DAY 2: RAMBLER OUT IN FRONT - RORC CARIBBEAN 600Tuesday 21st February 2012
Race Report: Louay Habib, Antigua
George David's RP90 Rambler has a commanding lead in the battle for line honours in the RORC Caribbean 600. The American entry is over 20 miles ahead of the 214ft Ketch Hetairos, even though Rambler is less than half the size.
Rambler rounded Tintamarre just after dawn this morning to begin the 160-mile power reach south to Guadeloupe. Rambler barely stalled for speed right through the night. The American maxi cut the corner at Nevis, as better than expected breeze hurried their progress. Except for dropping below ten knots in the wind shadow of St.Martin, Rambler has been absolutely launched. Hetairos may close the gap on the reach but the superyacht is now well behind Rambler. Rambler provisionally lead IRC Zero after time correction with Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán lying in second place. Swan 80 Selene had a good first night to take up third place on handicap.
In IRC Two, Ross Applebey's Oyster 48, Scarlet Logic is provisionally leading overall in the RORC Caribbean 600. Over night, the predicted fall in wind speed never materialized and Scarlet Logic maintained good boat speed throughout. After rounding Saba, Scarlet Logic was back on the wind and trucking along at seven knots. Smile and Wave, Jaime Torres' First 40 found ballistic pace during the night and is in second. Amanda Hartley's Swan 56, Clem did not have such a good night and has dropped back to third.
As expected, the largest yacht in the fleet, Hetairos lead the five superyachts by some margin. The 214ft carbon fibre ketch was flying last night reaching at a speed in excess of 18 knots rounding St.Kitts. By midnight Hetairos was rounding Saba and beating north. However, none of the 36 crew will have retired below. In the dead of night, the tricky slalom course through St.Barths and past St.Martin would have required all hands. Behind Hetairos two monumental duels are playing out, Sojana and P2 have enjoyed each others close company virtually from the start. Race fans may have noticed however that P2 have completely split from the usual heading after rounding Saba. The 38m Perini Navi looks to be 'banging the corner' going to the far extremity of the course. This morning P2 was on a beam reach at full speed heading to St.Barths, whilst Sojana was beating to windward. It will be interesting to see which tactical play wins out. Adela and Windrose of Amsterdam are enjoying a titanic sparring match and there is nothing between the two yachts on the water, however Adela does give Windrose a significant amount of time under IRC.
IRC One has a new provisional leader after time correction. Smile and Wave had great pace off the breeze during the night, however the beat around St.Barths should favour Spanish entry Clem. Colin Buffin's Uxorious IV elected to take a more northerly course after Saba and the Swan 62 looks to be pointing higher than rivals.
Bernie Evan Wong has just cleared the wind shadow behind St Kitts. However, shortly after sunrise, High Tension made an unusual bare-away in the lee of St.Kitts, presumably to effect some sort of repair. It was almost exactly the same spot as High Tension dismasted last year. Happily, Bernie and his team are going well and enjoying the ride.
Race reports, blogs from the boats and video can be found on the Caribbean 600 minisite:
Christian Reynolds' Northern Child chartered by Merkle Inc, USA Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright
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