CANADIAN SAILORS TO COMPETE IN THE PRESTIGIOUS ROYAL OCEAN RACING CLUB CARIBBEAN 600
A team of Canadian sailors from the Frenchman’s Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) in Pickering, Ontario are set to be the sole Canadian entry in the prestigious RORC Caribbean 600 aboard the Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges new Volvo 60 SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE (formerly Amer Sports One). Co-skippers Derek Hatfield and Chris Stanmore-Major will be joined by an entirely amateur group of sailors from FBYC.
Starting on Monday February 24th, 2014 from English Harbor in Antigua, racers navigate around 11 Caribbean islands against a fleet of highly competitive yachts for 600 non-stop nautical miles. Now in its 6th year, the Caribbean 600 is becoming an iconic event on the RORC racing calendar.
Though Frenchman's Bay Yacht Club is a small club of roughly 150 members geared mostly to cruisers and weekend racers, it has turned out a number of impressive sailors in its 51 year history, including 2 Olympic Sailors (1996 & 2004), 1 Olympic Swimmer (1992 & 1996), and numerous Canadian, North American, and even World Champion sailors! Not too bad for small yacht club that began its existence in only 1962.
This year, a group of 12 Frenchman's Bay Yacht Club members, past members, and crew members, led by former Commodore Brent Hughes, decided to take a trip of a lifetime. It was during a long road trip in December that Brent, an avid sailor, decided to place a call to old friend Patianne Verburgh, to check up on the Spirit of Canada program, and see how things were going. During this conversation, the idea of the Caribbean 600 came up and on a whim Brent decided to join in on the fun, since it had been 6 years since he had done any ocean sailing; and there was none in his foreseeable future. Patianne accepted his deposit, and asked him if there was anybody else he thought may be interested. Within 48 hours, Brent had filled the boat with fellow members, ex-members, and crew that he knew well and had sailed with in the past.
"It all just came together perfectly, this group of us. Most of us do not have any, or very little, ocean sailing experience. And none of us have any experience on a Volvo 60; that is for certain! However, we do have the ability to take a small piece of time out of our busy lives and join in on an adventure of a lifetime. The Spirit of Adventure offshore training program offers the everyday sailor the opportunity that most only dream of; that is to train on and sail an amazing offshore ocean racing boat with two of the finest offshore skippers in the world today", Brent Hughes commented.
Frenchman's Bay Yacht Club is proud of its long relationship with Derek Hatfield and the Spirit of Canada campaigns, and extremely proud to be sending 12 of its own to Antigua, to sail with Derek and Chris in this "Adventure of a Lifetime".
To learn more about offshore sailing opportunities on Spirit of Adventure, please visit www.spiritofcanada.net
Spirit of Canada Ocean Challenges
ABOUT THE RORC CARIBBEAN 600
The 6th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is proving irresistible to yacht racing teams from all over the world. An international fleet of over 40 yachts has now entered the race and around 50 are expected on the start line on Monday 24th February, 2014.
The northern hemisphere is currently experiencing some of the worst winter weather on record but well over 500 sailors are rubbing their hands together, relishing the prospect of racing around 11 Caribbean islands against highly competitive opposition.
The Caribbean is, without doubt, one of yacht racing's most exhilarating playgrounds as warm trade winds and Caribbean swell provide superb sailing conditions. The RORC Caribbean 600 course, starting and finishing in Antigua, is designed to provide a challenging, high speed racetrack and its popularity has grown, year on year, since 2009.
To follow the race, please go to: Caribbean 600