In West Coast ocean racing, it’s not uncommon to set a chute and never take it down. Numerous times boats have gotten a day or two away from the California coast in the Pacific Cup or Transpac, set a chute, and left that chute up until crossing the respective finish lines on Oahu.
Not this year in the Caribbean 600, where the normal easterly trade winds gave way to a few strong squalls, lots of calms, and winds out of every direction.
Hap Fauth’s 72-ft Bella Menta, declared the overall winner, reported making 85 sail changes in just two days of racing. Eighty-five! Doña de Mallorca assumed that had to be a typo until her dear friend Lucky Poupon, who sailed on the Volvo 70 SFS, reported they’d made more than 100 sail changes.
With Bella Mente finishing in just two days, and Runaway in three days, one can only imagine how many sail changes were made on boats that were on the course for five days.
In other 600 news, Runaway, the old Andrews 70 Cheval with Tom Corkett Sr. and a number of other West Coast sailors, took third place, finishing in 3 days, 2 hours, 17 minutes.