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Hutchings confident about Spirit’s chances

skipper Preston Hutchings has high expectations ahead of Friday’s start of the Marion Bermuda Race.

Spirit of Bermuda

Hutchings, who has chartered the 118-foot triple masted sloop for the 645-mile ocean crossing from Buzzards Bay, Marion, Massachusetts to St David’s Head, along with Patrick McGee of Dallas, Texas, is gunning for line honours.

But standing in the way is the Andrews 68,

Shindig, that is also expected to be thick in the hunt.

Shindig is registered in the Founders Division and will be skippered by Michael Reney.

is the largest boat in the overall 38-boat fleet, some 44-feet longer than

Spirit of Bermuda

Shindig which is perhaps faster in some conditions.

Hutchings has already claimed line honours in the biennial race having done so with his modern 42-foot Swan,

Morgan’s Ghost, in 2007.

Last week saw the 94-foot Fife Ketch,

Belle Aventure, withdraw, leaving

Spirit of Bermuda as the sole entry in the new Classic Yacht Division.

“Their withdrawal is disappointing,” said local skipper Hutchings. “Nevertheless, we will have a safe and fun time sailing

Spirit to Bermuda and competing for the Blue Water Sailing Club Board of Governors’ Trophy.”

The Blue Water Sailing Club Governors’ Trophy is awarded to the yacht with the shortest elapsed time.

Hutchings will be joined onboard by a well-drilled crew that includes the brother of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and sons William and Alistair.

Flying the Island’s banner along with

Spirit of Bermuda is the 40-foot Hinckley,

Alice Kay, that is competing in the Founders Division.

Follow all the yachts in the Marion Bermuda Race with the Yellow Brick tracker programme available on the Marion Bermuda website (www.marionbermuda.com).

Since its inception in 1977, the Marion Bermuda Race has evolved into a premier ocean race and sailing event, appealing to a broad range of cruising and racing enthusiasts.

According to the organisers, “the spirit of the race is one focused on family and fun, and all yachts and crew are participating for the joy and pleasure of sailing, competition, and the camaraderie that accompanies such an offshore event. The race encourages the development of blue water sailing skills on seaworthy yachts that can be handled safely offshore with limited crew.”

The race is jointly hosted by Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (RHADC), Beverly Yacht Club (BYC) and Blue Water Sailing Club (BWSC).

“The Marion Bermuda Race is still orchestrated by many of the original members,” said RHADC Commodore Allan Williams. “Between the trustees and volunteers we have established great long lasting friendships and I believe it is this that has kept a unique focus and desire to sustain this event.”

Spirit of Bermuda on her arrival in New York City last week (Photo courtesy of Spirit of Bermuda facebook page)

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Published June 11, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm)

Hutchings confident about Spirit’s chances

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