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Nagel and team forced to retire

Emily Nagel

Emily Nagel’s involvement in the Royal Ocean Racing Club Caribbean 600 offshore race ended earlier than planned after she and her team-mates were forced to retire.

The F4 foiling catamaran the Bermudian sailor and naval architect was competing on encountered electronic issues, forcing the team to drop out of the 600-mile classic around 11 Caribbean islands that started in Antigua on Monday.

During their time racing, Nagel and her team-mates, which included America’s Cup winner Shannon Falcone, battled winds in the vicinity of 30 knot, with gusts up to 40, on their 46-foot one-design multihull racing yacht.

It was the exact challenging conditions that Nagel and Falcone, who helped Oracle Team USA retain the America’s Cup in 2013 in San Francisco, experienced while sailing the same multihull yacht from New York to Bermuda two years ago.

“Confirming that if I touch the F4 the wind goes crazy,” Nagel tweeted. “Twenty-five-plus knots and a messy sea state brought an end to our wet and wild ride after the electronics failed, forcing us to turn back to Antigua.

“Some awesome sailing up until then keeping up with the bigger boats in the front pack.”

Nagel is involved in the ongoing Volvo Ocean Race as a sail trimmer with Dutch syndicate Team AkzoNobel but was able to compete in the RORC Caribbean 600 after being placed on standby for the sixth and seventh legs of the around the world that started in Alicante, Spain, in October last year.

Strong winds took their toll on this year’s Caribbean 600 racing fleet with the 53-foot multihull, Fujin, capsizing late on Monday night and several other entries also forced to retire mainly because of damaged gear. The crew of Fujin, that included Olympic gold medal-winner Jonathan McKee, were all safely rescued.

The 63-foot trimaran, Paradox, seized multihull line honours after crossing the finish early yesterday morning in an elapsed time of 1day 13hr 5.16sec.

The Maxi, Rambler 88, crossed the finish line just under half an hour later to take monohull line honours and set a new monohull race record of 1day 13hr 41.45 sec.