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VIDEO: 'A special experience'

The eighth edition of the biennial RORC Caribbean 600 was another spectacle of sail and sun in Antigua as crowds watched the largest fleet in the event’s history set off on a 600-nautical-mile race around 11 islands.

The late February event welcomes rock-star professional sailors and weekend cruisers alike. Jonathan Russo, an avid sailor from the Northeast and a former sailing columnist for the Shelter Island Reporter, checked off an item on his bucket list by sailing aboard one of the boats — Prospector, a Farr 60 that Carroll Marine built in Rhode Island in 1998.

Prospector is sailing fast, the wind blowing 20 knots on her starboard bow. It’s very dark; the full moon has not yet risen,” Russo explained in an article he wrote about his experience. “We’ve just rounded Redonda Rock, a looming, jagged outcropping of an island between Nevis in the West Indies and Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles. Sheeted in tight, standing on the stern, I’m straining to grind in the mainsheet. I can’t believe I’m here.”

Take a look at the sights and scenes Russo experienced along the way:

“The RORC Caribbean 600 is now in my blood, and I plan to return next year,” Russo told Soundings readers in the May 2016 issue. “This race is a special experience — the boats, rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest sailing talent in the world, the parties, the challenge of the 600-mile course. It is surely this sailor’s dream come true.”