The 11th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 2019 attracted 76 teams from 21 countries and crews from six continents. The highly diverse fleet
Challenger’s Caribbean 600 crew
We believe that a hands-on experience, is the best experience out at sea. When you sail with us, you become an active member of our crew- not a passenger. You will assist with helming, sail trimming and all the normal duties of a crew member, while also having the opportunity to learn about weather routing, navigation, race tactics & short handed sailing techniques from a highly experienced skipper and mate.
First training day
The first day’s training was all about safety. The goal is always to make the event as safe as possible. ‘Safe’ has a few meanings. Number one, of course, we wanted to keep everybody safe from bodily harm whilst with us on the boat- this involves revealing all the hazards present on the boat- those that are simple to perceive and those that are somewhat less obvious. This included such simple things as correctly navigating the way up and down the companionway, right through to understanding how to launch and enter a liferaft.
Secondly ‘Safe’ means emotionally safe- that means everybody understands what is happening around him/her and people are not getting nervous or uncomfortable with the situation at any point. We wanted everybody to be part of what is happening on board the boat and that required a high level of information about everything that is happening around them. To make this happen we covered a lot of ground on Day 1.
Second training day
Day two was about learning how to sail the boat. During training, we assumed nobody knew anything at all about sailing and started from there.
Challenger- although 15 years old- still represents the edge of what is possible in open ocean racing.
Start Caribbean 600
Chris: “It was very busy and expensive around us at the start and I had to pirouette out of there – it was the best in the world fighting for inches and there we are perfectly positioned but without the skills to control the boat through what was about to happen next – I ducked down and around the majority of the multi-million dollar boats bucket list and we started deep in the second row approaching the line but in a big open space and with a happy crew 😍they were really buzzed by being right in the thick of it like that!!”
Life below deck
Life below decks is always an adventure. Thanks to Melodie Schaffer for the turning the picture on the right to make it right. It was definitely a high winds race.
Chris: “Short seas and strong winds on the south side of
Many of you will have seen our cut and run to the west side of Monserrat and wondered if I had lost my mind – I can only say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we ended up gaining three places and about 8Nm. For
Action shots during the race
Everybody gets the chance to helm
Heading to the finish
Fastest time for Challenger in the 600!
It took, 2 days, 22 hours and 42 minutes. We were in the division with all the professional crewed boats, so we can’t compare in results when we have just come together.
Wrap up RORC Caribbean 600 2019
RORC Caribbean 600 2020
Save the date – 12th RORC Caribbean 600 starts from Antigua on February 24, 2020.
Regatta’s Volvo 60 Challenger
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