RORC Nelson’s Cup Series: Day One – A Sensational Start

by Kemoir Martin

Antigua, West Indies February 13, 2024: The RORC Nelson’s Cup Series kicked off today with two superb races starting off Fort Charlotte, Antigua. Race results were decided by very close margins. Two teams remain unbeaten in the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series: Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue (USA) and Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA). RP37 Warthog (ANT), skippered by Jules Mitchell with an all-Antiguan crew, leads IRC Two on countback from Ed Bell’s Dawn Treader (GBR).

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Fantastic conditions produced close racing right through the RORC fleet. PRO Stefan Kunstmann set different tracks for all three IRC classes; course lengths ranged from 10-23 miles. After a windward start for every race, crews and their boats were tested on every point of sail. Tropical heat with sunshine bursting through the cloud cover produced shifty conditions. There was also a variety in sea state; inshore the sea state was choppy with a knot of windward current standing up the waves. Offshore, especially to the east, a building breeze topping out at 17 knots produced a longer wave pattern.

Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue (CAY) & Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) © Tim Wright/

Deep Blue strategist and America’s Cup winner David Armitage commented: “We have made a few changes to the boat and our IRC rating has got significantly better, and we feel that we are at least as fast as we were. We are really happy with the progress that we are making, especially to measure up against Leopard, which is a very fast boat and well sailed. There was a lot of boat-on-boat action but we stayed out of each other’s way a little bit; we were respectful of each other. It was great close racing.”

Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 (FRA) © Tim Wright/

“Sun, wind and friends, three good reasons to race the Nelson’s Cup,” commented Daguet 3 owner Frederic Puzin. “It was very difficult conditions today; a lot of waves and not very high wind speed. To be honest with such good competition we were surprised to win both races today, but we are very happy.”

Reichel Pugh 37 Warthog skippered by Jules Mitchell (ANT) © Tim Wright/

Warthog’s skipper Jules Mitchell commented: “This is only our second regatta as a team on the boat. It’s a fresh team and we have made a lot of changes to the boat. This regatta is the perfect platform to learn because the quality of the opposition is so high, and on top of that we are all so excited to do the Nelson’s Cup. It is so prestigious and it’s all fast boats and great sailors that are happy to share their knowledge.”

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After racing, a relaxed daily prizegiving was held at Antigua Yacht Club with prizes and complimentary drinks provided by RORC Caribbean 600 sponsors – English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum and Carib Beer. Racing at the RORC Nelson’s Cup continues on Wednesday 14th February with two races scheduled off the South Coast of Antigua.

Race Analysis:
Race One: Weather: South Easterly 12-15 knots
Course Length: IRC 2 9.8nm, IRC 1 13.2nm, Zero 16.8nm

IRC Zero: Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue had a sensational race with Farr 100 Leopard 3 (MON) skippered by Joost Schuijff. Deep Blue crossed the finish line just one second ahead to win on corrected time.

IRC One: Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 corrected out to win by just under 3 minutes. James Neville’s Carkeek 45 Ino Noir (GBR) won a close battle for second with Niklas Zennstrom’s CF520 Rán (SWE). After IRC time correction Ino Noir was second by just three seconds.

IRC Two: Ed Bell’s JPK 1180 Dawn Treader was the winner by just under three minutes after IRC time correction. RP37 Warthog skippered by Jules Mitchell was second. Bernie Evan-Wong’s Lapworth 39 Huey Too (ANT) was third, putting two Antiguan teams on the race podium.

Race Two: Weather: South Easterly 11-13 knots increasing occasionally to 17 knots.
Course Length: IRC 2 10.9nm, IRC 1 15.6nm, Zero 23.3nm

IRC Zero: Wendy Schmidt’s Botin 85 Deep Blue made it a clean sweep on the opening day of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series with a second win. Farr 100 Leopard 3 took line honours for the race by just under three minutes, but after IRC time correction Deep Blue was the winner.

IRC One: Frederic Puzin’s Ker 46 Daguet 3 made it two bullets on the opening day of the RORC Nelson’s Cup Series with a second win by a squeaky 43 seconds after IRC time correction. Peter & David Askew’s Botin 52 Wizard (USA) was a close second, beating Rán by just 37 seconds after IRC time correction.

IRC Two: RP37 Warthog skippered by Jules Mitchell took their first bullet of the series by just over a minute after IRC time correction from Dawn Treader. Bernard Giroux’s Solana 55 Team 42 (FRA), skippered by Dan Segalowicz, was third.

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ENDS/… Louay Habib

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