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Busy Pamela Lee of Greystones On Course For Caribbean 600 & Round Ireland Race

14th February 2022
Midwinter lull in an otherwise stormy mid-Atlantic – Pamela Lee in a brief respite aboard the Class40 Redman during the mid-winter west-east Transatlantic Crossing
Midwinter lull in an otherwise stormy mid-Atlantic – Pamela Lee in a brief respite aboard the Class40 Redman during the mid-winter west-east Transatlantic Crossing

When they come to write further histories of the Covid Pandemic and the world’s uneven emergence from it, they should call on the many experiences of long-distance sailor Pamela Lee of Greystones. She has somehow managed to keep the development of her career as a sailor at the sharp end of international offshore racing with super-fast boats on track, even with having to negotiate changing international travel restrictions every time she set out to move on from one completed project to begin another.

Her enthusiasm remains boundless, for despite a very stormy mid-winter west-east Transatlantic experience to bring home the Transat Jacques Vabre-winning Class40 Redman, she is now in the Caribbean in the final stages of preparation for next week’s RORC Caribbean 600 with the Andrea Fornaro-campaigned Class40 #130.

Her linkup with Fornaro began last August when they sailed together in the Figaro 3 Two-handed Round Italy Challenge, and won. And looking ahead to this summer, she is much involved with his new #171 Class40 Series Influence, the first of the latest VPLP design, which will do the Route de Rhum but she will then deliver to Ireland for the Wicklow Round Ireland Race in June, and will sail as crew on board - her first circuit of the Emerald Isle since her record double-hander with Cat Hunt on the Figaro 3 Maigeanta Eire in October 2020.

The fact that Influence will be coming to the “cold north” for the Round Ireland Race is by way of payback for Pam Lee doing the round Italy last summer, and she writes of this new craft:

“The new boat #171 is the first boat of the new Class40 Series designed by VPLP. It has a very exciting and revolutionary design, being the first race boat to have the mast set further back from the keel. This is designed to compensate the Scow Bow, which leads other boats to input an extensive mast rake, with most scow-bow Class40s adding well over 10 degrees aft rake.

By moving the mast aft, this should counteract some of the downwards tendencies of the Scow. This feature has led to a completely new interior structure, where rather that having a central mast support in the middle of the hull, it is completely open inside and the support is dispersed through a new framework system - this is to avoid negative shock impact back into the rig should the keel hit something, being forwards the compensation would be different......”

With the speeds the latest scow-type Class40s can reach, the phrase “should the keel hit something” acquires added meaning. Meanwhile, just to keep busy, in some time-space between the Caribbean 600 and the various logistics of getting the Class40 Influence to Ireland, Pam Lee will be crewing another Class40, #156, with a different team in the Heineken Regatta.

The new VPLP Class40 design has moved the mast significantly further aftThe new VPLP Class40 design has moved the mast significantly further aft

Caribbean 600 Race Live Tracker 2022

Track the progress of the 2022 Caribbean 600 Race fleet on the live tracker above 

The 13th edition of the 600-mile race organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club starts on Monday, February 21st from Antigua.


WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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RORC's Caribbean 600 Race

The 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 will start from Antigua on Monday 21st February 2022.

The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth's


2020 - Tilmar Hansen, Outsider, TP52 (GER)
2019 - David and Peter Askew, Wizard, Volvo 70 (USA)
2018 - George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA)
2017 - Hap Fauth, Bella Mente, JV72 (USA)
2016 - George Sakellaris, Maxi 72, Proteus (USA)
2015 - Hap Fauth, JV72, Bella Mente (USA)
2014 - George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA)
2013 - Ron O'Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA)
2012 - Niklas Zennström's JV72, Rán (GBR)
2011 - George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA)
2010 - Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)
2009 - Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL)


Multihull record (2019): Giovanni Soldini, Maserati, Multi 70 (ITA) - 30 hours, 49 minutes, 00 seconds
(I day 6 hrs 49 mins 0 secs)

Monohull record (2018): George David, Rambler 88, Maxi (USA) - 37 hours, 41 minutes, 45 seconds
(1 day 13 hrs 41 mins 45 secs)

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