Spirit of BermudaAn impressive entry list is taking shape for the Antigua Bermuda Race which starts from Antigua on Friday 12th May, 2017. With 22 entries including 17 over 50ft and seven Maxis and one SuperMaxi, the sight of the fleet departing for the 900 nautical mile race will be nothing short of spectacular. 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.

The latest entry to the Antigua Bermuda Race is the beautiful classic Bermudian yawl, Mariella, skippered by owner, Carlo Falcone. The 80ft (24m) Alfred Mylne-designed ketch was built entirely from wood by the legendary William Fife & Son yard in Scotland in 1938 and was lovingly restored by Carlo after being badly damaged in a hurricane. Mariella is now in fantastic condition and on top form having secured overall victory in the recent Panerai Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.

One of the first yachts to enter the Antigua Bermuda Race was Spirit of Bermuda and there is more than meets the eye to the 112ft three-masted schooner. Just a couple of weeks before the start of the Antigua Bermuda Race, Spirit of Bermuda was racing with the giants at Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Spirit of Bermuda got the better of the 141ft (43m) Columbia and gave the professional crew on the 210ft (64m) Adix a run for their money.

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.

Photo of Spirit of Bermuda by Ed Gifford, edgiffordphoto.com

march20 eleonora sThe Antigua to Bermuda Race starting on Friday 12th May is proving highly popular with a huge variety of competitors eager to take on the challenge of a true ocean race to Bermuda; the home of the 35th America's Cup.

Majesty and grandeur

The fascinating array of yachts, as rich in history as the America's Cup, has been boasted by the addition of the magnificent 162ft schooner, Eleonora, an exact replica of the 1910 Herreshoff-designed Westward, one of the most famous and best known racing schooners in the world.

Eleonora's owner is looking forward to competing in the race to Bermuda: "This is a unique and challenging offshore race ending in the venue for the most prestigious sailing event in the world. For a sailor, this is simply the best way to get from Antigua to Bermuda to join the America's Cup events."

"It is also a great way to deliver the yacht from Antigua where she has spent the winter season cruising and racing," continues the owner. " Offshore cruising and racing can be quite rewarding and spectacular. Sailing on a reach in good breeze in a calm sea, down the moonbeam of a bright full moon is an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We have a great crew who help us to also deal with the challenges of offshore sailing, and who also share with us those spectacular moments."

Royal Bermuda Yacht ClubA fantastic welcome is awaiting the magnificent fleet taking part in the inaugural Antigua Bermuda Race. As host for the 35th America's Cup, Bermuda will be buzzing with excitement.

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. Starting from Antigua on May 12, many of those taking part will have already enjoyed the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week.

Goslings, the Official Rum of the America's Cup, will be sponsoring the pre-race crew party on Wednesday, May 10 and the Prize Giving on May 20th. Royal Bermuda, with many years' experience hosting the Newport Bermuda Race arrivals, will guarantee a good party.

Over 40 yachts from around the world have expressed an interest in taking part, such as Mike Slade's British Farr 100, Leopard 3, who has already registered for the America's Cup Superyacht Regatta taking place just ahead of the 35th America's Cup match. Classic yacht interest includes Eleonora, an exact replica of the 1910 schooner Westward and the 1930 Alfred Mylne classic, The Blue Peter

FreyaOver 40 yachts have expressed their interest in the Antigua Bermuda Race, organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week. The inaugural race coincides with the finish of the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week and the 35th America's Cup event in Bermuda. The Notice of Race for the Antigua Bermuda Race is now available

A substantial fleet is expected from all around the world, ranging from magnificent superyachts and classic designs, to high performance multihulls, carbon fibre ocean greyhounds and production cruiser/racers.

The magnificent Swan 90, Freya is already on the fast-growing list of yachts expected to compete in the race starting from Antigua on Friday 12th May, 2017 is. Since her launch in 2013, Freya has been bluewater cruising and racing at high profile inshore regattas ever since. Her skipper has been around boats from a young age and has a lifetime's experience on the water. Jonathan Carter (also known as Joph), is from Bermuda and comes from a family steeped in sailing. He will be joined by an extremely experienced international crew, with sailors from premier round the world races in key positions, but the Antigua Bermuda Race will be a first for Freya.

Organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week, the inaugural Antigua Bermuda Race will commence after the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week in early May 2017. The Antigua Bermuda Race is designed to offer an exciting passage race to Bermuda, the home of the 2017 America's Cup.

The Antigua Bermuda Race is open to yachts and multihulls with a minimum length of 40ft (12m) holding a valid IRC and/or CSA Rating Certificate or Superyacht rating. Dual scoring will be provided. A provision of a Motor Sailing Handicap will be overlaid for Cruiser Racers. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is already taking pre-registration of yachts interested in racing. Schooner America, the replica of the original winner of the America's Cup and the 112ft (34m) sail training ship, Spirit of Bermuda are confirmed entries. An international fleet of yachts is expected for the race, with exclusive social events organised in Antigua and Bermuda.

"Bermuda is excited to be hosting the 2017 America's Cup and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club sees the Antigua Bermuda Race as an opportunity to have some fun getting to Bermuda in time for the month-long America's Cup celebrations," comments Les Crane, Chairman, Antigua Bermuda Race.