New record set by Argo in the RORC Caribbean 600

Nautical Channel
23 Feb 2022

Source: RORC Caribbean 600

Jason Carroll's MOD70 Argo (USA) finished the RORC Caribbean 600 at 17:18:44 AST. They have also been the winners of the two previous races, so this third win on the sailing yacht while establishing a race record makes a sweet victory.

Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati (ITA) was just 2 minutes and 13 seconds behind Argo. Peter Cunningham’s PowerPlay (CAY) led in the early part of the race but finished third. This was the first Line Honours win for Argo having come runner-up on two previous occasions. Multihull Line Honours was decided in the final few miles of the 600-mile race.

“This race is always an emotional rollercoaster; I think we traded the lead with the other boats about five or six times and the last change was 20 minutes before the finish with Maserati. It was a boat-on-boat tacking duel. I am sorry for Maserati because they sailed a great race. Before the awesome finish, the closest match racing we had was in the lee of Nevis and St. Kitts. We traded the lead two-sail reaching, doing 35 knots! At that pace everything happens so fast and you have to plan in advance, but it is so exciting for sure.” - Jason Carroll.

The ‘Argonauts’ of the MOD 70 Argo is formed by Jason Carroll, Brian Thompson, Richard Bardwell, Chad Corning, Pete Cumming, Thierry Fouchier, Charlie Ogletree and Alister Richardson. Approaching Redonda, Maserati Multi 70 was leading by about 3 miles, but Argo closed the gap to about half a mile on the rounding and from Redonda to the finish was almost a one tack beat on Port.

“We knew there was about a 30-degree header coming. We waited for that instability and chose to tack away leaving Maserati with a decision, and they chose to cover us through the unstable conditions. From then on, we had a duel of about 10 tacks, more than we had done the whole race. We eked out a tiny lead and then Maserati tacked a little too close to us. Before they could build speed, we luffed them a little bit, then pulled out the win,” continued Carroll.

Approaching Redonda, Maserati got snagged in a buoy on the rudder; the second time this has happened in their races and both times Argo has caught them. 

Maserati’s Giovanni Soldini commented after the race: “It was a very close, fantastic race the whole way. The competition level is very high and it was just a case of nearly, but nothing for us.[...] Probably with our big foils we should have just gone straight and should not have gone into the tacking duel. This was a wonderful race; a great experience and we have learned many things and we are ready for the next one.” 

Skorpios takes Line of Honours

Dmitry Rybolovlev’s ClubSwan 125 Skorpios (MON), skippered by Fernando Echavarri, crossed the finish line in Antigua to take Monohull Line Honours at 03:59:51 on Wednesday 23rd February 2022. Their elapsed time was 1 day, 16 hours, 39 mins, 51 secs.

The 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 started on time from Antigua on Monday 21 February. Comanche was in first place and reached at full speed towards the Pillars of Hercules, then hardening up to take the inside line perilously close to the cliffs. VO65 Groovederci Racing - Sailing Poland, sailed by Deneen Demourkas was in close quarters.

As the two leaders tacked out, they crossed with the massive ClubSwan 125 Skorpios (MON) and the Volvo 70 Ocean Breeze coming inshore on starboard. However, finally victory was for Skorpios who managed to overcome its rivals and step ahead in the competition.

Seventy-four teams with over 700 sailors from 32 countries competed in this regatta. This Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 600-mile offshore races around 11 Caribbean islands has finally come to a conclusion today after more than a month of intense sailing. 

Images by Arthur Daniel in RORC

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