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Astwood turns back clock with Nassau victory

Job done: Astwood, centre, enjoys the moment with his fellow crew aboard Raisin’ Cane

Glenn Astwood, the former Bermuda Olympic sailor, savoured the sweet taste of success at the Nassau Cup Ocean Race this month.

The experienced offshore sailor was among the victorious crew aboard Frank Atkinson’s J125, Raisin’ Cane, which seized line honours and was the fastest yacht in its class on corrected time.

Astwood and his colleagues thrived in the ideal racing conditions on offer, completing the 176-nautical mile race from Miami to Nassau in an elapsed time of one day, five hours and 45 minutes — on their third attempt at race glory.

“The first two years we got beat up a bit,” said Astwood, a former Tornado specialist. “But this year was obviously better than the previous two years.

“The conditions were very conducive for our boat. It was upwind, downwind, reaching — the whole spectrum, basically. We had breeze all the way up until probably about ten miles away from the finish, and then the breeze died a bit and it took us a while to get in.

“But, generally, we finished a lot quicker than we have done before.”

Astwood’s primary role on the boat was trimming the mainsheet.

“I was basically doing everything on the boat,” he said. “I started off at the start doing the main and done some driving, jib trimming and spinnaker trimming and basically telling them what sails we should be using.”

Astwood is quite familiar with the J125, which was once locally owned before American Atkinson purchased.

“It’s a new boat to the owner,” Astwood said. “It’s a boat that was sold out of Bermuda and a boat I used to race, so that’s why they have me come down to sail with them and show them how to sail the boat.

“I promised them I would come sail with them, so I have been going down there sailing with them once a year.

“They are sailing the boat a lot better and this year it was just our conditions.

“The J125s are awesome boats and are one of the best boats I have sailed in. They are really responsive, light and fast boats.”

The Nassau Cup Ocean Race is an invitational ocean race for ocean-racing monohull boats.