Unequalled in the Caribbean, Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbour Antigua is a hallowed place for sailors young and old. The remarkable streets and celebrated Georgian buildings chronicle over 300 years of maritime history.
The dockyard is a unique setting, which commands admiration and this January, a fitting yachting regatta will take place in these esteemed surroundings.A dazzling array of the world’s most prestigious sailing yachts will attend The Superyacht Challenge Antigua.
A rare occasion to celebrate sailing, for a truly impressive guest list, which is now fully committed to the event.
Adela –181’ Twin Masted Schooner incorporating every conceivable modern yacht system with a graceful and classic profile both on deck and throughout a sumptuous interior. A predecessor of the J-class America’s Cup, combining exceptional performance with the charm and elegance of a golden era.
Drumfire — 80’ Bermudan Sloop, which won the 2011 Superyacht Cup Palma. A classic design with exceptional performance both inshore and offshore. The smallest yacht at the regatta can punch well above its weight. Superb craftsmanship throughout with flush decks and the latest in sail control systems, offer exceptional sail-handling ability.
Marama — 100’ Ketch with a unique personality, starting life as an abandoned project before being transformed into a distinctive yacht of functional rather than fashionable design. The interior has the feel of a modern penthouse, the deck and rig lay out are honed for speed. A truly individual endeavour.
Marie – 180’ Ketch nominated for the 2011 Robb Report ‘Best of the Best’ custom megayachts, combining classic aesthetics and contemporary design. The hull and exterior styling is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Yachting, yet offering all the spacious comforts and amenities of a 21st century yacht, a real downwind flyer.
Rebecca – 140’ Ketch the largest ketch to be built at Pendennis to date and without doubt one of the finest looking, modern sailing yachts in the world. Stylish, eye-catching with power and grace under sail with a light and elegant interior including a sole made from antique Heart Pine salvaged from a mill built in 1711.
Sojana — 115’ Ketch holder of the Round Antigua Record and the Lord Nelson Trophy, the magnificent yacht is as luxurious cruising as it is speedy on the racecourse. Below decks, there is a wealth of dark mahogany paneling, with gold-plated fittings and lavish fabrics. The latest in hi-tech sails, push-button winches and sleek lines have made Sojana a highly successful racing yacht of unquestionable pedigree.
This Is Us – 141’ Twin Masted Schooner, a glorious creation with low freeboard and dramatic overhangs, designed to offer an exhilarating ride. Full of power and beauty, this head-turning yacht is a truly modern classic with a sumptuous interior. However, carbon spars and rigging deliver exceptional sailing performance. A contemporary yacht of immense character intended to deliver awe-inspiring Caribbean adventures.
Timoneer – 147’ Ketch offering complete comfort for ocean cruising. A classic profile with balanced overhangs and a sweet sheer. The beautifully designed award-winning interior boasts a wealth of hand-polished cherry wood, contributing to a relaxed and traditional atmosphere. An exceptional conception, offering passion, creativity and craftsmanship designed for remote seafaring adventures.
Virago – 100’ Sloop winner of the 2011 St. Barths Bucket Regatta. Built by Nautor’s Swan, as a high performance racer cruiser, Virago competes at grand prix sailing events the world over. The undoubtedly luxurious design is complimented by sophisticated engineering to provide an extraordinary power to weight ratio. Given the fine fayre of warm trade winds with an accompanying seas state, the yacht is capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots. In the right conditions, probably the fastest yacht at the regatta.
Windrose – 152’ Schooner made headlines around the world after breaking the Transatlantic crossing record twice. With low freeboards, dashing sheer and long sweet overhangs, Windrose is a favourite among classic connoisseurs. However, her traditional appearance belies hidden technological advancements. This magnificent schooner captures the spirit of the early 20th century’s Golden Age of Sail, whilst sacrificing little in the way of speed, sail handling and luxury.
A significant number of highly prestigious yachts have strongly expressed their interest to take up the invitation to compete including; Elena, Hyperion, Nefertiti, P2 and Thalima.
The Superyacht Challenge Antigua will strive to deliver an exceedingly enjoyable occasion for all of the participants. Promoting fair sailing, good companionship and life-long memories.
In time-honoured tradition, the victor will simply receive a keg of rum and the kind-hearted admiration from an astonishing selection of yacht owners and their crew.
George David’s maxi yacht, Rambler 100, crossed the finish line in Antigua in the early hours of Wednesday morning in an elapsed time of 1 day 16 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds.
Subject to official confirmation, Rambler 100 has broken the monohull race record set by race rival, Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard by nearly four hours.
Two of the world’s most impressive racing yachts have been locking horns over 600 miles of high-speed action in a fight to the finish. Competing against each other for the first time and battling it out to snatch the record for the third edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.
The Rambler crew contained the entire compliment of the Puma Ocean Racing team which will be competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, tired but elated, Puma skipper, Kenny Read commented dockside in Antigua:
“That was a lot of fun but hard work for a while, you do something like sail around the world and that is almost easy compared to this, because there is no time to take any sleep, you’re taking so many corners and turns but it is also a gorgeous course, it’s a dream come true type of event. I am glad we came and that George invited me. Probably the most memorable part of the course was at night with a full moon at the top of St. Maarten, big breeze and massive breaking waves, it was huge fun and really cool, we came out of their doing 26 knots, it has been a real adventure and a this course and Rambler 100 is a whole new dimension for sailing.”
Rambler 100′s George David, an avid sailor and member of the New York Yacht Club, has been sailing with Kenny Read for 17 years.
“Rambler 100 is quite a handful, it’s like a Volvo 70 on steroids and this is a big fast race, which favours us,” commented David. “It is part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, the RORC Caribbean 600 has been a great race as part of that series. We never took this win for granted, we have carried out some optimisation towards the IRC rating and we really didn’t know how we would perform, as this is the first time that the boat has been raced to be IRC competitive. Leopard is a powerful boat and they are a good team that has been sailing together for a number of years.
Thank you to the RORC and the Antigua Yacht Club, a lot of people have put a great deal of effort into making this a great race, I think this race is going to attract a lot of competitors, we have a record fleet this year and I can only seeing it growing, I think we will be back next year.”
IRC Overall Provisional Results
1. USA25555 Rambler 100 JK 100 George David
2. CAN84248 Vela Veloce Southern Cross 52 Richard Oland
3. GBR115L Sojana Farr 115 Peter Harrison
4. AUS5299 Jazz Cookson 50 Chris Bull
5. GBR1R ICAP Leopard Farr 100 Mike Slade Mike Slade/Clarke Murphy
6. IRL5005 Lee Overlay Partners Cookson 50 Adrian Lee
7. GBR22N Aegir Carbon Ocean 82 Brian Benjamin
8. GBR4321R Oystercatcher XXVIII Humphreys 54 Richard Matthews
9. NED46 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Ker 46 Piet Vroon
10. LTU1000 Ambersail VO 60 Simonas Steponavicius
11. US60006 Venomous Carroll Marine 60 Derek Saunders
12. USA60271 Ocean’s Seven² Fauroux 104′ OSML Ltd JP Chomette
13. NED001 Windrose Of Amsterdam Dijkstra 40m Schooner Andrew McIrvine
Follow the rest of the fleet as they complete the race on the Carribbean 600 race tracker brought to you by Yellowbrick
Although several boat are still racing, Richard Bamford’s Swan 38 Dolfijn retired this morning which means that at tonight’s prize giving Karl Kwok’s Farr 80, Beau Geste, will be awarded the RORC Caribbean 600 trophy for best yacht overall under IRC, the line honours trophy for monohulls and Class trophy for IRC Super Zero.
“I have never cleaned up as well before so it feels really good,” smiled Karl Kwok upon hearing the news. “There may have been a lack of wind but we kept on going all the time and when the wind was with us we had flat water and some fantastic sailing. Beau Geste has a great spirit, I have been friends with Gavin Brady for two decades and we sit down and decide who we will have on board. Friendship is very important to me, we choose the best sailors but also the right people. I have to say a big thank you to Gavin Brady and the two watch captains, Jonno Swain and David Endean but all of the crew did a great job.
Beau Geste races all over the world and I would like to invite all of the competitors we come across to do this race. The sailing is as good as can be and I have enjoyed it immensely.”
Winner overall of the CSA division and second place overall under IRC is Richard Oland’s Southern Cross 52, Vela Veloce.
“We had a close battle with Privateer who beat us by less than a minute in our last encounter, so beating them this time was a bit of payback,” admitted Richard Oland, skipper of Vela Veloce. “Privateer are good sports and I am sure we will share a beer with them tonight. Although I have done a lot of cruising here, this is the first time I have raced in the Caribbean since the 60s. The boat comes from New Brunswick, Canada and it amazes me why people don’t come down here and enjoy these water.
Winner of IRC Super Zero Canting keel, third overall under IRC and second under CSA was Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 52, Privateer.
“We have never raced against another Cookson 50 which we were really looking forward to but Privateer is a newer boat with some differences and we weren’t really racing close to Lee Overlay Partners. We had a really good fight with Vela Veloce. This is the first time we have competed in a RORC race and I would like to give a big thank you to the organisers; this has been a very well run event.” Commented Vela Veloce boat captain Scott Innes-Jones.
Third overall under CSA and fourth overall under IRC was Adrian Lee’s Cookson 50, Lee Overlay Partners. Dockside Adrian Lee was still full of admiration for the race. “Very different to last year but we have enjoyed it just the same, this was as much a challenge but for different reasons, keeping the boat going and concentrating the whole time were so important. The last few miles were agonizingly slow but we kept cool under pressure and to be honest, we were delighted just to finish. Congratulations to Beau Geste on an excellent performance.”
Only one boat, AAG Big One has finished since Lee Overlay Partners came in last night. The breeze virtually shut down, right across the racecourse, causing many yachts to retire. ‘H’ one of the BLESMA crew describes the scene on board as Spirit of Juno made the decision to stop racing. “The skipper went to every guy and asked him for his view, everybody had their say but when he turned the engine on, it was a sickening feeling. We just ran out of time and needed to get back for flights home. We have developed as a team and really got to grips with the physical side of things but we need to work more on the tactical side, we will be back for sure. The RORC Caribbean 600 is unfinished business.”
Antigua is usually blessed with easterly Trade Winds and the unusual weather is extremely rare. However, the competitors in the RORC Caribbean 600 did have the sensation of surfing through the Caribbean sea in sublime conditions, at least some of the time.
Update as of Sunday
Willy Bissainte and Benoit Reffe’s Class 40, Tradition Guadeloupe were rightly proud as they crossed the finish line in the early hours of Sunday morning, having spent five nights at sea. A large contingent greeted Tradition Guadeloupe including Elizabeth Jordan, Commodore of the Antigua Yacht Club and Ian Loffhagen, RORC Racing manager. Every yacht competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 was welcomed back to Antigua, regardless of the time. Jonathon Cornelius and his ABSAR team was on call day and night through out the race and piloted every yacht into Falmouth Bay.
“We were never going to retire,” said Willy Bissainte dockside. “The RORC Caribbean 600 is a big part of my training for the Route de Rhum, which I will be racing solo, later in the year. We always had at least a little wind, we kept going all of the time. It was great to have such a reception from the Antigua Yacht Club and the RORC. We will only be staying for a short while though, we must go back to work in Guadeloupe in just a few hours.”
Willy Bissainte and his co-skipper Benoit Reffe picked up the Concise Trophy for the best Class 40 and the class trophy for IRC Zero. After a quick shower, the two sailors who defied the unusual weather, set sail for home.
The last yacht in the 2010 RORC Caribbean 600 was finally accounted for.