The Anti Ocean Race

  • Ken Read
  • Written on:
1g3e0495

All I could think about while we were sailing was that the Caribbean 600 is the anti around-the-world race.  A nice short race, ripping around the Caribbean at break neck speeds in shorts and a t-shirt-- our crew could get used to this...

All I could think about while we were sailing was that the Caribbean 600 is the anti around-the-world race.  A nice short race, ripping around the Caribbean at break neck speeds in shorts and a t-shirt-- our crew could get used to this...

 

The Caribbean 600 was our second regatta as a team on the Alex Jackson-George David joint project RAMBLER100.  Because we're sailing on such a heavy hitter, where everything is so much bigger and harder to execute, it is going to make getting back to sailing on our "little" 70' boat almost seem easy.  The work PUMA Ocean Racing has been doing with RAMBLER100 is going to help us in the long run.  Not only are we mentally preparing ourselves for racing, we've been able to work closer with Juan K's design team.  Keeping communication with boat designers is always a bonus, just in case you ever need to wake them up in the middle of the night when things go pear-shaped offshore.  Tony Mutter, Ryan Godfrey and Steve Calder have used these training sessions to test sail selection, and since we're limited in the number of sails we're allotted in the 2011-12 Volvo, making sure we have the right combinations is critical.  I'm a firm believer that repetition leads to success and we're so thankful to Alex and George for allowing PUMA to be a part of this project.

 

Back to the drag race that was the Caribbean 600, an event that seems made for boats like RAMBLER100.  We had our work cut out for us with race record holder Leopard to sail against.  Not only is Leopard another 100 footer and a very fast boat, the boat had several really good Volvo sailors onboard which bumped up the level of competition another notch.  Sailing RAMBLER100 is similar to racing a thoroughbred horse,  at the end of the day you just need to give a little guidance and let the boat do her thing.  With the combination of crew, boat updates and with the Pineapple Cup behind us, it was time to set the boat loose.  And the results could not have been better, first to finish, the course record, and won on rating handicap in both the IRC and Caribbean Rule.  It was the perfect ending to a great event.  It's nice to see everyone's hard work is paying off.

Sailing