Winners of the RORC Caribbean 600!

    Winners of the RORC Caribbean 600!

    February 23rd, 2024

    Photo credit : RORC - Tim Wright

    Photo credit : RORC - Tim Wright

    On Thursday, February 22, 2024, after more than 3 days of fierce battle and over 660 miles covered between the 11 islands of the Caribbean, the Seafrigo Sogestran Sailing Team wins the RORC Caribbean 600.

    Congratulations to the 4 skippers: Guillaume Pirouelle, Alexis Louison, Pierrrick Letouzé, and Valentin Sipan.

    "It was an incredible course with a very high pace, many maneuvers to perform, and interesting strategic choices. After an incredibly close finish, we finally prevail over our competitors."

    The boat will now sail back to Le Havre before preparing for the rest of the 2024 season!



    Race report

    On February 19, 2024, after a great start from Antigua in front of Fort Charlotte, the Class40 SOGESTRAN-SEAFRIGO, skippered by Guillaume Pirouelle, quickly positioned itself in second place in the Class40 fleet behind the British boat TQUILA. The time gaps were only a few minutes at that point.

    It then slightly fell behind to the west of Barbuda and held the third position when rounding Basseterre to the west.

    The next day, while rounding the island of Saint Barthelemy, our crew composed of Guillaume Pirouelle, Alexis Loison, Valentin Sipan, and Nicolas Letouzé seized the first place ahead of the eleven competitors in their category.

    They rounded Saint Martin to then head south towards the west of Guadeloupe. On the third day of the race, under the wind shadow of the French island, SOGESTRAN-SEAFRIGO got trapped in light winds downwind of the island’s relief.

    A merciless battle ensued between TQUILA, the Sam Manuard-designed boat from a previous generation with its straight bow, and SOGESTRAN-SEAFRIGO, the latest creation from the same designer but with a rounded bow. A scow.

    TQUILA took the lead when the fleet passed Les Saintes. The passage south of La Désirade was also challenging. The boats had to tack. Despite this, the Class40 SOGESTRAN-SEAFRIGO remained in second position during the ascent towards Barbuda.

    On the fourth day of the race, six out of the eleven Class40 boats headed towards Redonda, the last island of this 600-mile race. The six Class40s formed a group only 15 miles apart, but the top three seemed to have enough of a lead to secure their spots on the podium. However, the wind speed and direction near the finish line in Antigua remained very unstable - an exciting finish was anticipated...

    In light south wind, the crews made their way towards the finish line. Nothing was certain!

    With only 70 miles to go, TQUILA took a more northerly option than the direct route and got stuck in a windless zone near the coast. SOGESTRAN-SEFARIGO and NESTEEN took advantage to escape on the direct route.

    NESTEEN gained a slight advantage and, after three days of racing, crossed the finish line four minutes ahead of SOGESTRAN-SEAFRIGO, but... did not win the race!

    Indeed, NESTEEN violated the racing rules by crossing a prohibited zone and incurred a 4-hour penalty on its race time...

    Thunderstruck! SOGESTRAN-SEAFRIGO was declared the winner of the CARIBBEAN 600 on the highest step of a beautiful European podium!

    Congratulations to Guillaume and his crew for this superb race.

    Photo credit : RORC - Tim Wright

    Photo credit : RORC - Tim Wright

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