Final preparations complete for the RORC Caribbean 600

More than seventy yachts have completed their final preparations for the 14th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, which starts on 20th February at 11 am. 550 sailors from thirty nations have arrived in Antigua ahead of the non-stop 600 nautical race around eleven Caribbean islands.

With multiple starts, IRC Zero will crown an overall winner under IRC. This division will see twenty-five yachts cross the start line and features ten carbon-fibre IRC weapons and a record entry of 13 hi-tech Class40s. Nearly half of the IRC Zero fleet is powered by Doyle Sails, all choosing to take advantage of the latest proven developments in sailmaking technology.

The fastest-rated boat under IRC is the Doyle-powered Botin 56 Black Pearl, skippered by Stefan Jentzsch, with Doyle Sails Palma director and Grand Prix sailor Luke Molloy on board. Black Pearl is designed to push the boundaries of offshore performance to the limits with the custom yacht delivered to an experienced owner in 2021. Doyle’s Structured Luff sails were integrated as part of the project from the outset. Given the extent to which these reduce compression loads in the rig, making this decision at an early stage had an impact on structural engineering calculations. The smaller halyard loads also facilitate easier sail handling and manoeuvres.

Similarly, it is Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu, also powered by Doyle Sails, looking for success after a successful start to the Caribbean sailing season with world-renowned offshore sailor Stu Bannatyne onboard – the goal set by the Tulikettu Racing team is to become the first-ever Finnish sailing team in history to win one of the world’s most legendary offshore races organised by RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club).

The IRC Zero division is strengthened further by several high-performance yachts, including Doyle-powered Pac52 Callisto owned by Kate and Jim Murray, supported by Doyle Sails expert and professional sailor Justin Ferris, who has been an integral part of the team, alongside Doyle Sails San Francisco’s Bill Colombo. Callisto has had a full and successful 2023 racing schedule and finished third in the last edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.

Callisto Racing

Evans & Sheehan’s JV52 Hooligan will also be in the hunt for victory, as will the lightweight canting-keeled Elliott 52 Rafale owned by Henry de Bokay’s of Germany.

Two Gunboats will be in action; Gunboat 68 Tosca (USA) co-skippered by Ken Howery and Alex Thomson is by far the quickest and will be looking to secure line honours in their division.

RORC Caribbean 600 // Follow the race here.

About Doyle Sails // Around the world, Doyle Sails has over 500 sailmakers in 46 different locations, all equally passionate about sailing – living and breathing our ethos ’Global Leaders and Local Experts.’

As sailors, our obsession with sailing connects us to the water. The water is our playground, a sanctuary where we seek enjoyment, a competitive playing field where we race as competitors; it’s sometimes our home and always a place that unlocks our sense of adventure wherever that adventure might take us. Behind every adventure is a Doyle sailor who shares this same obsession as you. We put your journey at the very heart of what we do to deliver the ultimate enjoyment and performance, powering our constant need to push the boundaries in sail design and innovation, to reimagine sailing.

From dinghies, club racers and cruising yachts through to Grand Prix campaigns and Superyachts, we are your experts. Meet our team here.

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