Tuesday, February 21, 2012


The Caribbean RORC 600 is a 600 mile race that starts of Elizabeth harbour Antigua, weaves its way through the Leeward islands to the North of Antigua and finishes back in Antigua.

The race was set up to attract some of the mega yachts that ply these waters in spring and it succeeded in getting Hetarios the biggest of the carbon fibre megas to enter.

I walked over to the Berkley battery on a gray and windy morning with the drizzle blowing across my face, just like a gray day in Scotland. [ Except of course that it was 80 F so not cold ] On arrival I could see that the squall was clering through and there was a promise of blue skies and a moderating wind.

Yachts were milling about and foul weather gear was the order of the day as tacticians were pondering how to attack the start line, bowmen were having full and frank discussions with the 'guys in the back' about the choice of headsail and helms were offering silent prayers “ Please god, don't let me hit anything expensive.” as 40 foot Bendytoys chartered for race were mixing it up with 100 foot canting keel racing machines and towering over all was the 216 foot long green machine.

Still they got themselves sorted out and this start at least was a good one with most hitting the line within seconds of the start gun.

Last to go were the big boys and it looks like Mark Fitzgerald on Sojana put one over on Hetairos in the start line maneuvering and got away first. I had thought I had seen the doyen of Caribbean reef navigation, Donald E. Street, in English harbour the day before and had it confirmed by a fellow watcher that he was indeed here and in fact was a navigator on board Sojana. The apocryphal story goes that he knows the position of the reefs because he had hit them all with Iolaire, his beloved old wooden yawl.

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