February 22, 2018

Day Three of the RORC Caribbean 600

Challenging weather conditions continue into the third day of the RORC Caribbean 600, with eight teams having successfully completed the arduous race. 34 yachts have now officially retired, demonstrating what tough racing conditions participants were faced with. There are still 40 teams still battling it out in the strong winds, and rough seas, and we hope to see as many as possible complete the course before prize-giving tomorrow evening.

It has been confirmed that Peter Aschenbrenner’s team racing Paradox, is the overall winner in the multihull category. With time correction calculated by MOCRA, they cannot be beaten. There will certainly be champagne corks popping today as they celebrate this incredible news. Congratulations to the whole team on this fantastic accomplishment.

paradox day3


There are 35 yachts in the IRC class still racing, but George David’s Rambler 88 is still in prime position to take the coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.

rambler day 3

Rambler 88

The closest yacht to beating Rambler 88, is Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50 Privateer, which completed the race in just under 52 hours. They fell short of the best corrected time by just over an hour. Boat Captain Tim Dawson, explained how they lost their headstay on the first night, and had to take a full batten out of the main sail which really hindered their upwind sail. Having participated in many races before, he said this was one of the toughest he had competed in.

cookson privateer day 3

Cookson 50 Privateer

There has also been a request by Jens Kellinghusen’s Varuna,  who is currently fourth overall, for redress, as they altered their course to assist stricken yacht Fuijin.

varuna day 3


Prize-giving is scheduled for tomorrow evening at the Antigua Yacht Club, Falmouth, where there will be many people celebrating their success and achievement.

By Laura Barber

February 21, 2018

Farfalla, Superyacht Sailing Charter

One of the yachts competing in this years RORC Caribbean 600 is the stunning superyacht Farfalla, which is available for private charter. Built in 2014, she is 31 metres in length, with a generous beam of 6.9 metres.


Crew preparing for the start of the race


Close-up of the helm station

But don’t worry, you don’t need to complete a 600 mile race to charter her! Farfalla, is a luxurious sailing sloop, with timeless styling that contributes towards her elegant appearance.


She can accommodate eight guests in her four comfortable and luxurious cabins. With an experienced crew of five. You can ensure that your charter will be memorable for the right reasons.


Guest cabin


Saloon, note the panoramic windows.

Farfalla has all the modern conveniences that you would expect on a modern superyacht, with air-conditioning throughout, as well as WiFi. She has fantastic panoramic windows that afford you a 270-degree view of the stunning scenery as you cruise past. Farfalla has a cruising speed of 9 knots, and a top speed of 12.

To cool off, or to access many of the water toys that are available, there is a gorgeous swim platform at the stern, which gives you easy access to the sea. Farfalla, has a Williams 385 Turbojet 100HP  tender, and is kitted out with numerous toys to keep the more adventurous guests happy. Have a go at wakeboarding, water skiing, or enjoy the trill of being towed around on the ringo. Alternatively. enjoy the warm turquoise seas at your own pace and explore the coastline with the kayaks, or SUP boards. There is snorkelling gear onboard, so instead you could disappear and be amazed by the colourful underwater world, and swim among the tropical fish teeming the reefs. So, if racing around eleven of the Caribbean islands isn’t you’re cup of tea, then create an itinerary that is more to your liking, and enjoy an unforgettable holiday on this magnificent yacht.

Reef pic

Farfalla, skippered by Ross Warburton, is just approaching the Antigua finishing line, with 8.3 NM to go. When completed they will be 5th in Line Honours Monohull, and Ist in the Superyacht class. Congratulations to Ross and the crew of Farfalla for achieving such an amazing accomplishment.

By Laura Barber

February 21, 2018

Charter a Yacht for the RORC Caribbean 600

It is easy to be inspired by the amazing footage coming back from the RORC Caribbean 600 race. It is truly incredible when you see the skill and expertise that is required to participate in such an event, and witness the power wielded by mother nature, and ability of those competing in harnessing that power to their advantage.

charter rorc

Racing for France, Earendil

There are opportunities available to experience this incredible race first-hand, to push yourself to the limit, and see if you’ve got what it takes to complete one of the most challenging off-shore races in the world. If you were to charter a yacht for this race, you would circum-navigate around eleven of the Caribbean islands, as far north as Anguilla and as southerly as Les Saints, in Guadeloupe. Whether you choose to take on this challenge on your own, with colleagues, friends, or family, the team work involved in completing such a demanding race will never be forgotten.

charter rorc

One example of a yacht that you can charter for this race is the Volvo Open 70, called Monster Project. This 70 foot yacht has a beam of 5.7, and a top speed of 30+ knots. Monster Project was the first charter yacht to complete the RORC Caribbean 600 back in 2014, coming a very respectable 4th place. To ensure that everyone is fully prepared there is mandatory pre-race training. With the yacht fully skippered, and with a professional core crew, there is no reason for you not to fulfill this once in a lifetime opportunity.

monster project 1

Monster Project

monster project 2

By Laura Barber


February 20, 2018

Day Two of the RORC Caribbean 600

It has been a thrilling twenty -four hours of racing, with strong trade winds, high seas, and squalls causing huge shifts in the wind speed and direction. It has certainly been testing the skills and expertise of the participating sailors.

At present, Paradox, from the Cayman Islands, is storming ahead, working its way through one of the trickiest parts of the race, straight into wind, passing south of Guadeloupe. Paradox, is a one off 63′ Trimaran, and has skipper Peter Aschenbrenner at the helm.

rorc Paradox


Hot on their heels is Rambler 88, a Canting keel sloop, and is now leading the race for the monohulls. At the helm is George David, who set the record in 2011 aboard Rambler 100, and with such strong weather conditions it’ll be interesting to see if he can break his own record.


Rambler 88, preparing for the start of the race

At it stands 15 yachts have so far retired from the race, many for technical problems, which in accordance to race rules require them to return to port.


CQS, retired from the race due to technical problems


Taz, retired from the race due to a crew injury

danneskjold rorc

Danneskjold, retired from the race due to minor damage

Whenever out at sea, you must never under-estimate the power of the elements, and with such strong and challenging weather conditions present throughout this race, safety is of the uttermost importance. Last night at 20.20 AST, the crew from Fujin were rescued off Saba where their American Bieker 53 Multihull had capsized. All eight-crew managed to scramble their way on top of the hull, where they awaited rescue. Stephen Cucchiaro’s Gunboat 60, Flow, was reported to have stood by until the rescue was underway, and the German Ker 56, Varuna, was reported to have altered course to assist but has now continued racing. Although rivalry can be rife during such prestigious races, it is heart-warming to see such examples of humanity.


Fujin, all eight crew are safe

With wind strength persevering, and the wave height due to increase,  we wish all the crews an exhilarating but safe continuation of the race.

By Laura Barber


February 19, 2018

10th Edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 Begins

Monday 19th February saw the start of the long awaited 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600. Starting just outside the historic English Harbour, crowds lined the cliff top above Hercules Pillars to see the magnificent spectacle of over eighty sailing yachts begin the challenging and demanding race, circum-navigating around eleven of the Caribbean islands, to win the coveted trophy.

rorc crowd

The RORC Caribbean 600 had rapidly gained in popularity over the years and is a favourite with off-shore sailors wanting to challenge themselves. The stunning scenery may end up passing in a blur this year as competitors see themselves facing some of the toughest conditions ever seen in this race. With 20 knots forecast for the initial three days,  and with gusts of more than 30 knots, squalls, and significant wave height of two metres, building to three by Wednesday, it is setting out to be an exhilarating race for the participants.

rorc warm up

The view from Fort Charlotte, as the boats prepare for the start of the race.

rorc adjusting sail

Crews adjusting the sails before the race begins

rorc race begins

The race commences at 11am

The record for the monohull was set in 2011 by George David, in Rambler 100, with an amazing time of 40 hours 20 minutes and 02 secs. The record for the multihull was set in 2016, by Lloyd Thornburg and Brian Thompson, in MOD70 Phaedo 3, with an jaw dropping 31 hours 59 minutes and 04 seconds.

race begins 2

With such quick times we could be expecting the first yachts back as early as tomorrow night!

By Laura Barber

February 19, 2018

RORC Caribbean 600, 2018

Excitement is building with just one more day until the 10th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 race gets underway in Antigua on Monday 19th February.  With winds of over 20 knots forecast for the period of the 600mile race, these record-breaking conditions are sure to produce exhilarating racing conditions for the participating sailors.

The RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) Caribbean 600 has grown in reputation since its beginning back in 2009, and is now one of the most sought- after races for off- shore sailors. This is illustrated with an incredible 88 yachts that have entered this year, coming from six continents and over 22 nations. This exciting race around eleven of the Caribbean islands has certainly proven its popularity.  The Caribbean 600 is a complex and demanding race, and attracts some of the world’s top off-shore sailors, including winners from the America’s Cup, Olympic Games, and Volvo Ocean Race. With such skill and expertise at the helms, alongside passionate amateurs, it is going to be a thrilling week of  racing. The 600NM course will test the sailors to the limit, as they negotiate currents, winds and navigational challenges to work their way between the  islands as far north as Anguilla, and as far south as Les Saints, in Guadeloupe.

rorc course

American yacht owners have shown their dominance in this race, having won six out of the nine occasions, as well as setting both the monohull and multihull records. With thirteen teams competing from there this year, they are favourite to win yet again, but they face strong competition by opponents from Australia, France, Great Britain, Germany, and Ireland. In fact, a record breaking eleven yachts will be hoisting the flag for France this year.

With the start line positioned just outside the picturesque English Harbour, there will be 10minute intervals between the different classes. 11am will see the combined fleet of IRC 2,3 CSA, this will be followed at 11.10 by the IRC 1 and Class 40s. At 11.20 IRC Zero and Superyachts, and finally the nine multihulls at 11.30.

rorc racing 1

With the prize giving and closing party scheduled for Friday 23rd February at the Antigua Yacht Club, it’ll be a nail biting week of racing.

By Laura Barber



February 11, 2018

Valentine’s Regatta Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to strong winds, the second day of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Valentine’s Regatta has had to be cancelled. With one crew member taken to hospital yesterday after a blow to the head from the boom, it was decided that  the winds were too strong for the event to go ahead safely.

February 9, 2018

Valentine’s Regatta 2018

Today sees the return of the Jolly Harbour Yacht Club Valentine’s Regatta. This popular weekend of racing is in its 24th year, and with winds forecast to be of up to 30 knots, it is sure to be an exhilarating weekend of sailing.

With a practice race being held this afternoon at 3pm, those wishing to participate had better hurry, as registration closes at 6pm tonight. Tomorrow kicks off with a packed schedule of four races, with three races planned for Sunday. With scoring starting from 10 am tomorrow, we look forward to enjoying a fantastic weekend of sailing.


By Laura Barber

February 5, 2018

Antigua Superyacht Challenge 2018

The Antigua Superyacht Challenge is something of an enigma, and this is probably due to the exclusivity of the event where no sponsorship is deemed necessary. This exclusive event has been created especially for the owners of Superyachts that exceed 80 feet, and consists of five days of spirited fun and camaraderie between the competitors, both afloat and ashore. In fact, the coveted Gosnell Trophy is awarded to the worthiest yacht that has competed the fairest, and in the Spirit of Regatta.


Racing, yacht Rebecca

The Antigua Superyacht Challenge is held at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard, providing a stunning background for this special occasion. With seven impressive yachts signed up for this year’s event, it is sure to be a fabulous regatta.


Racing underway

There are events planned for every evening, kick starting with the traditional Welcome Cocktail Party held at the picturesque Gunpowder House Restaurant overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard on the evening of the 31st January. This is followed on Thursday night by the famous Cook Off, with a fancy-dress theme of Diwali, and Friday there is a paddle board competition and beach party. A trip to the Caribbean wouldn’t be complete without a traditional night of cocktails, food, dancers, and entertainers. With racing starting at 11am every day, the competitors had better take care when sampling the local rum!

The list of the yachts taking part is impressive, with six of the seven yachts having competed in last year’s regatta.

In the Corsairs Class-

SPIIP, a 34.2 metre Royal Huisam, was built in 2000. She has a beam of 7.8 metres, and a top speed of 14 knots.


Elfje, is a 46 metre Royal Huisman, built in 2014. She has a beam of 7.1 meters, and a top speed of 12 knots. Her owner is Wendy Schmidt, the wife of Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmit. She founded the 11th Hour Project in 2006 to support the wiser use of our energy, food and water resources in the world. In fact, Wendy played a huge role in the building of her eco-friendly yacht Elfje, which is extremely fuel efficient.


Rebecca is a 42.43 metre, German Frers design reproduction ketch. She has a traditional design, but with all the latest sailing technology which has been subtly blended so as not to spoil her classic looks. She even has a wireless audio system so that the crew can communicate effectively



In the Buccaneers Class-

Acadia is 27.5 metre, a Hoek design, and was built in 2016. She has beam of six metres, and although has all the classic lines, she is fitted out with all the latest technologies.


Acadia in pursuit of the yacht Zig Zag.

Zig Zag is a 25 metre Oyster built in 2007, and has a beam of 6.4 metres.


Marama is a 32 metre aluminium ketch, with Paul Deeth, the owner of Admiral’s Inn, at the helm for the regatta.


Danneskjold is a 32 metre Dixon Yacht design, built in 2009. She has a beam of 7 metres, and a top speed of 12 knots.


Danneskjold with her eye-catching sails


With the fifth and final race held yesterday (Sunday 4th Feb), it was everything to play for in the Corsairs Class. With the wind building throughout the day, the yachts in the Corsairs Class battled it out over the 23 mile course. With Elfje taking first place, Spiip second, and Rebecca third. Spiip still managed to clinch first place overall in the regatta, even though it was only by one point, with Elfje coming second, and Rebecca third.

The yachts in the Buccaneers class completed an 18 mile course, with Acadia securing first place once again. In fact, Acadia accomplished a perfect score line throughout the regatta and were confirmed winners of their class. Danneskjold took second, and with Zig Zag picking up a penalty point, she shared third place with Marama.


Tied back up after a great day of sailing

In an area so seeped with the history of battles and hostility afloat, it is great to see Nelson’s Dockyard engaging in a modern day spirit of a more amenable nature. With no blood shed, just good spirits and camaraderie, they battled it out to win the sought-after barrels rum, and the Gosnell trophy. Congratulations to Spiip, who not only won their class, but also the Gosnell Trophy, showing good sportsmanship and spirit throughout the regatta.  The prize giving was held at the Admiral’s Inn, a fitting setting to conclude this unique and memorable regatta, and we look forward to seeing the battle between the Superyachts re-commence next year.

By Laura Barber

December 8, 2017

Attending the Antigua Yacht Charter Meeting 2017

It has been a fantastic day at the Antigua Yacht Charter Meeting and I have enjoyed looking around many yachts, as well as enjoying a broker lunch. Being able to have a personal tour of the yachts has been great as I can fully appreciate any refits that have recently taken place, as well as view the equipment and facilities that they have to offer. As a broker, it gives me invaluable information that enables me to match the right boat to the client, as well as first-hand knowledge when answering any questions that the client may have. It been wonderful to be able to put a face to the captain, crew, and other brokers, as well as being able to have a chat and get to know one another better, as usually these relationships are formed via email. All these factors contribute to us being able to make every charter that bit more successful.



Having a wander round the three marinas, Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Falmouth Harbour Marina, and Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, it is amazing to see the selection of unique yachts on offer for charter.

A snap shot of a few…

Quite essential

The yacht ‘Quite essential’, note the waterfall on the lower aft deck, is a 180 feet motor yacht.


The garage facilities on Sovereign, a 180 feet motor yacht, are just amazing, helping to accommodate the various toys that are expected on such yachts, as well as providing a place to relax by the sea.


A more unusual multihull design, yacht Adastra, measuring 140 feet.


A more traditional style sailing yacht, Eleonora, measuring 163 feet.


With such a diverse range of yachts on offer for charter there is one to meet even the most discerning of clients.

Join me for lunch aboard Gladius, a 127 feet motor yacht, on my next blog.


By Laura Barber