RORC Caribbean 600 victory for 40 Degrees and a demolished Class 40 record



On February 21st  at 07.22 Local time Peter Hardings Forty Degrees skippered by Hannah Jenner crossed the finish line off English Harbour Antigua for the fifth running of the RORC Caribbean 600, taking the top of the podium for the Class 40 fleet and smashing the Class 40 record.  Rewarded with showers, beer and breakfast the elated crew of Peter, Hannah, Sam Goodchild, Joe Speakman, Nicholas Cranch and Scotty Cav can truly celebrate their first Class 40 victory of the 2013 season.

Of the six Class 40 starters, Forty Degrees, Vaquita and Jasmine Flyer all traded place for the top spot around the course with Forty degrees lying third at the first pass of the North Sails turning mark. Having taken some time to settle into the groove, Forty Degrees revelled in the off wind conditions to the East of St Kitts reeling in the two fleet front runners up to the turning mark off Saba.
 
Quote from onboard: ‘Hi from all on board 40 Degrees. We have had a great fun race so far, not without its issues namely some furling gear trouble which cost us miles early on in the race. We stormed up to Saba doing 20 kts under A2 and caught up with Jasmine flyer who we have been doing battle with ever since. We are all soaked and starting to fester but giving it our all in the hope that this time tomorrow we will be rewarded with beer and showers :)’
 
During the upwind leg to St Barths the crew were able to displace Vaquita (sailing with the Danish, double Olympic Gold medallist, ISAF World Champion and Americas Cup Skipper Jesper Bank) from second position. In the Anguilla Channel, Forty Degrees and Jasmine Flyer crossed tacks three times with Forty Degrees finally winning the intense duel to take first place off the northern end of St Maarten. The beam reach from St Maarten down to Guadeloupe turned into a drag race with Jasmine Flyer just taking the lead off Nevis. Seldom more than a couple of miles separated the top three with Forty Degrees slipping out of the shadow of the South Western tip of Guadeloupe once again leading the Class 40 fleet and reinforcing this position with a fantastic downwind lead of over twenty miles by the time they reached the second and final pass around the North Sails mark.

The last two off the wind legs certainly seemed to hammer the nail home and Forty Degrees lead seemed unassailable, however, whereas Forty Degrees chose to tack at the final turning mark off Redonda, second placed Jasmine Flyer preferred to harden up and delayed her first tack for another couple of miles and with Vaquita back in the mix for good measure this race was hard fought to the bitter end. However Forty Degrees maintained her lead even in the boisterous upwind conditions of the dawn light eventually crossing the line to take the coveted first place and smashing the Class 40 record in the process. Adding to the team's joy, 40 Degrees broke the Class40 course record, set by Tony Lawson's Concise2 in 2011, by 3 hours 17 mins and 15 secs.

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