After sailing 1,500 miles from Hampton, Virginia to Nanny Cay, Tortola, 175 sailors have completed the 2012 Caribbean 1500. Docked in Nanny Cay Marina, they’ve celebrated with family barbeques, trophies and plenty of parties.
After departing Hampton on November 3, the first yacht to arrive in Nanny Cay was Wings, a Hylas 54, completing the passage in just over seven days. On average, it takes sailors 9-10 days to complete the Caribbean 1500.
At the award ceremony at Peg Leg’s Restaurant in Nanny Cay, Serenity, a Shannon 43 ketch, was awarded first in the Class A cruising division, while Keep It Simple, a J/42, won both Class B division and the Steve Black Trophy, named after the founder of the Caribbean 1500, for overall winner of the cruising division. The Multihull Division winner was Baloo, an Outremer Cat.
For the first time in the event’s history, the 40-boat fleet departed from Hampton a day earlier than scheduled to beat a fast-moving weather system. Even then, a series of squalls hit the fleet along the way. Avanti, a Hanse 430, was awarded the Tempest trophy, an award given to the crew that shows best seamanship and spirit, for guiding Helia, a Slocum 43 Pilothouse, clear of the squalls.
Meanwhile, the ARC Bahamas fleet departed Hampton on the same day for the 975-mile voyage to Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas. With strong winds forecast, a handful of boats decided to stop over in Beaufort, North Carolina. Two others kept going and enjoyed a fantastic downwind sail; the Beneteau First 435 Mariannina finished first, followed closely by the Hanse 400 SusieQ.
Now that the trophies have been awarded and the celebrations have died down, some of the participants plan to continue sailing the Caribbean throughout the winter.
Photos courtesy of World Cruising Club