Allegra Grabs Antigua Multihull Line Honors
Allegra, the Nigel Irens-designed 78ft catamaran skippered by Adrian Keller was the second boat to finish the 2017 Antigua Bermuda Race.
Taking Multihull line honours, the big cat finished on Tuesday just before 9.41pm, This is the first Antigua Bermuda Race so this will be the time to beat to claim a record in the second annual race.
“Allegra is made from carbon fiber and has titanium fittings and hi-tech sails, but also has all the comforts of a cruising catamaran and weighs 34 tons, so we need a lot of breeze to really get her going,” Allegra crew Paul Larsen said.
“We didn’t get that for this race. It is great to have set the record and Allegra will always be the first, but I am sure a MOD 70 given the right conditions could complete the course in about 36 hours, so it is a soft record which is bound to be broken in the future.”
Larsen, the outright sailing speed world record-holder, was excited to be in Bermuda. “We checked in at customs on Tuesday night and had a couple of Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormys and it felt like we were having a drink before the World Cup final, or going to see your favourite band.”
“Bermuda is just stunning,” Larson added. “We are about to witness an amazing America’s Cup and I can feel the buzz of the place. Walking around town it almost catches you off guard how friendly everyone is, saying hello and eager to help. This is a really great venue and we are so happy to be here; this is sensational!”
Allegra’s crew for the Antigua Bermuda Race were Helena Darvelid, Charles Dearlove, Chris Dowling, Scott Gray, Rob Grimm, Adrian Keller, Larsen, Andrew Nickless, Recaldo Thomas, and Aris Ziros.
British Swan 82, Stay Calm was the second monohull to finish the race just before midday yesterday. Stay Calm passed St David’s Lighthouse, but their corrected finish time was not enough to topple Volvo 70, Warrior from the top of CSA.
Don Macpherson’s Swan 9,0 Freya is 54 miles from Bermuda and is expected to be the next yacht to finish the race. The first classic yacht to arrive in Bermuda is likely to be the magnificent schooner, Eleonora. With 50 miles to go, the 162ft gaff rigged schooner — an exact replica of the 1910 Westward, designed and built by N. G. Herreshoff — is expected to finish the 935 nautical-mile race around sunset tonight.
News from the fleet still racing is that Les Crane’s Farr PH 56, Monterey had been abandoned after taking on water. The cause is unknown. The crew are all safe and well. They transferred onto the Volvo 60, Esprit De Corps IV in an inflatable life raft. Spirit of Bermuda stood by to offer assistance as well. Both boats are sailing on to Bermuda and are expected this morning.
Further back in the fleet, some 250 miles from the finish, the weather conditions seemed to have improved from the light airs of the last few days, as this blog suggests from Judy Payne-James on British Dufour 45, Heartbeat IV.
“Heartbeat IV team all in good spirits. Trying to get maximum pace in pleasant, but frustrating conditions. Currently flying our asymmetric spinnaker and up to seven knots of boat speed. Dolphins to starboard and brie and bacon wraps are being handed to the crew. Last night was not quite as pleasant. A busy night with constant lightning all round, with a couple of major squalls. Wind from the southeast at 25 knots plus. However, now settling down but missing the sun today. All the team are well and looking forward to next couple of days.”
Meg Reilly from Canadian Ocean Racing gives a great account of the atmosphere on board Morgen Watson’s Pogo 12.50, Hermes, one of the smallest boats in the race at 40ft, which still has 280 miles to go in the Antigua Bermuda Race:
“Things tend to balance out at sea,” she said. “Our previous hellish night of lightning was complemented by one of the most gorgeous sunsets we’ve ever seen. The sky glowed beautiful reds, oranges and pinks; colours so vibrant that photos don’t do it justice. We shook out our anxiety of storms, wind holes and negative velocity made good to Bermuda with a sunset dance party to Shakedown Street by the Grateful Dead! Shout out to the Reilly fam who raised me on good music. You’ll be happy to know there’s also another Tab Benoit fan on board too!.
“It’s amazing how complete strangers can become so close after just few days at sea. We’ve been through a lot together over this short week: Sharing midnight stories, frustrating moments, hairy scenarios and plenty of sleep-deprived laughs and antics. It is also pretty awesome how people from across North America, from all different walks of life, can come together as a team when you’re all ‘stuck’ on a vessel with a shared purpose.”