Friday, February 22, 2019

2019 CARIBBEAN 600

This edition was marked by the Mod 70 trimaran Argus capsize, just before the race. The start was delayed to recover the boat that, having in consideration the accident, had a good race performance, finishing 2nd overall.

Argo capsized viewed from Maserati
The Caribbean 600 becomes  bigger every year and on the 2019 edition 75 yachts participated. Unfortunately here a small yacht is a 50ft boat and not many with less than that make the race, with the exception of pure racing boats and in what regards those the 40 class racers are very popular here, and with a good reason.

Looking at the video from the beginning of the race, with the yachts pounding hard upwind, we could wonder why, but the fact is that those images are misleading, this is mostly a beam reach/broad reach race with some downwind sailing and only two small upwind legs.

Cover Cookson 50, above the winning class 40
The class 40 racers and derived cruisers, like the Pogo, that have a poor performance on the Mediterranean races and races with lots of upwind sailing, have a good performance here.

Regarding their performance it is funny that cruiser sailors tend to have about them a more positive overall image than what they deserve, while it is the opposite with racing sailors, specially med racers. I have heard many racers saying that they are slow boats.

Pogo 50 Maremosso
In fact they are excellent designs and very fast for what they are designed to do and are size by size almost unbeatable on a transat. On this race we can see that what they lose on the smaller upwind legs is much less than what they gain on the longer beam reach/broad reach legs. 

They are not great sailing with the wind dead downwind but they don't lose that much and since situations of weak winds are very rare here, they had an overall good performance.

Marten 49
The 40 class racers were the first 40ft boats to finish, among much bigger yachts and very close to two very fast carbon racers that made a great race, a Ker 46 and a Carkeek 47 and at only three hours from the fastest 50ft racer, the carbon canting keeler Cookson 50  Kuka 3.

And it was not only one 40 class racer that was fast but a trio, that came few minutes apart, leaving behind a Swan 80,  a Swan 66, a Volvo 60 and 2nd Cookson 50. 

Ker 46 Lady Mariposa
If the conditions suited the 40class racers, they suited also the two Pogos cruisers racing, a 12.50 and a 50. Of course, I am not talking about positions in handicap racing where they will always be too penalized. I am talking about positions in real time and about sailing fast.

The Pogo 50 arrived in the middle of the slower 40 class racers, ahead of a Santa Cruz 52, a Whitbread 60 and way ahead of a Farr 65 and a XP 55. It was the 2nd 50ft cruiser racer to arrive, not far from the all carbon Marten 49, a hugely more expensive sailboat and a very fast one too.

Pogo 12.50 Hermes
The Pogo 12.50 made even comparatively better, it was the first 40ft cruiser racer to arrive, very close to the Farr 65, ahead of the XP 55, the XP 44, a Swan 57 and a Solaris 44 leaving the 2nd 40ft cruiser racer, a well sailed J122 at considerable distance.

For the ones that like to understand how the performance of the sailboats varies with different types of hulls, according to different types of conditions and sail positions, I recommend to follow the race of the Pogo 12.50 Hermes and the J145 Katara on the race plotter, using predict wind data.

They fought all the race and it is very curious to see how the Pogo went away quickly on a beam reach and how the J145 closes while beating upwind. Fascinating stuff.

The J145 after having lost a lot of time on the long beam reach leg ended up recovering on the downwind and upwind smaller legs finishing very near but ahead of the Pogo. But it is good to remember that we are talking about a 40ft versus a 45ft. The other fast 40fter, a J122 made a great race and finished in compensated well ahead of the Pogo (20th and 27th)but in real time way back, needing more  4 hours and a half to finish the race.

Bieker 53
Without Cheyenne or Rambler, with ideal conditions, the multihulls had a great race and at the finish the distance from the two MOD 70 (Maserati won) to the first monohull, a Volvo Open 70, was huge.

Surprisingly the Volvo arrived with the 53ft Bieker catamaran very close behind. It seems that when it does not capsize (as on the last edition) the Bieker is a hell of a sailing machine leaving  at a great distance not only the bigger Gunboat 62 but also the foiling DNA F4 and the two older Multi 50 derived trimarans. Quite a performance.

Mod 70 Maserati
Also good the performance of the foiling Black Pepper code1  Black Soul (40ft carbon daysailer), that arrived just a little bit ahead of the Pogo 12.50 and very good the performance of a 37ft racer, a Reichel&Pugh design (Taz) that arrived after the Pogo and side by side with the XP 55.


  1. Very nice report, much appreciated!

  2. Hi Paulo,

    I hadn´t seen the Code 1 foiler yet, very cool boat! And since you mentioned the Pogo 50, I can add that there was a swedish fellow sailing on that boat. He normally sails his Pogo Class 40 but had some issue with his mast so he crewed on the Pogo 50 instead. I will visit the boat show here in Stockholm later this week and will ask him about the race if I bump in to him.