2021 RORC Caribbean 600 – Race Update

The 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is scheduled to start off Fort Charlotte, Antigua on Monday 22nd February 2021.

“The RORC Flag Officers meet regularly and since July the overall commitment from the Club has been to provide safe racing when there is sufficient demand and when restrictions allow us to do so,” commented RORC Racing Manager, Chris Stone. “The early entries for the RORC Caribbean 600 and the enquiries we are receiving show that there is a real desire for the race to take place.”

The RORC Caribbean 600 course is unique; starting and finishing in Antigua, the competitors round 11 Caribbean islands. Warm trade winds and Caribbean swell provide superb sailing conditions and the local effects of the islands produce spectacular and strategic racing. For 600 miles the race is full of twists and turns with breath-taking scenery.

International travel is subject to change in the current climate. However the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority has published a useful page for entry protocols which is regularly updated: https://visitantiguabarbuda.com/travel-advisory/

Below is a summary of the latest advisory for travel to Antigua by air and sea.

To fly to Antigua, all passengers must have taken a negative PCR test prior to departure. Arriving by boat, all crew and passengers are to have a Negative PCR Covid-19 test result prior to travel. There is an established travel bubble comprising the six OECS countries, along with Montserrat and Barbados. Given the fluidity of the Covid-19 situation, countries may be removed from or added to the list. Travellers should keep up-to-date for any changes.

Statistically, Antigua is one of the safest places to travel and the Antigua & Barbuda Government have taken a serious approach to tackling the health crisis. The marinas in Antigua are all implementing protocols to control access to the docks. Wearing of face masks and sanitisation and social distancing is compulsory in public areas, except for beaches. The rules are very similar to those adopted throughout Europe. In addition, a curfew is in place from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. each night.

Speaking with residents and business owners in English Harbour and Falmouth, the vast majority are very much open for visitors. The Antigua & Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA) reports that the docks are well-booked and marine service companies, restaurants, and stores are gearing up to receive an influx of boats for the Caribbean season.

The Antigua & Barbuda Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health issue Covid-19 compliance training certificates to ensure yacht workers understand the necessary precautions needed to be taken to ensure the safety of all. Taxi drivers, yacht workers, restaurant, bar staff and vendors have all participated in health protocols workshops.

Entries for the 2021 RORC Caribbean 600 include a diverse fleet of boats including some of the world’s fastest monohull and multihull yachts. (Entry list link: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/Entries/entries-interest-2.html) The overall winner, decided on IRC rating will feature world famous sailors competing with, and against, passionate Corinthian sailors. Early entries boast teams from over a dozen different nations from the Caribbean, Europe, North America and from Australia.

Franklyn Braithwaite, Commodore of the Antigua Yacht Club has been a part of the yachting community in Antigua for his whole life. “The Antigua Yacht Club looks forward to working with RORC for the 2021 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. The Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda welcome the arrival of the boats and crew to enjoy our hospitality and sailing conditions while observing all necessary Covid-19 protocols. I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable regatta.”

For more information about the 2021 RORC Caribbean 600: http://caribbean600.rorc.org/
#Caribbean600

New Board Elected for the Caribbean Sailing Association

Last weekend the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place via Zoom. The group unanimously re-elected President Alison Sly-Adams to serve her third term. Fellow board members Michele Korteweg of St. Maarten, Karen Stiell of Grenada, Pat Bailey of the United States Virgin Islands, and Jaime Torres of Puerto Rico will continue to serve. Joining them as new members are Tamsin Rand of the British Virgin Islands and Brian Sylvester of Grenada. To put names to face their profile is available here.

Members from 17 countries attended the AGM from Trinidad and Tobago in the South to Puerto Rico in the North.

At the AGM and Conference, President Alison Sly-Adams said, ‘Although our organization was formed to create the CSA rating rule to ensure we can deliver fair racing in the Caribbean, which to this day, remains the heart of the association, our role grows every season. This year we continue to focus on supporting an increase in participation in the sport at the grassroots level. The CSA offers a forum for regattas, yachts clubs, sailing programmes, and member national authorities to work together on specific programmes to do this.’

The region is supporting two World Sailing initiatives in particular; a) gender equality and b) using virtual eSailing as a pathway into the sport.

The members agreed to support the new World Sailing event Steering the Course, which will deliver a Festival of Sailing showcasing women role models sailing right across the region. A separate presentation on VirtualRegatta, World Sailing’s virtual sailing platform, was presented by Deanna Jevans, Brand and Marketing Executive and Scott Over, Commercial Director of World Sailing. As a sweet bonus, 30 free VIP Sailing passes were gifted to the CSA, provided by Mount Gay Rum in support of World Sailing and their development of eSailing in the Caribbean.

Day two of the conference focused on the challenging environment for the upcoming season regarding the Covid-19 Pandemic. The region’s Organizing Authorities are committed to continue working together to simplify procedures, communication and protocols for competitors this coming season.

The OAs present all confirmed their intent to produce exciting racing in fantastic Caribbean conditions, albeit with modifications as required by their local governments. A link to the full 2021 Caribbean Racing calendar of the events is here: LINK

 

3rd Annual Caribbean Multihull Challenge Shapes Up

Pushing through the tough conditions imposed on us all by Covid, the Sint Maarten Yacht Club and the Steering Committee for the Caribbean Multihull Challenge set for the 5,6,7 of February 2021 is weathering the storm and planning for a safe as well as exciting regatta. Cooperation from the Sint Maarten Government as well as from all partners and sponsors is making it possible to have this sparkling event as a gift for all multihull sailors.

Already there are boats registered including the CMC’s first Gunboat – Moementum – as well as speedy first timer Aréte; a MOD 60 coming to Sint Maarten from the USA. These boats will be joined by Argo – Jason Carroll’s MOD 70 – a winner from the 2020 edition; and a winning cruising multihull from a different class – La Novia – skippered by George Coutu of the Dominican Republic. Thrilling is the number of repeat entries from SXM including two Leopards entered by Ian Martin and one from Petro Jonkers. Adding to this mix is the hot Arawak and the traditional local trimaran Tryst.

Just like the CMC’s older and world reknown Sint Maarten Heineken Regatta, race organizers at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club are developing the right format for the on-shore portions of the regatta to provide a safe event for all whether on the water or simply spectating. Special arrangements with charter sponsor Yacht Club Port De Plaisance will support berthing for all early sign-up competitors at a special CMC-only rate.

Information on entries, notice of race, etc. www.CaribbeanMultihullChallenge.com/ Information on sponsorship contact stephenburzon@gmail.com

 

Team Island Water World winner of first Grant Thornton Keelboat Race

The first Grant Thornton Keelboat race of the new season saw an excellent turnout and sailing under idyllic conditions in Simpson Bay. Two classes were sailed. The faster racing boats in one and the smaller in a second. The initial results were found to be wanting after announcement and the final results saw Frits Bus and Team Island Water World taking the win first three first places and a second place. Second was Kick em Jenny with Ryan Hope Ross at the helm with a team of younger sailors. Franny, the J70 sailed by Garth Steyn took third place and Caraibes Diesel sailed by Erwan le Normand the fourth place. The crews of all boats had to work hard to achieve success in the four short course races that were sailed and especially the weather mark was often the scene of intense activity.

In the smaller class Ian Martin sailing a Sunfast 20 was clearly the fastest on the water and managed to eliminate the liability of and over early in the first race. Robbie Ferron and Petro Jonker followed in his wake for all the races without being able to pass.

Jan v d Eynden on Wanna Be missed the first two races but then took a 3rd and 4th in the final two races, reminding all of the potential of this boat in the lighter and medium winds.

A new addition to the fleet was “Elena” a Archambault 22 that turned out to have a high-quality sail wardrobe and could be a good competitor in the future.

The race officer was Ernst Looser and the timing was done by Corinne Draesner, Clenda Pecht and Carin Adelstein. Marklaying was done by Maarten Persenaire.

For the next two weeks the yacht clubs’ activities switch to the Grant Thornton Dinghy Championship with the Aberson series taking place on the following two Saturday afternoons (21st and 28th) with races starting at 2 pm each Saturday afternoon. This new series is named after the late Dr Rob Aberson, a medical doctor who served Sint Maarten well and on the race course was known for his sportsmanship.

In December a replacement regatta will be held for the annual “La Course d’Alliance”. This regatta normally went from Simpson Bay to St. Barths, Anguilla and back but for this year it will be reduced to two days and will switch the two destinations for the territory Oyster Pond. This will avoid the complications of border crossing. All boat owners are encouraged to participate in this event where the host party will be the Oyster Bay Beach Resort.

Island Hops Wins 2020 Nanny Cay Round Tortola Race

News from RBVYC

Mark Sanders won the 2020 Nanny Cay Round Tortola Race that took place on Saturday 14 November. Eleven boats took to the race course in what turned out to be a challenging day on the water with afternoon squalls and wind shifts.

The cruising and racing fleets were first away at 09:05. Don Pietrykowski’s Pirate Flag was a little too keen, crossing the line early so had to return back and re-start. The others were clean away and settled in to the beat up the Sir Francis Drake channel. The multihull start was one hour later and as usual offered an impressive sight for the spectators at Nanny Cay. Sadly it wasn’t a day for record breaking and the Nanny Cay Challenge so all boats opted for the inside track rather than outside Guana, Camanoe and Scrub.

Line honours went to Firewater, the Melges 24 with Christian Thompson at the helm, finishing at 13:59:09. It was a waiting game for them to see if RIP, the IC24 skippered by Jason Putley, could do enough for the corrected time win. RIP came in almost exactly one hour later so on corrected time the win was safe for Firewater.

The second boat home was the 31-foot Corsair, Island Hops skippered by Mark Sanders, finishing at 14:10:23. Chris Haycraft’s Ting a Ling, another Corsair, and Miles Sutherland Pilch with Odyssey a Beneteau 44.7 kept the race committee guessing who was going to cross the line first with 24 seconds between them. Becky Paull’s Jeanneau 42, Aira, was the next home and, like Odyssey, it all came down to how soon the boats behind them would finish.

The final positions came down to the wire in both the multihull and cruising fleets. Each boat’s final position is decided by their ‘corrected time’ which is calculated using their rating and the ‘elapsed time’ (actual time spent racing). Ultimately, the wind gods favoured the faster boats and Island Hops clinched the win from Ting-a-Ling by 1 minute and 26 seconds whilst in the cruising fleet, Aira was the victor just 23 seconds ahead of Odyssey.

Thank you to everyone who raced, Dick and Tamara the race committee, Mandi for the photos and of course Nanny Cay for their sponsorship and continued support for the RBVIYC activities.

Results

Multihull
1. Island Hops, Mark Sanders
2. Ting a Ling, Chris Haycraft
3. Whoop Whoop, Kevin Rowlette
4. Airgasm, Barney Crook

Racing
1. Firewater, Christian Thompson
2. Racing in Paradise, Jason Putley

Cruising
1. Aira, Becky Paull
2. Odyssey, Miles Sutherland Pilch
3. Wicked Winch, David Lake Jnr
4. Pirate Flag, Don Pietrykowski
5. Tranquillo, Sean Laming

Nanny Cay Challenge

The Nanny Cay Challenge was launched in 2010 when yachts visiting the BVI were invited to make an attempt to beat the latest Round Tortola Records. The NCC can be attempted any-time any-day but must start and finish off Nanny Cay, circumnavigate in an anti-clockwise direction and leave Beef Island, Scrub Island, Great Camanoe and Guana Island to port.

During the 2019 BVI Spring Regatta the monohull and multihull records were both smashed. Bieker 53 Catamaran, Fujin posted an elapsed time of 1:57:16 whilst E1 the Volvo 70 skippered by Rafal Sawicki set a new monohull record of 2:53:08

Record breakers will receive a free dinner for up to 15 crewmembers and champagne at the beach side Peg Legs compliments of Nanny Cay. They will also have their names added to the perpetual trophy.

Challengers must pay an entry fee of $250 which is donated to a BVI charity of the challenger’s choice.

Find out more about the Nanny Cay Challenge at: https://nannycay.com/nanny-cay-challenge/

Current Records

Outright & Multihull: Fujin, Beiker 53, Greg Slyngstad – 27 March 2019 – 1 hours, 57 minutes & 16 seconds.
Monohull: E1, Volvo 70, Rafal Sawicki – 27 March 2019 – 2 hours, 53 minutes & 08 seconds.
Kiteboarding: Mike Hirst – 18 January 2019 – 2 hours, 14 minutes and 54 seconds

Lolie Osswald from St. Barths overall Winner of the 15th annual St. Maarten Optimist Championship 2020, the first regional event of the 2020-2021 season

The Sint Maarten Yacht Club, organizer of the 15th Annual Sol St. Maarten Optimist Championship, had seventeen youth sailors out on the water this weekend. Ten competitors in the orange (medium) fleet and seven in the blue (advanced) fleet. Due to Covid, travel restrictions are still in place at most Caribbean islands, therefore a reduced number of countries could attend. Still 17 sailors from St. Barths, Saint Martin and St. Maarten raced against each other for a place on the stage. The absolute winner of the Blue Fleet, and overall winner of the event, was Lolie Osswald from St. Barths, who got 10 bullets out of 12 races, winning with a significant lead.

According to Saskia Revelman, the race coach of St. Maarten: “This year’s regatta was smaller in size due to the restrictions of travelling for a few countries, but it still turned out to be a beautiful weekend full of racing. St. Barths always brings good competition in the blue fleet and was well represented with 6 sailors, of which 5 sailed in the blue fleet. This was the second year that Friar’s Bay Sailing School from Saint Martin sent sailors to participate and you can see the growth. We had quite strong winds on Saturday and Sunday which required a lot of perseverance from the youth sailors in the orange fleet, so we are very proud of our sailor Veronica Destin, who ended up on the second place in the orange class”.

Orange class: Veronica Destin in 2nd place

St. Barths dominated this year’s Optimist Championship showing excellent sailing skills which resulted in winning the top three places in the Blue Fleet and their only racer in the orange fleet won first place.

In the blue fleet, Lolie Osswald went home with the overall trophy and a watch sponsored by Ballerina Jewelers. Jules Fortunati took home 2nd place and Marvin Febrissy 3rd.

Blue class from left to right: Marvin Febrissy in 3rd place , Lolie Oswald in 1st place and Jules Fortunati in 2nd place.

In the orange fleet, Paul Loup Karman from St Barts became 1st. Veronica Destin from Sint Maarten took home 2nd and Emilien Lenormand from the French side became third.

Two additional trophies for Sportsmanship and Best Newcomer were also awarded. Sarah Michaux only started sailing lessons recently and took home the ‘Best Newcomer’ trophy as well as the 5th place in the orange fleet. Noemie Dedardel showed true persistence and fought her way through the races for which she was rewarded with the Sportsmanship trophy for showing true perseverance.

From left to right: Emilien Lenormand, Sarah Michaux, Veronica Destin, Marvin Febrissy, Lolie Osswald, Paul Loup Karman, Jules Fortunati, Noemie Dedardel

Nils Jannichsen, instructor at the SMYC: “All the youth sailors tried their best and did very well. We are very pleased with the event and everybody can be proud of making it possible!”

Many local and regional businesses have pitched in to make this event happen. Bob Hilbert sportswear has made special Optimist Championship long sleeve UV-shirts for all the competitors to wear during the event.

“This event is a regional jewel for all the young competitors. We couldn’t have done it with all the help from our sponsors that contribute yearly to this event. From donating prizes, to breakfast, snacks and dinner, our sponsors made it all possible” says Leonde Vermeulen, event manager of the SMYC. “This year we want to thank our sponsors Bob Hilbert, The Scuba Shop, Divico Distributors and Cash & Carry, Zeebest, Ballerina Jewelers, Martime School West Indies, Domino’s and Rainforest Adventures.

 

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© Caribbean Sailing Association 2018