Antigua-Bermuda Race – 935 nautical miles

Start: Friday 12 May 2017, Antigua – 935 nautical miles

Antigua Bermuda Race

Organised by The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week
Flagship of the Antigua Bermuda Race, The Bermuda Sloop Foundation’s 112ft three-masted tall ship, Spirit of Bermuda at the start of the race in Antigua © Ted Martin/Antigua Bermuda Race

Antigua, May 12, 2017: The inaugural 935 nautical mile Antigua Bermuda Race started on time with the entire fleet getting away without a hitch. A light southerly breeze of 10 knots and warm Antiguan sunshine provided perfect conditions. The variety pack of 21 yachts is an eclectic collection, both in terms of crew and craft. From the majestic schooner, Eleonora to the pocket rocket Pogo 12.50s, and just about everything in between. The fleet includes ocean racers; new and old, as well as bluewater cruisers raced by passionate corinthians. The entire fleet started together and the Antigua Bermuda Race was born.

In the first hour of the race, American Volvo 70, Warrior, skippered by Stephen Murray Jr.
had opened up a two mile lead on the chasing Swans, Don Macpherson’s Swan 90, Freya and British Swan 82, Stay Calm. The breeze then backed to the east putting the fleet on a beam reach. Freya unleashed their gigantic masthead Code Zero to flash past Warrior who had forsaken their Code Zero and J1 to reduce their rating. Underpowered, Warrior was no match for the additional sail area and waterline length of Freya. Swan 82, Stay Calm was going well and estimated to be leading the race after time correction, for both IRC and CSA, but there is a long way to go. Simon & Nancy De Pietro’s Irish CNB 76, Lilla was revelling in the reaching conditions and also going extremely well.

Don Macpherson’s American Swan 90, Freya  © Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted Martin
American Volvo 70, Warrior, skippered by Stephen Murray Jr. © Ted Martin/Antigua Bermuda Race
Nigel Irens 78, Allegra © Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted Martin
Challenger from Nova Scotia at the start from Antigua of the inaugural Antigua Bermuda Race © Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted MartinThe lone multihull in the race, the Nigel Irens 78, Allegra was just holding off Freya, 20 miles from Barbuda. It will be interesting to see which side of Barbuda the leaders choose to follow.

As expected the two Canadian Volvo 60s, Chris Stanmore-Major’s Challenger and Gilles Barbot’s Esprit de Corps IV are having their own private battle; locked together as they will be for much of the race.

Five yachts under 50ft are taking part in the Antigua Bermuda Race and American Hanse 43, Avanti, skippered by Jeremi Jablonski has had the best start after time correction. The Swedish Pogo 12.50, Talanta skippered by Mikael Ryking has found an excellent turn of speed.

There is less than a mile separating the four classic yachts in the Antigua Bermuda Race; Carlo Falcone’s Alfred Mylne-designed Mariella played the lifts and shifts along the south shore of Antigua to stay in touch with her bigger rivals. El Oro, Tim Wilson’s Australian 68ft ketch was just a mile behind Mariella and going well.Carlo Falcone’s classic 1938 Fife Mariella ready to cast her lines and race from Antigua and Barbuda to Bermuda. Fun fact is that 18 years ago at exactly the same time, and from exactly the same spot, she was also heading to the America’s Cup venue, only difference being that instead of having to sail 935nm  it was 8,000nm all the way to Auckland, New Zealand © Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted MartinThe largest boat in the race, the majestic 162ft Eleonora, an exact replica of Westward© Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted MartinJohn O’Connor’s CNB 76, Sapphire III and Oyster 65, Rock Oyster © Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted Martin
One of the smallest boats in the fleet, Morgan Watson’s Pogo 12.50, Hermes © Antigua Bermuda Race/Ted Martin
Race Chair, Les Crane’s Farr PH 56, Monterey at the start of the first Antigua Bermuda Race organized by The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week © Ted Martin/Antigua Bermuda RaceBlog from Rock Oyster: „Old school sailors! The tunes are on, chilled electro 80s by Ministry of Sound and the boys have had a beer considering the conditions. We have had roti for lunch. It looks as if we may set a kite soon and things are looking good,“ says Skipper, Ben Bowen on the Oyster 65, Rock Oyster. and share our official Facebook page.@antiguabermudarace
#antiguabermuda FACTS:

    • Start: Friday 12th May 2017 at 1200 AST. The start is off Fort Charlotte, Antigua.
    • The Antigua Bermuda Race is supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum
    • Antigua Bermuda Race is organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week. The inaugural race coincided with the finish of the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week and the 35th America’s Cup event in Bermuda
    • There will be one start for the 21-boat fleet representing 9 different countries (and crews from many more) racing under CSA Monohull, CSA Classic, MultiRule and IRC
    • Yachts from the following countries: Antigua; Australia; Bermuda; Canada; Ireland; Great Britain; Sweden; Switzerland; USA
      Crew from many more nations, including: Australia; Austria; Denmark; France; New Zealand; St. Maarten and St. Lucia
    • 21 boats, 17 over 50ft, 7 x Maxi yachts, a SuperMaxi, plus majestic schooners: the sight of the fleet departing will be nothing short of spectacular
    • Smallest/Largest:
      • 40ft – Smallest boats in the fleet, Pogo 12.50’s – Hermes (CAN), Talanta (SWE)
      • 162ft (49.50m) – Largest boat – Eleonora, follows Westward’s heritage of big schooner racing, but has all the character and style of a true classic with the advantages of being a modern yacht
    • Fastest:
      • Fastest Multihull in the race is the Nigel Irens designed APC 78 catamaran, Allegra. Skippered by Adrian Keller with Boat Captain Rob Grimm, the crew includes Paul Larsen, the World’s fastest sailor who achieved 68 knots on board Vestas Sailrocket!
      • Fastest Monohulls: The fastest monohull competing is likely to be the USMMA’s (US Merchant Marine Academy) Volvo 70, Warrior, skippered by Stephen Murray Jr.Warrior
      • Although Warrior and Allegra are competing in different classes, the two fastest yachts in the race might enjoy an interesting battle at the front of the fleet
    • The variety of the fleet shows the wide appeal of the offshore race, attracting ocean going cruisers, round the world racing yachts, high performance multihulls, as well as classic designs
    • Corinthian sailors with family and friends on board will be on the same race course as Volvo Ocean Race and Round the World record holders and ‚pro‘ sailors
    • Personalities also include well-known Australian broadcaster/journalist, Piers Akerman racing on the Australian, El Oro
    • The destination for the 935-mile offshore race will be one of the oldest yacht clubs in North America, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, established in 1844, seven years before the America’s Cup

„The variety of the fleet shows the wide appeal of the race and bodes well for the Antigua Bermuda Race to grow in future editions,“ commented Antigua Bermuda Race Chairman, Les Crane who will be competing in his Farr 56, Monterey. „The America’s Cup in Bermuda has ignited interest in the race this year, however it is a well-known route for yachts leaving the Caribbean bound for the Eastern Seaboard of the United States as well as destination in Europe. Our intention is that the Antigua Bermuda Race will be an annual event, popular with a wide variety of yachts.“PRESS STORY LEADS TO DOWNLOAD WITH NOTES ON COMPETITORSHEREENTRIES – 2017 Antigua Bermuda Race

Sail Number Yacht Name Design Owner’s First Owner’s Last City State Country
SUI 888 Allegra Nigel Irens Catamaran FastCat Ltd Georgetown CAY
USA 52906 Avanti Hanse Jeremi Jablonski Wilton CT USA
GBR 301 Challenger Whitbread 60 Chris Stanmore-Major Mahone Bay NS GBR
GBR 2080L El Oro (IRC) Auzeppy-Brennuer 68 Tim Wilson Paddington NSW AUS
MLA 5 Eleonora (IRC) Gaff schooner Brendan McCoy St.Julians MLA
CAN 76 Esprit de Corps IV Volvo 60 Gilles Barbot Montreal CAN
USA 9010 Freya (IRC) Swan 90s Don Macpherson Santa Monica CA USA
GBR 2228L GAIA Oyster 485/18 Andrew Eddy London GBR
GBR 1424R Heartbeat IV Dufour 45E Jason & Judy Payne-James Southminster Essex UK
CAN 1213 Hermes Pogo 12.50 Morgen Watson Calgary Alberta CAN
IRL 7600 LILLA CNB 76 Simon & Nancy De Pietro Buttevant Cork IRL
ANT 464 Mariella Yawl Carlo Falcone St. Pauls Antigua ANT
BER 88 Monterey Farr PH 56 Les Crane Warwick BDA
BER 67 Morning Star Paradise 60 Carl Soares Smiths BDA
GBR 65 Rock Oyster Oyster 65 John Marshall Lytham Lancashire GBR
Usa 60601 Sapphire III CNB76 John O’Connor Rye Brook NY USA
BER TS 688 Spirit of Bermuda Ballyhoo Schooner Paul Bracken Hamilton BDA
ANT 6849 Spirit of Juno Farr 65 Peter Anthony Falmouth St. Pauls ANT
GBR 8200R Stay Calm Swan 82 Stuart Robinson Hampshire UK
SWE 95 Talanta Pogo 40S2 Mikael Ryking Tyreso SWE
USA 60063 Warrior (IRC) Volvo 70 modified Stephen Murray Metairie