RORC Caribbean 600

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Tuesday 7th March 2017

The Caribbean RORC 600 has just completed it’s 9th year. Close to 900 sailors from 30 different nations took part in the 600 mile race around the 11 Caribbean islands.

The fleet was made up from a complete cross section of yachts including 2 MOD 70’s, Rambler 88, “Shamanna” a Swan 115 the 2 enormous schooner’s “Eleonora” and “Adela”, a large fleet of Class 40’s as well as a number of classic yachts, and also 4 X-Yachts.

The fleet line up for the start of the 2017 RORC 600

Simon Constain with his X-50 “Xanadu”, who was joined by X-Yachts’ Marketing Manager Georgie Eggleton, Christoph Schubert on “Team Geist” a X-562, “Godspeed” an X-41 owned by Peter Steinkogler, and Nico Cortlever’s X-612 “Nix”.

In the build up to the race it became clear that the weather was not going to be the usual trade wind conditions. A low pressure system moving through caused the wind direction to repeatedly sift through 360 and created some very challenging conditions.

X562 “Team Geist” get ready for the start.

Following a great start the crew on board ‘Xanadu’ enjoyed a brilliant reach up to Barbuda round the windward side of Antigua. ‘Xanadu reached this mark just ahead of the stunning 130ft schooner ‘Eleanora’. After gybing at the mark and heading across towards Nevis Xanadu was happily sitting at 8knts and sailing beautifully as the sun was setting. However, as it got dark the wind became more fickle and the crew spent the first night battling to keep her moving through almost no wind and in pouring rain. After drifting round the back of Nevis and St Kitts daylight brought a bit more wind and they were then hit by an impressive 45 knt squall early the following morning. After this the weather settled slightly for Xanadu and she then enjoyed a beautiful reach across to St Barts under Code 0 with the boat hitting speeds of up to 11 knots.

The giant schooner “Eleonora” passes X-50 “Xanadu” just after Barbuda

Despite the challenging conditions all the crews on board the X-Yachts thoroughly enjoyed the race. RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen commented that it is “combination of a challenging race, sunshine and warm water in beautiful surroundings makes this a totally unique offshore race,”

It is wonderful to see such an international selection of X-Yacht owners and crews who have made the crossing out to the beautiful waters of the Caribbean take time out from their cruising schedules to compete in this challenging and prestigious race.

For Christoph Schubert on board Team Geist it was the first race he had ever entered the yacht into and he seems to have caught the racing bugand now keen to do more. The smallest X to take part was the X-41 “Godspeed” who completed the course in a very impressive 4 days, 5 hours and 35 minutes and were far ahead of many much larger yachts.

Sailing in the RORC 600 on board X-50 “Xanadu” owned by Simon Costain

In true Antiguan style the prize giving and dinner, hosted by Antigua Yacht Club, was a great party and a wonderful opportunity to for all of the X-Yacht owners to get together and share stories of their season since taking part in the ARC as well as discussing the race.

The X-Yacht crews from ‘Xanadu’, ‘TeamGiest’ and “Nix’ enjoy the prize giving dinner.

We hope next year to see many more X-Yachts out racing in this superb event.