Bella Mente and Proteus dominate RORC Caribbean 600!!
The 2017 RORC Caribbean 600 started in magnificent conditions with the largest ever offshore fleet assembled in the Caribbean enjoying sparkling conditions. Close to 900 sailors from 30 different nations competed in the 9th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's classic offshore race. Olympic medallists, America's Cup winners and round the world sailors competed alongside passionate corinthians on the same 600 mile race course around 11 Caribbean islands, starting and finishing in Antigua. The 2017 edition will be remembered for highly competitive racing throughout the fleet, with American yachts winning the major prizes. The race was affected by unusual weather conditions, with a low pressure system sending the wind direction spinning through 360º of the compass.
Epic win for Bella Mente
The All-American Maxi72 battle in the RORC Caribbean 600 lived up to expectation with Hap Fauth's Bella Mente and George Sakellaris' Proteus enjoying an epic match race. The lead in the Maxi72s changed hands on seven occasions during the race. Bella Mente counted 85 sail changes and at one point, both yachts were over canvassed, smoking along at 30 knots in a gigantic squall. Bella Mente crossed the finish line just 14 minutes ahead of Proteus to win IRC Zero and the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best time after IRC correction for the fleet. It was the second time Bella Mente has won the race overall and was a sweet victory after retiring last year with keel problems.