Royal Ocean Racing Club Ltd.
20 St James's Place, London, SW1A 1NN | +44 (0) 20 7493 2248

Quick Guide - How to follow the RORC Caribbean 600

The fleet at the 2016 RORC Caribbean 600. Photo: Tim Wright/photoaction.com

A record fleet featuring 80 of the world's most spectacular yachts and crews are gathering in Antigua for the start of the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 on Monday 20th February 2017. To keep up to date with all the news and to follow the race, please see full details below.

Race minisite: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/

Blogs from the boats, daily race reports, images, videos and news. Follow the action as it unfolds on the RORC Caribbean 600 website.

Fleet Tracking: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Race-Information/Tracking/

Join the Virtual Regatta: http://click.virtualregatta.com/?li=4740

RORC YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/rorcracing

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rorcracing

#rorcrc600  @rorcracing

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rorcracing/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalOceanRacingClub

Start: Monday 20th February - 1050 (First warning signal)

Fort Charlotte, Antigua will be the starting and finishing point for this sensational 600 mile non-stop yacht race around 11 Caribbean Islands.

Class start times:

Local TimeUTC TimeClasses
1100 1500 IRC 2, IRC 3, CSA
1110 1510 IRC 1 & Class40 
1120 1520 IRC Zero and CK
1130 1530 Superyachts
1140 1540 Multihulls

Note: A Warning Signal will be given 10 minutes before the Starting Signal

80 yachts will take the start on Monday 20 February. The First Warning Signal is at 1050, but yachts will leave the dock much earlier to make their way to the start area. The start sequence with nine different classes will take 50 minutes to complete.

Spectators are in for a treat. The 9th edition of the race will showcase an astounding fleet of yachts: from record-breaking high performance racers to magnificent schooners, fast production yachts and foiling multilhulls.

Due to the size of the yachts and the sheer number competing, considerable sea room is needed to manoeuvre and a team of highly experienced volunteers will act as on-the-water marshals maintaining an Exclusion Zone to keep spectator boats at a safe distance from the yachts racing.

2017 rc600 ayc night tw

Watch from the water:

For those wishing to watch the race from the water, please note that there will be an Exclusion Zone around the starting area effective from 1030 to 1200 on Monday 20 February 2017.

The safety of spectator vessels and competitors is paramount and therefore Marshal Boats displaying a white flag with a red "M" will be policing the exclusion zone as per the diagram below.

PLEASE NOTE: EXCLUSION ZONE FOR THE START

2017 rc600 exclusion zone

The safety of spectator vessels and competitors is paramount and therefore Marshal Boats displaying a white flag with a red "M" will be policing the exclusion zone as per the diagram below.

Watch from the shore:

The yachts will be starting south of Fort Charlotte on Monday 20 February. Those left on land can get a wonderful view from there, or from Shirley Heights. The starting line is formed between an orange triangle on Fort Charlotte and an orange cylindrical Outer Distance Mark approximately 0.50nm south of Fort Charlotte. The Race Committee may adjust this position with reference to the wind direction on the day of the start. Fort Charlotte is at the eastern entrance to English Harbour above the Pillars of Hercules and below Shirley Heights.

There's also a chance to catch a glimpse of the boats leaving Falmouth Harbour from Pigeon Beach and the boats leaving English Harbour from Galleon Beach from 0930 onwards. Boats will be gathering in the start area from around 1000, so get there early to get the best view. The start sequence begins at 1050.

Join the Virtual Race:

If you can't make the race but want to compete against thousands of 'armchair sailors' around the world, join the RORC Caribbean 600 Virtual Regatta now. Test your skills, but beware, you will be hooked as the delights and frustrations of the course become apparent.

Join the Virtual Regatta HERE: http://click.virtualregatta.com/?li=4559

A word from the RORC Racing Manager:

"The support of the members of the Antigua Yacht Club plays a vital part in the success of the RORC Caribbean 600. The fact that we see so many familiar faces and new volunteers helping us each year, with their vast experience of the local area and conditions, gives the RORC the confidence to be able to organise this demanding offshore race with a small RORC team from the UK," says RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott.

"We are very pleased that ABSAR, the Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue team will be on hand to help with the many aspects of safety and fleet management required to run an offshore race. ABSAR's highly trained team and safety network throughout the islands on the Caribbean 600 course, is vital to the safe running of the race. ABSAR will also be on hand to help identify any boats finishing in the hours of darkness," continues Elliott.

The 2017 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, will start on Monday 20 February 2017.

Entry List as at 16 Feb 2017:

HERE

Quick Fact Sheet on the RORC Caribbean 600:

Facts & Stats 

HERE

Record entry for RORC Caribbean 600

Overall winner from the 2016 race - George Sakellaris' Maxi 72, Proteus © RORC/Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

A fleet of over 80 yachts is expected for the ninth edition of the 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 in which 900 sailors from 30 different nations will race non-stop around 11 Caribbean islands, starting and finishing in Antigua. Passionate corinthians will be rubbing shoulders with Olympic medallists, America's Cup winners and round the world sailors in a race to take home the coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. The 600 mile course is designed to offer a tactical, high speed race with stunning vistas at every corner.

“The RORC Caribbean 600 is very different to the other 600 mile races and definitely not a holiday race in the Caribbean,” commented RORC Racing Manager, Nick Elliott. “The race has many tactical legs with land effects and wind-driven currents which are both difficult to predict. The heat of the day and the long nights are also unusual features for an offshore race making it every bit as challenging as the Rolex Fastnet Race, and just as exciting. It is interesting to note that the records for the Rolex Fastnet Race and the RORC Caribbean 600 are very similar.”

Featuring a magnificent collection of yachts, an incredibly varied fleet will be racing under the IRC, CSA and MOCRA rating systems, as well as Class40s racing under class rules. Rambler 88, Phaedo3 and Maserati will be gunning for course records, however, the winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy will be decided by the yacht with the best corrected time under IRC.

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Classics in the RORC Caribbean 600

Adela starting the RORC Caribbean 600 off the Pillars of Hercules, Antigua © RORC/Tim Wright/photoaction.com

The RORC Caribbean 600 attracts the world's fastest racing yachts, magnificent superyachts and corinthian production cruisers. Gathered in Antigua for the start of the 600-mile blast around 11 Caribbean islands, the fleet is a phenomenal sight. Among the spectacular entries this year are two colossal schooners; Eleonora and Adela, with at least 12 classic-designed yachts joining them on the race course.

Adela dates back to 1903 and at 182ft (55 metres), she is the largest yacht competing in the race. Displacing 250 tons and capable of 17 knots of boat speed, the forces on board are off the charts; the mainsail alone can generate 50 tons of load. Adela has an extraordinary record in the race; coming in the top ten overall under IRC in all four races she has competed in, including third overall in 2013. Adela is unbeaten in the Spirit of Tradition Class and is likely to have 35 crew for this year's race. Since she last competed in 2015, the schooner has undergone major modifications to her rudder and keel. Changing a headsail on Adela requires crew out on her mighty bowsprit, a position for agile, strong and trustworthy crew.

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A new partnership and record entries

A record fleet is expected for the 9th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starting in Antigua on 20th February 2017 © RORC/ELWJ Photography

The Royal Ocean Racing Club has partnered with Rolex SA, adding the RORC Caribbean 600 to the leading Swiss watchmaker's prestigious roster of yachting events around the world.

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 is due to have a new record entry of over 70 boats.

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Winning Ways

Current holder of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy: George Sakellaris, Maxi72, Proteus © RORC/ELWJ Photography

Next month, more than 70 yachts are expected to take part in the RORC Caribbean 600, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's stunning race around 11 Caribbean islands. American yachts have had a winning streak in this classic offshore race, winning five out of eight editions of the 600-miler, starting and finishing in Antigua.

With 16 entries, the largest number of American boats ever seen on the race course will include several serious race teams with a chance of winning the overall trophy. Past winners from the U.S. on the start line on Monday 20th February will include the current holder of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy from 2016, George Sakellaris, Proteus, Maxi 72 (USA) as well as some of the other American overall winners: 2015: Hap Fauth, Bella Mente, JV72 (USA); 2014: George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA); 2013: Ron O'Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA) and 2011: George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA).
Favourites, for both line honours and the overall win are likely to come from the USA, even though British contenders lead the impressive list of entries in terms of number of boats from around the globe.

The fastest boat in the race is the American trimaran, the MOD70, Phaedo³ owned and skippered by Lloyd Thornburg who grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Phaedo³ set the multihull record last year, hurtling around the course at speeds in excess of 30 knots and topping out nearer 40, crossing the finish line in an elapsed time of 31 hours, 59 minutes, 04 seconds and breaking their previous race record. Team Phaedo is back to defend their title and will be taking a tilt at their own record once again.

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It's a Record! Exceptional take up for 47th Rolex Fastnet Race

The lure of the Fastnet Rock as captured by Rolex/Daniel Forster in the Rolex Fastnet Race

Entry into the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s flagship event, the Rolex Fastnet Race surpassed expectation today in record-breaking time. The 340-boat limit was reached in just 4 minutes and 24 seconds setting a new record.

Within the first minute of the REMUS online entry system opening at midday today (Monday 9 January), the London and Cowes-based organising club had received a massive 222 entries. The frenetic trend continued for the next hour and into the afternoon, with entries streaming in from all around the world. Within an hour, nearly 400 boats had signed up for the biennial 603-nautical miler, which has been an established fixture on the ocean racing circuit since 1925.

Nick Elliott, RORC Racing explains his reaction to the phenomenal demand to enter this historic race:

“The take-up of entries for the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race has been incredible. We expected to better the time it took to reach the limit in the last race of 24 minutes, but this is amazing. It just exemplifies how sought after the places in the race are and confirms that it is a real sporting institution; one which every sailor wants to tick off their personal ‘bucket list’.

“Seven boats raced in the first race in 1925 and the founding members of the RORC and its flagship event would have been in awe of their creation with 340 boats signing up so quickly today. With all this interest, we expect a record-sized fleet to start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line, making the Rolex Fastnet Race by far the largest of the world’s classic 600-mile offshore races, in terms of participation. One not to be missed,” continues Elliott.

The First 40, Lancelot II was the first boat to enter the race, signing up just 12 seconds after the online entry system opened. The next four boats entered shortly after: Arthur Logic, Pelgrim, Jolly Jack Tar and Moana. Entries from 28 different nations have signed up and include; Great Britain, France (who have dominated the event in the recent years), Netherlands, Germany and USA, with an entry from Korea as well as from Australia and New Zealand. The race has attracted the usual diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classics to some of the world’s fastest racing machines – and everything in between, racing in IRC or selected offshore classes such as IMOCA60, VOR65, Class40 and MOCRA Multihull.

The 47th edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club will start in the Solent from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on Sunday 6th August, finishing in Plymouth via the Fastnet Rock, the symbol of the race, located off the southern coast of Ireland.

2017 Notice of Race

2017 Notice of Race

The RORC 2017 Season Notice of Race is now published. Information on all the RORC Offshore Races and Inshore Regattas for the 2017 are available here. Entry for all races, including the enormously popular Rolex Fastnet Race, opens 1200, Monday 9th January 2017.

Download the 2017 RORC Notice of Race

Royal Ocean Racing Club

20 St James's Place
London SW1A 1NN
UK

fon: +44 (0) 20 7493 2248
fax: +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
web: http://www.rorc.org

Royal Ocean Racing Club Cowes

82 High Street
Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 7AJ
UK

fon: +44 (0) 1983 295 144
fax: +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
web: http://www.rorc.org

RORC Rating Office (Seahorse Rating Ltd)

Seahorse Building, Bath Road
Lymington, Hampshire SO41 3SE
UK

fon: +44 (0) 1590 677030
fax: +44 (0) 1590 679478
web: http://www.rorcrating.com
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(General Enquiries, Membership, House)

20 St James's Place
London
SW1A 1NN
UK

 +44 (0) 20 7493 2248
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
Royal Ocean Racing Club
(Racing Enquiries)

82 High Street
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7AJ
UK

 +44 (0) 1983 295 144
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
RORC Cowes Clubhouse


The Parade
Cowes
Isle of Wight
PO31 7QU
UK

 +44 (0) 1983 293581
 +44 (0) 20 7493 5252
 http://www.rorc.org
RORC Rating Office
(Seahorse Rating Ltd)

Seahorse Building, Bath Road
Lymington, Hampshire
SO41 3SE
UK

 +44 (0) 1590 677030
 +44 (0) 1590 679478
 http://www.rorcrating.com

Royal Ocean Racing Club - since 1925

The RORC was founded in 1925 to encourage long distance yacht racing and the design, building and navigation of sailing vessels in which speed and seaworthiness are combined. Today the club encourages ocean, long distance and other forms of yacht racing and yachting activity.