Warrior over the line first at St David’s

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  • Pioneer spirit: Warrior takes Monohull Line honours at St David’s Lighthouse yesterday in the first Antigua Bermuda Race (Photograph by Tom Clarke)

    Pioneer spirit: Warrior takes Monohull Line honours at St David’s Lighthouse yesterday in the first Antigua Bermuda Race (Photograph by Tom Clarke)

Warrior, skippered by Stephen Murray Jr took monohull line honours in the first Antigua Bermuda Race. The Warrior Sailing Foundation’s Volvo 70 completed the monohull race in a time of three days, 20hr 32min and 41 sec.

The crew were celebrating with Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormies at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, but will have to wait for other yachts to finish to decide who will be the victors after IRC and CSA time correction.

Allegra, the Nigel Irens-designed 78ft catamaran is due to be the next yacht to finish and was expected to cross the finish line at St David’s Lighthouse at about 9pm Bermuda time last night in the multihull race.

“It was a great ride,” Murray said. “Will [Oxley, Warrior’s navigator] did a great job of hooking us into the pressure between the two highs and the weather scenario now looks hard for the other guys.”

Oxley said: “I have no doubt that the [time] will be beaten in the future. A fast time for this race could be as little as 50 hours, given the right conditions. We will have to see how the Antigua Bermuda Race evolves.

“It is a route that is popular for yachts returning to America and Europe from the Caribbean and it is also a race which should have more comfortable conditions than other offshore races I could mention. I can definitely see full-on offshore racing yachts trying to better the record, but it is also a great race for sailors that want great locations for the start and finish and to race offshore in spectacular conditions.”

While light conditions early on in the race suited the smaller yachts, Warrior finished the race in good breeze, but that is fading as a windless hole is opening behind them.

Don Macpherson’s American Swan 90, Freya was going well, but ran out of breeze about 150 miles from the finish and hopes of winning under IRC are fading. Simon and Nancy De Pietro’s CNB 76, Lilla is having a great race with 250 miles to go. Tim Wilson’s Australian 1978 classic ketch, El Oro, and Jeremi Jablonski’s American Hanse 43, Avanti, are going well and have over 350 miles to the finish.

Last is the Oyster 485, Gaia, owned by Andrew and Sabrina Eddy. The yacht is 411 miles from Bermuda and while the team may use their engine under CSA rules, the team have stoically stuck to sail power only.

“All is well on Gaia and we are enjoying these blue waters and skies,” Andrew Eddy wrote on his blog.

“Fishing activities have produced great expectations of tuna tartare and mahi mahi medallions, however so far our strikes have only produced enough for seaweed salad.”

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Published May 17, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated May 16, 2017 at 10:42 pm)

Warrior over the line first at St David’s

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