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Are You Fast Enough? Caribbean Multihull 60-Mile Sprint!

It’s an event within an event you really want to win – if you’re fast enough, that is. The Caribbean Multihull Challenge’s (CMC) 60-mile Sprint, sponsored by Fkg Marine Rigging & Fabrication , was a notion put into motion for the first time in 2022. Ocean Racing and Ocean Cruising Multihulls, those able to complete the course in 6 hours or less, raced from St Maarten, around St. Barths, north navigating Tintamarre, and west across the Anguilla Channel to finish at the start in Simpson Bay.

Sammamish, WA’s Greg Slyngstad’s Bieker 53, Fujin, won the inaugural Sprint in a corrected time of 5 hours, 2 minutes, 43 seconds. Bragging rights were never so sweet!

“Having raced to and around St. Barths many times, it’s the tactics that make it interesting. Each segment of the race has its challenges. It’s not just a sprint. You can have major shifts and making the decision to stay higher or lower in the channel is first. Then, whether to give St Barths a wide berth or stay closer to shore in rounding is another aspect. There’s boat handling and tactics involved in coming back down and taking advantage of some surf where possible. One thing for certain is the wind and that makes racing exciting with these fast machines,” says Chris Marshall, one of the principals of FKG, in Cole Bay, St. Maarten.

Big developments in sailing today center on multihulls and how to make them fly. It’s where design attention is and will be focused. Marshall says FKG wants to be part of this by keeping up with the technology to assist in service and repair work. The company’s hands-on in this regard. For example, Olivier Vigoureux, who heads FKG’s Rig Pro Caribbean Division, was once involved in the Paradox Trimaran Campaign that competed in the CMC.

“What I like about the CMC’s 60-mile Sprint is that it allows competitors to take some bragging rights, even if they don’t do well in the rest of the event. It’s a great chance to zone in on sail trim and focus on speed to claim victory. Albeit an event within another event, it can be seen as the ‘one you want to win’. Sort of like how the 100m Sprint is in Track and Field. Or the Round the Island Race at the St Maarten Heineken Regatta,” says Marshall.