the fleet had finished the race and were able to join in the celebrations.

The RORC Caribbean 600 has quickly become an important event in ocean racing circles in the course of its short history and a 'must do' race on the calendar of those who take their ocean racing seriously. The RORC Caribbean 600 circumnavigates 11 of the Leeward Islands, starting and finishing in Antigua, going as far north as St. Maarten and as far south as Guadeloupe. The race has grown steadily in its nine-year history and the 2017 edition has a new record entry of over 70 boats.  For more RORC Caribbean 600 Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.