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RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 3

The infamous Guadeloupe wind-shadow doesn't appear to claimed as many victims this year, as boats appeared to leave the new 'stealth zone' in much the same order that they entered it!  

We believe that most boats took the shortest route (inside track). Quokka was first to emerge last night, followed by Sailing Logic's Beneteau First 40 Lancelot 2 co-skippered with Tim Thubron and Jacko, just keeping ahead of EHO1, with Lancelot 2 still leading in class on corrected time.

They continued in the same way past Le Desirade and into the long reach back up past Antigua to Barbuda. These long reaching legs favour larger boats, so it is no surprise to see that Quokka (Grand Soleil 43ft) extended their lead and EHO1 (Beneteau 47ft) managed to draw up alongside Lancelot 2 (40ft), and slowly creep past under cover of darkness!

The amount of reaching in the Caribbean 600 is one of the reasons it is so popular with larger boats, allowing them to capitalise on the benefit of being longer!

However, Lancelot 2 is still leading in class on corrected time, we estimate that after factoring in handicaps, Lancelot 2 has a lead of about 45 minutes over Quokka, and 1h35 over EHO1 - so they just have to keep close and not let them get too far ahead. No doubt Tim & Jacko will be looking forward to the final upwind leg when tacking tactics offer a chance to make back distance on the water! 

This demonstrates what a fantastic performance the team on Lancelot 2 are making - no doubt working hard and hiking 24 hours - and only other First 40 in the fleet, Southern Child, which rates higher than L2 (therefore should be ahead on the water) is some 30NM behind, in 8th place.  

With so many charter yachts in the race - it adds an extra competitive edge! Southern Child and Northern Child have been battling hard against each other, although the longer Swan 51 has edged ahead on the water in the last leg. Sunset Child, chartered by the Russian 600NM Club are doing well in 5th place. Cheeki Rafiki a Beneteau 40.7 is in 10th place, a position they are no doubt disappointed with after a strong offshore racing season last year. The other Beneteau 40.7 Hot  Stuff (class 3), sailed by GirlsForSail are at the back of the fleet having just entered the stealth zone and whilst Incisor (Class 1) is almost neck and neck on the water with Northern Child.

In the rest of the fleet, the first few boats finished yesterday with Bella Mente taking line honours, Rambler 2nd and Shockwave 3rd - although it is too early to tell who has won overall, but Shockwave the RP72 are the current leaders. 


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