Caribbean 1500 2012 Preview

Caribbean 1500 – 2011 Caris docks in Nanny Cay. Image free for editorial use. © World Cruising Club. Photo credit Julie PalmForty-two boats are due to start the 23rd Caribbean 1500 rally on November 4 in Hampton Virginia. Thirty-six boats will be heading for Nanny Cay Marina, and six boats will make up the ARC Bahamas fleet, bound for Bluff House Marina on Green Turtle Cay in the Abaco Bahamas.

All but two of the 35 monohulls and 6 catamarans will be sailing in the Cruising Division, enjoying fun competition using World Cruising Club handicaps. This simple and free-to-use system allows boats of all types to be evenly matched and even takes into account motoring hours, allowing boats to keep moving in light airs or heavy swells.

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An update from General Manager, Miles Sutherland-Pilch

The beginning of December provides a good opportunity to update our many friends on the variety of events and activities that have been happening at Nanny Cay. Fortunately we had a quiet Hurricane Season giving the staff time to get ready for the start of the season. With visitors starting to arrive and the slips starting to fill up there is a real buzz about the place.

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Caribbean 1500 wraps up at Nanny Cay with Defiant safely on the dock

The crew of Defiant receive their awardsWith only an hour to go before the start of the Caribbean 1500 latecomers prizegiving, Defiant, sailing under emergency tiller, came in loud and clear on the Nanny Cay VHF. Kimberleigh and Lyndon Humer’s  Wauquiez 43 made its final approach to Nanny Cay under tow from new dockmaster Brendon Joyce, as her propeller had fouled at the same time as the steering failure, and was greeted by thunderous applause from the many rally participants who had been waiting anxiously for her arrival.

For Defiant, the rum punch on the dock, the last served by World Crusing Club staff this year, was hard earned and well deserved.  For Lyndon, Kimberleigh and their 18-year-old son Dylan, the passage was their first offshore. It was certainly a baptism by fire. “We were sailing in 30 to 35 knots, with big waves astern,” said Dylan. “A wave reared up behind us, and with a sickening ‘POP!’ the steering went and we were out of control.”

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Defiant battles on towards Nanny Cay with emergency tiller

Andy Schell of WCC welcomes the crew of PajaritoYachts continue to arrive at Nanny Cay, 13 days after leaving Hampton VA in the Caribbean 1500.  World Cruising staff are remaining on Nanny Cay to greet the crews and have organised a second prizegiving on Thursday to honor those participants still currently at sea. That will take place at 4pm on the PegLegs beach bar, with drinks and pizza, and a few more special prizes. Unofficial results will be calculated and announced for those boats who did not make the official finish line by the time limit. 

Arrivals last night were Kalista and Southern Cross. They were followed this morning by Pajarito, Gypsy, Mahalo, Wind Dancer and Swift. Meanwhile the crew of Defiant, are slowly making their way south under emergency tiller. All three on board are safe and sound, if not a little tired, and expect to arrive on Tortola tomorrow afternoon, hopefully in time for the late arrivals happy hour and prizegiving on the beach.

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Caribbean 1500 prizegiving last night but boats still rolling in to Nanny Cay

The crew of Blackbird lift the Steve Black TrophyLast night PegLegs hosted the official prizegiving ceremony for the competitive side of the Caribbean 1500. Blackbird took the overall victory on corrected time in the Cruising Division, earning them the Steve Black Trophy, named in honor of the events founder.

Blackbird also took top honors in Cruising Class A. In Class B, the Catalina 470 Lady narrowly edged Dancing Lizard by a scant 52 minutes on corrected time to take the top spot in that division. Fat Cat took home the multihull prize, and earned applause for being the first boat over the finish line in Tortola, completing the course in just under six days.

The prizegiving event also honored each participant who completed the rally. Crews were called to the stage and given a commemorative plaque to acknowledge the accomplishment. For several of the crews, the event marked the completion of their first-ever ocean passage, so the occasion was a notable one.

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Twenty-five Caribbean 1500 yachts safely docked in Nanny Cay

Steve Black and crew of Madrugada25 of the 53 yachts taking part in the BVI class of the 2011 World Cruising Club Caribbean 1500 are now safely docked in Nanny Cay with their crews enjoying the number of different activities that have been laid on for them. Sunday night was the second night in a row of happy hour on the beach, with a beach BBQ on offer from the chef at PegLegs. Tonight is the official prizegiving, followed by a buffet dinner at PegLegs, but with many yachts still making their passage the festivities will continue until Thursday when it is anticipated that the majority of boats will have arrived. 

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Caribbean 1500: line honours for Fat Cat

The Fat Cat crew – line honours in the 2011 Caribbean 1500Blackbird was the first Caribbean 1500 yacht to arrive at Nanny Cay Marina this morning. World Cruising Staff greeted them with ice-cold rum punch and a warm welcome to A-dock.

But Fat Cat received line honors, officially finishing about ten hours ahead of Blackbird last night and electing to anchor for the evening in Virgin Gorda. They made their way to the marina this morning, and joined Blackbird on the end of A-dock for their own rum punch.

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Caribbean 1500: Fat Cat expected tonight

Race viewer at 10.20 this morningFat Cat, John Winter’s 24-metre Morelli, is 163.1nm from the finish line and due to cross at about 7.30pm tonight.  She’s romping along at 14.30 knots.  Next to finish will be Michael Reardon’s Tripp 78 Blackbird at 8.00am tomorrow morning; Blackbird is currently 234.7nm away.

Swift, a Bavaria 36 heading down to join the Horizon Yacht Charters fleet here at Nanny Cay, is 631nm behind Fat Cat and travelling at a more sedate 5.70 knots.

Dennis and Heidi on Centime are turning back yet again. Centime, who have been delayed in Beaufort after experiencing mechanical issues shortly after the start, have been forced to return to Beaufort only one day after re-starting.

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WCC prepare for arrival of Caribbean 1500

Maria Karlsson and Andy Schell of the World Cruising ClubMost of the fleet in this year’s Caribbean 1500 has more than halfway to go to reach Tortola, but World Cruising Club staff have arrived and are setting up the program of events at Nanny Cay. Andy Schell and Maria Karlsson arrived over the weekend and have been busy setting up the Rally Office and liaising with marina and hotel staff. 

Nanny Cay hosts a number of World Cruising events – including ARC Europe and Atlantic Cup in May – though this is the first year that they are hosting the Caribbean 1500 under the leadership of the World Cruising Club. Previous iterations have been run by rally founder Steve Black and his Cruising Rally Association. World Cruising Club took over Black’s events, including the Atlantic Cup this past January, and hope to continue and expand on the success of the event that Black got going 22 years ago.

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The 22nd Caribbean 1500 sets sail for Nanny Cay

After a four-day delay to avoid Tropical Storm Sean, the 22nd Caribbean 1500 rally departed from Hampton, VA, today and set course for Nanny Cay on Tortola. Whilst the delay has been frustrating for the 60 participating crews, staying in port was a sensible decision by new race organisers UK based World Cruising Club.

On November 1, the official end of the hurricane season, the unrelated North American Rally To The Caribbean (NARC) departed from Newport, RI, but was severely disrupted by savage storms. Many vessels ran into difficulties and on Monday the cargo ship Oleander, en route from New Jersey to Bermuda, successfully picked up four survivors from Ellie, a 46 foot yacht that suffered steering failure in waves over 30 feet high.

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