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Fujin Capsizes, Crew Rescued

It’s been a wild ride this week in the RORC Caribbean 600. Seattle’s Greg Slyngstad was racing his Bieker 53 Fujin in the complex 600-mile tour of 11 islands when his catamaran capsized on Monday night close to Saba Island. Winds were in the 30s with gusts up to 40 knots.

Fujin at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 on Monday.

© Tim Wright

The highly experienced crew of eight, including the boat’s designer, Paul Bieker, and Olympic gold medalist Jonathan McKee, were safe and awaited rescue on the overturned hulls. Stephen Cucchiaro’s Gunboat 60 Flow stood by until the crew could all be transferred to a French coast guard vessel.

The race, which started on Monday in Antigua, garnered 80 entries from 15 countries. By Tuesday, a dozen of the entries had retired, some with damage, illness or injuries, in the rough conditions. As of this morning, 26 boats had dropped out. Blown-up sails were cited as a factor in a number of cases.

Commissioned by Peter Aschenbrenner of San Francisco, Paradox is loosely based on an ORMA 60, but comfier and easier to sail shorthanded and/or with non-professional crew.

© 2018 Tim Wright

Rambler 88 and Paradox had a better time of it. Paradox, Peter Aschenbrenner’s Nigel Irens/Benoit Cabaret-designed 63-ft trimaran, took line honors in the midnight hour this morning, with a blazing-fast elapsed time of 1 day, 13 hours, 5 minutes and 16 seconds. George David’s Rambler 88 wasn’t far behind. The Juan K canting-keel sloop set a new monohull race record of 1 day, 13 hours, 41 minutes, 45 seconds. The Volvo 70 Warrior and Jens Kellinghusen’s Ker 56 Varuna also finished this morning.

The three-year-old Rambler 88 has racked up another success.

© Tim Wright

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