Sunday, March 11, 2018

The J/122 LIQUID RORC Caribbean 600 Report

J/122 sailing RORC 600 Challenge in Caribbean(English Harbour, Antigua)-Pamala Baldwin, owner of the J/122 LIQUID based in Antigua, gave us a report on her epic experience sailing the RORC Caribbean 600 Race two weeks ago. 

Baldwin is a 60-year-old recruiter from New Jersey specializing in executive recruitment for remote five star resorts and private island estates worldwide.  Needless to say, she is living her dream sailing on her J/122.

“Last night at Antigua Yacht Club my team and I were honored at the 10th anniversary of the RORC CARIBBEAN 600 to win RORC IRC’s ‘Caribbean’s Highest Performing Yacht’ in IRC Class 2 Racing following the 600 and 3rd in Class.

Conditions were grueling over the 600nm course, presenting the competitors with unexpected and dangerous conditions...constant winds of 25-30 knots with gusts to 41 knots and 4 meter sea states and endless squalls with record low temperatures.

Of the 85 competitors, 40 retired.  There was a man overboard, a sinking and helicopter rescue, about a dozen medical emergencies and endless squalls.

Commenting during this perilous yet high adrenaline ordeal, ‘my team is relentlessly teasing me about offering up cappuccino during a perilous squall with little visibility’.

J/122 sailing CaribbeanWe were wet 24 hours a day and cold; we were all physically punished so hard it felt as if we were in a train wreck, pushing our limits with shear grit.  And, to think pre-race we opted to fly our cruising sails and not our 3Di’s…thank goodness, that was a blessing.

My team was skippered by 33-year-old Nico Dillingh from The Hague, Holland- his first race as skipper. Last season Nico was on the crew and showed solid potential.  When the Caribbean regatta season wrapped up, Nico  sailed Europe’s racing season, including the Fastnet.

Lymington UK based Julian White is our co-navigator, foredeck, and is an up and coming star on our team.

As our winter season unfolds, Team LIQUID is sailing the famed Heineken Regatta in St Maarten, St Thomas International Regatta, British Virgin Islands Race Week, Voiles de St Barth, and wraps up with Antigua Sailing Week