Spirit of Bermuda welcomed home
Spirit of Bermuda finished the Antigua Bermuda Race at about noon local time yesterday.
The 112ft three-masted schooner is owned by the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, the brainchild 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 public schools. Spirit of Bermuda will proudly serve VIP guests, watching the 35th America’s Cup.
Spirit, as she is fondly called, has sailed in the Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda Races before. This is her longest race to date at 935nm from Antigua to the Bermuda sea buoy.
Also finishing yesterday was another classic yacht, the 162ft schooner Eleonora, an exact replica of the 1910 Herreshoff-designed Westward which took Line Honours for the Classic Class, finishing the Antigua Bermuda Race just before sunset on Wednesday. Eleonora is one of the most famous and best-known racing schooners in the world and will remain in Bermuda for the duration of the 35th America’s Cup.
Freya, Californian Don Macpherson’s 90ft Swan, which is professionally captained by Bermudian Joph Carter, finished the race just after Eleonora and is presently second overall in both IRC and CSA.
Congratulations should also go to other yachts that finished the race, including John Marshall’s British Oyster 65, Rock Oyster; Ondeck’s Antiguan Farr 65, Spirit of Juno, skippered by Paul Jackson; Bermudian Carl Soares’s Paradise 60, Morning Star and Carlo Falcone’s classic Antiguan 1938 Alfred Mylne yawl, Mariella.
“Eighteen years ago, at exactly the same time, and from exactly the same place, Mariella was also heading to the America’s Cup venue; only difference being that instead of having to sail 1,000nm it was 8,000nm all the way to Auckland, New Zealand,” said Falcone’s son, Shannon who was part of Oracle Team USA, winners of the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.
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