RORC Caribbean 600: there will be the new Rambler 88

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Rambler 88Engines are warming up for the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 (starting next Feb. 23) the Caribbean’s busiest regatta, starting and returning to Antigua for a total of 600 miles. This year promises to be a regatta with even more participants than last year (60). This is one of the most beautiful events in Caribbean waters: first because of the level of the fleet (so many “racing” hulls, last year Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente won in real time), then because of the course that touches on some of the most beautiful locations between Antigua and Guadeloupe, while proving particularly challenging for tacticians and strategists.

imageEYES ON RAMBLER 88
This year, eyes are on George David’s new jewel, the Rambler 88. David, former owner of the record-shattering Rambler 100 (which scuffled in media clamor at the 2011 Fastnet), will try to break the record he himself set in 2011: 40 hours, 20 minutes and 2 seconds. The potential is there: the crew of the new Rambler will count on members of the old team plus some new entries directly from the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race, such as Brad Butterworth, Stu Bannatyne and Brad Jackson. There is no shortage of competition: the two 100-footers Ragamuffin 100 and Leopard, the two VOR 70s Monster Project and Maserati, from our own Giovanni Soldini.

imageThe boat, launched last December at the New England Boatworks shipyard in Rhode Island, is designed by Argentine architect Juan Kouyoumdjian: 88 feet long, it has a “powerful” hull shape with the edges, characteristic of Kouyoumdian’s designs, running throughout the boat, very pronounced. The keel is canting, and the positioning of the two daggerboards, very close to the centerline of the boat, is interesting. The absence of coffee grinders on board suggests that it is an automated boat to the max.

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