The Antigua Bermuda Race organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week is a new fixture in the offshore sailing calendar. Supported by Bermuda Tourism and Gosling's Rum. The race course is 935 nautical miles as the crow flies, but most teams covered 1,000 miles of the Atlantic to complete the challenge. The inaugural race started from Antigua at noon on Friday 12th May 2017. The highly diverse 21-boat fleet set off into the Atlantic Ocean with ample time to arrive in Bermuda to experience the 35th America’s Cup.
Well over 200 sailors from nine different countries attended the Crew Party held at the historic Copper & Lumber Store Hotel in Nelson's Dockyard, Antigua with competitors enjoying canapés and cocktails provided by Gosling’s Rum. Antigua Bermuda Race Chairman, Les Crane, who was competing in his Farr 56, Monterey commented: “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. 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.”
Hamilton, Bermuda, May 20: All teams racing in the Antigua Bermuda Race have now arrived in time for tonight's prize giving to be held at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Tim Wilson's Australian classic ketch El Oro, led the group of corinthian teams that have refused to put on their engines, showing tremendous tenacity in sticking to sail power only for over a 1,000 miles of light airs sailing. El Oro crossed the finish line at St. David's Light shortly before 21:30 local time on Friday May 19th and in doing so claimed second place in CSA Classics and third in IRC.
By 1000 ADT May 19th, five more yachts had completed the Antigua Bermuda Race, with two of those teams making the provisional podium for the race overall. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club was a popular venue last night as well over a hundred sailors gathered to share a few Gosling's Dark ‘n Stormies and tales from their Antigua Bermuda Race.
At dawn on Friday May 19th, Jeremi Jablonski's American Hanse 43, Avanti crossed the finish line off St. David’s Light, Bermuda and the crew were delighted to find out that they were provisionally in second place overall for CSA and IRC.
Esprit de Corps IV, skippered by Gilles Barbot finished the Antigua Bermuda Race on Thursday May, 18 after seven days at sea. For the last day and a half of the race, the French Canadian Volvo 60 had six extra passengers; Les Crane and the crew of Monterey who had to abandon their sinking Farr 56 in the early hours of Wednesday, May 17, 200 miles from the finish in Bermuda.
After safely arriving in Bermuda, Monterey's skipper and Antigua Bermuda Race Chairman, Les Crane was full of emotion about the incident and described the rescue in detail. Esprit De Corp IV effected the rescue, but two other yachts also diverted to assist, Spirit of Bermuda skippered by Michael Moreland and Challenger, skippered by Chris Stanmore-Major. The rescue was also aided by RCC Bermuda Radio who relayed communications.
The Spirit of Bermuda is the flagship of the Antigua to Bermuda Race and there is more than meets the eye to the 112ft three-masted schooner. Spirit of Bermuda is owned by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, the brain child of founder Malcolm Kirkland, with co-founders Jay Kempe and Alan Burland. Since her launch in 2006, 4,000 Bermudian teenagers have sailed on her free of charge and the vast majority from State Schools. Spirit of Bermuda will proudly serve VIP guests, watching the 35th America's Cup.
Spirit of Bermuda Crew: Jeff Bennett, Blair Blakeney, Lindsey Cubbon, Dkembe Dill, James Doughty, Dylan Ferry, Jennifer Gibbons, David Goulbourne, Sandra Harries, Whitney Kirkland, Russell Medway, Myriam Mnasri, Mike Moreland, Patrick Perrett, Harriet Richold, Lamar Samuels, Edward Stovell, Charles Swan and Esmerelda Zanders.