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History in the making Record entry for the 10th RORC Caribbean 600

A record entry of 88 yachts has entered the tenth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 which has grown both in stature and entries since the race was first contested in 2009. For the 10th anniversary, in excess of 800 sailors from six continents and over 22 nations, will compete in the thrilling race around 11 Caribbean islands. Winners from the Olympic Games, America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and multiple world champions have gathered in Antigua and will be competing alongside passionate corinthian sailors, both young and old.

In its ten year history, American yachts have dominated the race, winning the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy on six occasions, setting both the current monohull and multihull records. For the 2018 race, 13 American teams will be competing including, George David’s Rambler 88, George Sakellaris’ Proteus, and Peter Aschenbrenner’s Paradox. The trio are amongst the favourites for the top prizes. However there is strong competition from Australia, France, Great Britain, Germany and Ireland.

American Maxi Rambler 88 is back and skipper George David will be taking part in his sixth race. David has taken line honours on three occasions and with Rambler 100, won overall under IRC in 2011, setting the monohull race record (40 hours 20 minutes 2 seconds). Rambler 88 is the hot favourite to be the first monohull home this year and has world class crew in every department, including three time America’s Cup winner, Brad Butterworth. Ludde Ingvall’s Australian Maxi CQS will make its debut in the race after successfully taking line honours in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race. Philip Rann’s British Maxi La Bête poses a threat to Rambler 88 and CQS. Race founder and long-standing RORC member John Burnie will be taking part in his ninth race on board La Bête.

George Sakellaris American Maxi 72 Proteus is one of the favourites for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy, won by the yacht with the best time after IRC time correction. Should Proteus win, Sakellaris will lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for an unprecedented third time. Proteus has an all-star cast, including Stu Bannatyne who is on leave from Dongfeng Race Team in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Bannatyne has competed in eight round the world races, winning on three occasions.

“It’s the warmest of the classic 600 races so always an event to look forward to,” commented Bannatyne. “The race has a lot of corners and waypoints so the whole team is usually far busier than the typical 600 mile race; especially navigators. It is a great race for crews because there are so many manoeuvres and sail changes required, good crew work really makes a difference and the guys don’t mind being woken up or nudged on the rail for another change because it is always so warm.”

George Sakellaris American Maxi 72 Proteus is one of the favourites for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy© Tim Wright/

George David will be competing in his sixth RORC Caribbean 600. Last year his American Maxi took monohull line honours © Tim Wright/

IRC Zero is the largest class competing this year with 24 teams. The mighty superyachts, Danneskjold and Farfalla represent the two largest yachts in the race, both in excess of 100ft (30.48m) and equipped with racing systems, as well as luxury refinements below decks. Ron O’Hanley’s American Privateer and Adrian Lee’s Irish Lee Overlay Partners are both previous winners. Two new boats to the race will also be among the favourites; Eric De Turckheim’s French Nivelt-Muratet 54 Teasing Machine and Jens Kellinghusen’s Ker 56 Varuna. British Infiniti 46 Maverick, skippered by Quentin Stewart and Stefan Jentzsch’s German Carkeek 47 Black Pearl, represent the two smallest yachts in the class, but both are capable of punching above their water line length.
A record number of multihulls will be racing this year, including 2013 class winner Paradox, skippered by Peter Aschenbrenner. Designed by Nigel Irens, the 63ft American trimaran hit a top speed of 38 knots in the 2013 race. “French Tech Caraîbos will be quick in big breeze,” commented Paradox trimmer Jeff Mearing, referring to Giles Lamire’s Multi50, which won class in the 2010 Route du Rhum. Both boats are capable of breaking the multihull race record (31 hours, 59 minutes, 04 seconds Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD70 Phaedo3). Greg Slyngstad’s Bieker 53 Fujin returns and includes Olympic gold medallist Johnathan McKee as part of the Seattle-based crew. Competing for the first time will be Jason Carroll’s American Gunboat 62 Elvis, with Irish Volvo Ocean Race winner Justin Slattery on board. The smallest yacht in the race is the modified Seacart 30 Morticia, skippered by Shaun Carroll with an all-Australian crew.

The RORC Caribbean 600 is part of the Class40 2018 Championship and a record seven pocket rockets are competing this year from France, Germany, Sweden and the United States. The Class40 race record is 2 days 16 hours 26 minutes 29 seconds, set by Gonzalo Botin’s Tales II in 2016. Catherine Pourre’s Eärendil returns after a terrific battle in last year’s race and 2016 runner-up, Mikael Ryking’s Talanta from Sweden will also be amongst the Class40 fleet. Mathias Muller von Blumencron’s German Class40 Red debuts after winning the RORC Transatlantic Race and Marc Lepesqueux’s Class40 Sensation will be racing under IRC.

Competing for the second time, superyacht Danneskjold is one of the largest yachts in the race at 100ft (30.48m) © Cory Silken

A record number of multihulls will be racing this year, including 2013 class winner Paradox, skippered by Peter Aschenbrenner © Tim Wright/

From Sweden, Mikael Ryking’s Class40 Talanta will join six other Class40s in the race this year © Tim Wright/

Antiguan Bernie Evan-Wong has competed in every race and his RP37 Taz is the smallest in IRC One © Paul Wyeth/

In IRC One, Olympian Per Arne Nilsen’s Norwegian Swan 66 Enigma VIII is the largest yacht. Philippe Frantz’s Nivelt-Muratet 43 Albator has a mixture of highly experienced veteran and young talented Figaro and Tour Voile sailors, all from France. German Swan 56 Latona will have three generations of the von Eicken family on board and representing the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. German Andrews 56 Broader View Hamburg, winner of IRC One for the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race will be skippered by Georg Christiansen. The smallest yacht racing in IRC One will be last year’s class winner, Antiguan RP37 Taz, skippered by Bernie Evan-Wong who has competed in every edition of the race. Giles Redpath’s Lombard 46 Pata Negra was third in class in last year’s race and has been chartered by a team from Dublin, with Oliver Heer as skipper.

In IRC Two, the largest yacht will be Oceanis 55 Julia, skippered by Louie Neocleous who is just 20 years old and sailing with his father Richard. Back year after year are several yachts owned by charter companies offering the golden opportunity to compete in the race. Performance Yacht Racing have three entries; Grand Soleil 43s Quokka 8, Jua Kali and Beneteau First 47.7 EH01. The three teams are expected to have a close battle within the class. Another charter boat duel will be between two First 40s. Susan Glenny’s Olympia’s Tigress will be sailed by Richard Preston, against Sailing Logic’s Lancelot II, sailed by Trevor Drew. Pamala Baldwin’s J/122 Liquid will be proudly flying the Antiguan flag, as will the Antigua Sailing Academy’s First 40.7 Ortac, sailed by Amanda Mochrie.
The largest yacht racing in IRC Three will be the 50ft Bermudan Cutter Gemervescence owned by RORC Commodore Steven Anderson. Jonty and Vicki Layfield’s Antiguan flagged Swan 48 Sleeper won the class last year and will be defending their title. Andrew Eddy also returns with Oyster 48 Gaia and a young crew including both his son and daughter. “My daughter is flying in from Kenya and my son has put together a group of his sailing friends, so I am going to be the grown-up on board,” laughed Eddy. “Our goal is to finish before the prize giving on Friday as we did not manage last year, so we are hoping for good winds.” RORC Transatlantic Race Class winner, Richard Palmer will once again be racing his British JPK 10.10 Jangada Two Handed. Richard has teamed up with his partner for the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race, Jeremy Waitt and Jangada is the smallest monohull racing this year.

Three boats will be racing Two Handed and include Richard Palmer’s British JPK 10.10 Jangada competing in IRC Three © James Mitchell/RORC

Performance Yacht Racing have three entries in the 2018 RORC Caribbean 600: Grand Soleil 43s Quokka 8, Jua Kali and Beneteau First 47.7 EH01 © Tim Wright/

Several German yachts taking part in the Atlantic Anniversary Regatta are competing this year and include Broader View Hamburg, winner of IRC One in the 2017 RORC Transatlantic Race © James Mitchell/RORC

The 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 starts on Monday 19th February from Fort Charlotte, outside Nelson’s Dockyard. The first start is at 1100. There are plenty of ways to follow the race:

RACE MINISITE: For more information and to follow the race, please go to:



Twitter: Follow @rorcracing – Hashtag: #rorcrc600

SWAT Recruitment begins today For Antigua Sailing Week

Volunteers are being sought for this the 51st edition of Antigua Sailing Week! Our SWAT or Sailing Week Antigua Team, have been the backbone of our success from the very first Antigua Sailing Week in 1968, and this year like any we would like you to join our team. This is a great avenue to welcome visitors to our shores, meet up with old friends and be involved in one of the most exciting sailing regattas in the world.

Would you like to help us make a difference? We need people like you to donate time, energy, and experience in a variety of areas, including meet & greet, administration, entertainment, individual transportation, and more. There are opportunities that match your interests and strengths.

Our first call of duty begins with your registration and indication of interests; then we move swiftly into scheduling and assignment of the various teams.

Together, we will be able to help continue to make Antigua Sailing Week the fantastic event it has been. Our volunteers say they feel rewarded many times over for the help they provide and as the old adage goes, “Many hands make light work”, and let’s not forget the serious business of having fun!

Please call us today at +1(268) 725-4559 to find out more about how you can help, or visit our website at

Gill renews its partnership with Antigua Sailing Week

Gill, the leading technical apparel brand, and manufacturing company have extended its partnership with Antigua Sailing Week (ASW) for the 2018 and 2019 events to provide the official Merchandise range exclusively for ASW crew members.

According to ASW Merchandise Manager, Jenny Hadeed, this partnership represents exciting developments as the event moves into the next decade. “We are very proud to be working with Gill again as their UV merchandise provides excellent cover for the participating crews. We continue to build a strong brand association between ASW and Gill that enhances not only the look of the crews but the event as a whole.”

The existing line has some new and exciting additions for 2018, including micro fleeces in new colors and two new technical tops, the quarter zip and long sleeve both in black.

Hadeed adds that the popularity of the line means quick sales. “The online store is now live and as with previous years we know that it will sell quickly and we are urging all interested crews to place their orders early for customised gear.” For crew gear options click here.

Since its initial partnership with ASW, Gill recently announced that the British parent company has acquired Gill North America Ltd. Gill’s CEO Jamie Tunnicliffe, explains that this acquisition will be beneficial to all. “We are delighted to have finalized a deal which benefits our customers, stakeholders, and staff. With this brand consolidation, turnover growth will now exceed GBP£20 million in 2018 and we can ensure that we have a consistent brand message and product offering across the world.”

For the full 2018 ASW Gill Range visit the ASW Store here


Pillar of Island Strength Prepares to Welcome International Fleet

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has been a Caribbean favorite for almost four decades, and this year’s 38th edition, scheduled for March 1-4, will prove no exception to the rule. Already, 75 boats representing 22 countries have registered to race in the island of St. Maarten’s first major event since Hurricane Irma passed through in September. With three weeks to go, organizers have ensured that the parties and entertainment will continue to be legendary as they complement four days of serious on-the-water competition.

“We have been saying that the best way to support our island is to come to it, and by the looks of the entry list, which is growing daily, that is exactly what the sailors are doing,” said Regatta Race Director Paul Miller, adding that the 38th edition will aim to raise funds for dedicated marine, humanitarian and environmental efforts through the K1 Britannia Foundation, the St. Maarten Nature Foundation, the St. Maarten Sea Rescue Foundation and the St. Maarten Yacht Club Regatta Foundation. “We hope to act as an example of strength and solidary, and help raise awareness as we continue the rebuilding of the island.”

Headlining the regatta’s concert series this year will be Grammy Award-winning musician Shaggy, who has offered to perform for a highly reduced fee to support the fundraising efforts. He will be joined by other notable talent, including Carnival legends Destra and 3 Cylinder.

The Competition

The world-class St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is known for attracting a largely international fleet of maxi, monohull and multihull boats. This year’s roster is comprised of teams coming mostly from North America, South America, Europe and Australia.

Sir Richard Matthews will skipper the 42-foot Judel Vrolijk designed Power of Love to represent one of ten UK-based teams competing.

“People keep coming back to the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, because it’s good competition and a great place to race,” said Matthews who first raced in the event over 25 years ago. His team won its class last year, racing his Humphreys 39 Oystercatcher XXX1. “We’ve done quite a lot of sailing in the Caribbean, and I have had 31 race boats under the Oystercatcher name, but this year we will be racing a new boat coming down from America, which is slightly larger than what we competed in last year. We’re very competitive, but at the same time we sail for fun.”

© Laurens Morel – Pictures in this album may be shared on social media. For buying this or other photos in high resolution, go to

Rob Butler and his Canadian team on the Reflex 38 Touch2Play Racing raced in the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta for the first time last year and will be returning this year. “I’ve done a lot of regattas in my lifetime all over the world, and it’s pretty hard to match the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta,” said Butler whose team took second in its class last year. “When it comes to sailing, there are not many places that can rival the Caribbean, and St. Maarten, in particular, is just a fun place to sail. With all the different classes and the ability to charter race boats onsite, it is no surprise there are so many boats that enter every year. That, on top of the amazing parties and the incredible entertainment they bring in, makes it a pretty spectacular event.”

The regatta, kicks off Thursday, March 1 with the separately scored Gill’s Commodores Cup. On Friday, the fleet embarks on the event’s 26-nautical mile Around the Island Race before taking on a series of windward-leeward races on Saturday and a single coastal race on Sunday. . Each day of racing is rounded out with shoreside entertainment from the “Regatta Village” located at Princess Port de Plaisance Resort and Casino and the Yacht Club at Port de Plaisance (across from race host St. Maarten Yacht Club).

For access to press releases, material, editorial free photos and/or press boat sign up, please fill out the Media Accreditation form at

For free concierge service, contact, +1 721-544-2079

For up-to-date information regarding lodging, marinas, charter options and beyond, visit

To Register for the 2018 event, visit

All photos please credit to Laurens Morel. For editorial use and high resolution download, please contact Kirsten Ferguson,, +1 401-330-7889

Two months left before the kick-off of the 9th edition

One of the new additions to the 9th edition of Les Voiles de Saint-Barth is the arrival of the OMA (Offshore Multihull Association), a class created in February 2017 for all owners of multihull sailboats.

“This class was created to better run the multihull races, but also ensure the security of the boats and their crews, while also participating in their promotion,” explains Charles Goodrich, a member of the OMA, who also points out the creation of the new MultiRule aimed to establish equitable ratings for multihull boats to race as fairly as possible in all wind conditions

“Rating the multihull class is an important subject. Until this year, Les Voiles de Saint-Barth adhered to the CSA, and we integrated the CSA Multihull class. Today, we are happy to include the MultiRule as part of the regatta,” assures Luc Poupon, the race director for Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.

CODE-ZERO Produces Personalized Crew Polo Shirt

A new feature for Les Voiles de Saint-Barth: the new clothing sponsor for the event, CODE-ZERO, is producing personalized polo shirts with the name of your boat.

These Crew Kits, sold in a minimum of 10 shirts, are available in six colors, with the green logo especially designed as a sign of solidarity for St Barthélemy.

With this in mind, 40% of the total cost of each order will be donation to the association, Help St Barth, certified by the St Barth Foundation, and whose goal is to finance the materials and manpower needed for the reconstruction of the island.

For all orders, contact: | Tel: 00 31 85 27 32 375

Newcomers And Regulars:A Registration Update

The multihull class is bigger than ever this year! There are already seven boats signed up from France and the United States, including newcomers such as the Mach Schnell’s 60’ catamaran, the Multi 50 French Tech Rennes St Malo, Christian Guyader’ catamaran Gastronomie, or Lloyd Thornburg’s Gunboat 66, Phaedo, not to be confused with the trimaran Phaedo3.

Among the regulars, 2017 class winner Fujin will be back, as well as R-Six, which finished in third place. Stephen Cucchiaro’s Flow will be back after taking a year off.

In the Maxi class, the top overall winner Proteus will be back and will compete against another Maxi 72, Sorcha (ex Robertissima), which will make its debut at Les Voiles de Saint-Barth. English owner Peter Harrison is very familiar with the playing field, as he has sailed in Les Voices since 2015 and has stood on the podium with his TP 52 of the same name. Another competitor used to finishing first is Rambler concurrent habitué à la première place, Rambler88, who is out for revenge, not having won for the past two years!

Windfall and Aragon will also both be back to compete against newcomer Althane and in the Volvo 70 Green Dragon and Ocean Breeze.

With five days of racing on the schedule this year, the competition promises to be even more incredible for this 9th edition of Les Voiles.

To Register click here.

Barrows Named 2017 ‘Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year’ by Virgin Islands Sailing Association

The 2017 College Sailor of the Year, former Youth Olympic Gold Medalist and current 2020 Summer Olympic medal-aspirant in the 49er, Ian Barrows, has been awarded the coveted title of ‘Virgin Islands Sailor of the Year’ for 2017 by the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA).

“Ian is probably the best natural sailor the Virgin Islands has ever produced. His international accomplishments through his final year at Yale where he was named collegiate sailor of the year speak for themselves. We wish Ian good luck in his Olympic endeavors,” says Bill Canfield, VISA president.

Photo: Ian Barrows. Courtesy Yale University Sailing Team.

Barrows, age 23, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands and brother of two-time Olympic sailor, Thomas Barrows, who was also named College Sailor of the Year in 2010, is pleased to be selected.

“It’s a huge honor to receive recognition as VISA’s Sailor of The Year award because there are so many deserving U.S. Virgin Island sailors. I was fortunate to have my most successful year of college sailing in 2017. It was a good way to end my college career and now it’s time to experience a different type of sailing,” says Barrows, who graduated from Yale University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

The VISA award caps an incredible year of achievement for Barrows, which started in the fall of 2016 as he began his senior year at Yale. The Virgin Islands’ skipper kicked off the first inter-conference regatta of the season by finishing first in A Division in the highly-competitive Pine Trophy. Barrows then both won and led the Yale Bulldogs to two additional inter-conference victories, respectively, the Hatch Brown and Danmark Trophies. He finished the fall by once again skippering to the top of A Division and earning the Bulldogs the title the Erwin Schnell Trophy, a New England Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (NEISA) conference championship. This autumn crescendo prefaced an even more successful spring semester of college sailing, in which Barrows proved his prowess in team racing as he did fleet racing in the fall. In fact, out of six NEISA regattas, Barrows won A Division in five. Three were inter-conference events: Graham Hall, Jan T. Friis Trophy and Thompson Trophy. The other two were the highly-competitive New England Team Race Championship and the NEISA Coed Championships/US Coast Guard Alumni Bowl. Barrows talents paid off in being named NEISA Sailor of the Year for 2017. Then, impressive performances in the LaserPerformance Team Race National Championships and Gill Coed College Sailing National Championship, capped off an incredible year that earned Barrows the Everett B. Morris Trophy by being named the Marlow Ropes College Sailor of the Year for outstanding performance at the highest level of sailing in the collegiate year. What’s more, Barrows finished his senior year on the Yale University Sailing Team as a four-time All-American.

Barrows, who started sailing Optimist dinghies at the St. Thomas Yacht Club at age 5 and later took summer classes at the Pleon Yacht Club in Marblehead, Massachusetts, credits both his brother and parents, Shep and Jean Barrows, for introducing him and encouraging him in the sport.

“My parents sailed down to the Virgin Islands on their 32-foot sailboat and lived on it for several years. They taught my older brother how to sail and he encouraged me to hop in a boat as well. The St. Thomas Yacht Club had good coaches who helped me improve every day. My teammates and I pushed each other to keep getting better,” says Barrows. “The Virgin Islands has some of the best sailing conditions in the world. There was almost always a consistent moderate breeze that enabled me to put many hours on the water. Also, the warm climate made sailing a lot more enticing whereas, if I grew up in a colder place I might not have ever wanted to sail.”

The Virgin Islands’ sailor has enjoyed considerable success in sailing prior to college. In the Optimist, highlights include first place at the 2018 IODA South American Championship and second overall at the 2008 IODA World Championships. In high school, as a skipper on the Antilles Sailing Team, Barrows won the 2011 Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) Singlehanded National Championship for the Cressy Trophy in the Laser Radial and led the school’s 2011 and 2013 wins in the 420 in the ISSA Fleet Racing Championship for the Mallory Trophy. Most spectacularly, Barrows earned a Gold Medal at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore in the Boys’ Byte CII.

“Currently I’m training for the Olympics in the 49er and look forward to improving my sailing ability throughout the process,” says Barrows, who with fellow Yale graduate and crew, Mitchell Kiss, sailed in the 49er North Americans last summer and competed in the Oakcliff Triple Crown Regattas in the fall. “It was easy choosing the 49er because it’s the fastest and most fun boat I’ve ever sailed. I hadn’t sailed fast boats before the 49er, so I wanted to learn quicker decisions and learn about higher speed strategies. The best 49er sailors have gone on to skipper in the Americas Cup. so, I thought it might be my best opportunity to have a chance to compete in the Cup in the future.”

What advice does Barrows offer to young sailors in the U.S. Virgin Islands? “My advice would be to try and put in as many hours on the water as possible because that’s what makes the biggest difference. Also, it’s important to realize how lucky you are to grow up in a place like the Virgin Islands that has perfect sailing conditions year-round,” he says.

VISA is the organization that administers all sailing activities in the US Virgin Islands. We are a Member National Authority of ISAF which is the International Federation that governs sailing worldwide, the Pan American Sailing Federation and Central American and Caribbean Sailing Organization. In addition, VISA was a founding member of the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee, which administers all Olympic sports in the Virgin Islands.


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Caribbean Sailing Association 2017