The 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organized by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, will start tomorrow, Monday February 18th, at 11.00 local time (15.00 UTC and 16.00 Italian time). Alongside Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70, which is racing in flying mode, more than 700 sailors from all around the world and yachts from over 20 nations will participate in the 600-mile-long race around 11 islands in the Lesser Antilles, in the Caribbean.
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati Multi 70’s Team are busy with the last preparations and they are monitoring the developments of the weather conditions. The forecasts indicate stable Trade Winds, between 16 and 20 knots, for the whole race course. Giovanni Soldini explained: «In the last few days, the wind was blowing from South-East, causing big waves to form in areas of shallow water. Today the wind turned more West and we expect much better conditions on Monday. A wind over 14 knots and small waves allow us to fly steadily, giving us a rather significant advantage. We will find the most critical conditions in the passage South of Guadeloupe, where the wind is lighter».
MOD 70 Argo’s participation is uncertain, following an accident that happened on Friday off Antigua. Maserati Multi 70 and its direct rival Argo were racing around the island as training for the RORC Caribbean 600 when the wind suddenly got stronger and the American trimaran, skippered by Jason Carroll, capsized. Argo’s Team, with the help from Carlo Falcone, proprietor of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, was able to salvage the trimaran with an intact mast. «They did a great job» said Giovanni Soldini. «They were close to a shoal so the trimaran didn’t capsize 180° and the mast didn’t break, it was a great operation».
Alongside Maserati Multi 70 and Argo, 8 other boats entered the race in the multihull category (MOCRA). Aboard Argo, with skipper Jason Carroll, will be British Brian Thompson, former skipper aboard Phaedo3, and French François Gabart, winner of the 2012-13 Vendée Globe.
Maserati Multi 70’s goal, as well as winning in the multihull category, is to beat the record set by American Phaedo3 in 2016: 1 day, 7 hours, 59 minutes and 4 seconds.
The course of the RORC Caribbean 600 circumnavigates around 11 islands in the Lesser Antilles. The race starts and finishes in Fort Charlotte, Antigua, and heads North as far as Saint Martin and South to Guadeloupe, taking in Barbuda, Nevis, Saba and Saint Barth.
Photo ©Ted Martin