Racing at the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s Nelson’s Cup Series starts on Tuesday February 14th in Antigua. Teams from three continents will compete, with entries from Antigua, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the United States.
Tuesday 14th February marks the start of a new Caribbean Racing Series organised by the RORC in association with the Antigua Yacht Club. The Nelson’s Cup Series is composed of three days of inshore and coastal racing, plus the established 600-mile classic: The RORC Caribbean 600. The Final Prize Giving will be held at Antigua Yacht Club on Friday 24th February.
On Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th of February, from 10:00 local time (UTC-4), the RORC Race Committee will run multiple Coastal or Windward/Leeward Races. A Lay day is planned for Thursday 16th February. On Friday 17th of February, from 08:00 local time (UTC-4), the RORC will run the Antigua 360 – the 52nm Round Antigua Race. The final race of the Nelson’s Cup Series will be the big event; the RORC Caribbean 600, starting on Monday 20th of February.
A huge variety of raceboats will be racing under the IRC Rating Rule to decide class and the overall winner of the inaugural Nelson’s Cup Series. The RORC fleet includes a stunning fleet of carbon-fibre raceboats, vintage ocean racers, Class40s and performance cruiser/racers. The boats are crewed by top professional sailors and passionate corinthians from all over the world.
For the Antigua 360 Race, high-performance Multihulls racing under MOCRA Rules are expected to join the IRC Fleet, including MOD70 Zoulou (FRA) with Erik Maris at the helm, Rob Merwin’s Gunboat 60 Cui Bono (USA), and Guy Chester’s much travelled 45ft trimaran Oceans Tribute (AUS).
An extraordinary array of raceboats will be tearing through the wind and waves of Antigua for the Nelson’s Cup. Six full-on racing machines will be in action that have never raced in the Caribbean before: Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán (SWE), Botin 56 Black Pearl (GER), sailed by Stefan Jentzsch, Arto Linnervuo’s Infiniti 52 Tulikettu (FIN), ClubSwan 50 Balthasar (BEL), sailed by Louis Balcaen, RORC Commodore James Neville with HH42 Ino XXX (GBR) and Thomas Rich’s GP42 Settler (USA). The design debutants are joined by three carbon flyers returning to top-flight racing in Antigua: RORC Vice Commodore Eric de Turckheim’s NMD54 Teasing Machine (FRA), Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 Corum (FRA) and Bernie Evan-Wong’s RP37 Taz (ANT).
At 73ft, Marie Tabarly’s 1973 ketch Pen Duick VI is the largest boat racing in the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series and the second largest is OnDeck’s Farr 65 Spirit of Juno (ANT). The smallest in the series is Szymon Kuczynski’s Figaro Hultaj (POL), and Two Class40s will be in action; Marek Culen & Miroslav Jakubcik’s Sabre II (SVK) and Tquila (GBR) skippered by Brian Thompson. Bob Manchester’s J/133 Vamoose (USA) will be competing with a team from the Barrington Yacht Club, RI. With the Nelson’s Cup Series starting on Valentine’s Day, charter yacht First 40.7 Spirit of Venus (ANT), skippered by Edward House, will naturally have a sweetheart theme!
The RORC Nelson’s Cup Series will have daily prize-givings after racing at the Antigua Yacht Club.
To tune in to all the action from the RORC Nelson’s Cup go to: caribbean600.rorc.org and follow the RORC Social Media platforms on #Caribbean600.
- Monday 13th February 2023 – RORC Nelson’s Cup Series – Skippers Briefing + Welcome Drinks
- Tuesday 14th February – Race Day One (2 races scheduled) + Daily Prizegiving
- Wednesday 15th February – Race Day Two (2 races scheduled) + Daily Prizegiving
- Thursday 16th February – Lay-Day/Reserve Day
- Friday 17th February – Antigua 360 – Race Antigua Race
- Saturday 18th February – RORC Caribbean 600 Welcome Party + Antigua 360 Prizegiving
- Sunday 19th February – Lay-Day
- Monday 20th February – Start of the 14th RORC Caribbean 600
- Friday 24th February – Final Prizegiving