Zoulou won the multihull line honours by just 11 seconds in the RORC Caribbean 600 while Pyewacket 70 took the monohull spoils
Roy P. Disney’s Pyewacket 70 (USA) has taken Monohull Line Honours in the 2023 RORC Caribbean 600 in an elapsed time of 42 hours 45 mins 06 secs. Two generations of the Disney family have raced boats under the Pyewacket name. The latest Pyewacket 70, is a turbo-charged Volvo 70 with a taller mast, lighter hull and deeper keel than the original box-rule. Pyewacket 70 is the fastest of Disney dynasty and the first to take Monohull Line Honours in the RORC Caribbean 600.
The next monohull to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 was Volvo 70 I Love Poland (POL), skippered by Grzegorz Baranowski. Pyewacket 70 has set the bar for the overall win under IRC for the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. The vast majority of the fleet are expected to finish the race over the next two days.
“RP [Roy Pat Disney] thank you for letting us take your toy and racing the Caribbean 600 in a successful manner. We are so disappointed you are not with us to enjoy this spectacular victory,” commented Ben Mitchell the stand-in skipper for Roy Pat Disney who was not on board due to knee surgery. “The real wow factor is that Pyewacket 70 was here for the RORC 600 and this team is so good.
“We had a great mix of crew that know this course very well, and crew like me who experienced this wonderful race for the first time. Each leg is like a race in itself, which keeps everybody going, but on a boat like Pyewacket 70 those legs become very short. Getting any sleep is a challenge as the whole crew is up for every manoeuvre.”
“The name of the game for the navigator is to study the weather and the nuances in this race are so different. When you get out there all your expectations can be blown,” commented crew member Peter Isler. “I had pre-conceptions of what the tactics are at different points in the race and I will say at least half the time I was wrong!
“In this race you have to keep your eyes open and understand the fundamentals of weather and be ready to adjust to the changes. A great example was going through the lee of Guadeloupe; it is the big X-Factor in this race and a total nightmare for navigators. It seems so random as to where you go to get through that wind-hole and this year was unlike any other experience I have had going through the lee.”
Tight battle for multihull line honours
Earlier a titanic battle for Multihull line honours had seen MOD70 Zoulou sailed by Erik Maris (FRA) triumph by 11 Seconds over Giovanni Soldini’s Maserati Multi70 (ITA). After 30 hours of racing at speeds approaching 40 knots, it will have been a tough loss for the Maserati team who were also second last year by just two minutes from Jason Carroll’s record-breaking MOD 70 Argo.
“That was an incredible race with such a close finish,” commented Zoulou’s Erik Maris. “We were ahead until midnight on the first day but we lost Maserati when they were very fast on their foils going down to Guadeloupe.
“Maserati sailed really well on the second day but on the penultimate leg (Barbuda to Redonda), they lost themselves under a cloud, just as Zoulou had done in the RORC Transatlantic Race. We came back together and the lead changed many times on the leg to Redonda. The last leg was really tough as the wind speed and direction was very unstable, but we managed to pass them on the one that counts.
“It was as close as it gets; an incredible finish and great fun. I decided to get into the MOD70 Class to do all the RORC races, that was the plan and we intend to do the Rolex Fastnet Race later this year.”
You can follow the rest of the fleet via the Caribbean 600 fleet tracker.
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