As if by magic, the tradewinds blew into the starting area off English Harbour in Antigua after several days of light winds. With 22 knots or more in gusts, the strong winds launched the RORC Caribbean 600 fleet into action for the start of what is probably the world’s most exciting 600-mile offshore race.
First off were the smaller boats—powerful yachts by any normal standard. Piet Vroon’s electric blue Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens, seared through the line on port like a guided missile. The Army Association’s A 40, British Soldier, sprang into action, stealing a march on the competition in IRC Two. Whilst, Tony Lawson’s Class 40, Concise, nailed the middle of the line to lead their class.
Ten minutes later, the line off Fort Charlotte was festooned with canvas. Andrew McIrvine’s 155ft Schooner, Windrose of Amsterdam, came in on port at the pin end with amazing power, Peter Harrison’s Farr 114, Sojana, opted for a middle of the line start and engaged Brian Benjamin’s Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir, who were right in under the Pillars of Hercules.
For the complete story, go to www.caribbean600.rorc.org.