Turnout for race shows ‘wide appeal’
Les Crane, the Antigua Bermuda Race chairman, is encouraged by the turnout for the inaugural ocean race and hopes that the event will become a permanent fixture on the offshore sailing calendar.
A total of 21-boats from nine nations have registered for the race which gets under way tomorrow near Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua.
“The variety of the fleet shows the wide appeal of the race and bodes well for the Antigua Bermuda Race to grow in future editions,” Crane said.
“The America's Cup in Bermuda has ignited interest in the race this year, however it is a well-known route for yachts leaving the Caribbean bound for the Eastern Seaboard of the United States as well as destination in Europe. Our intention is that the Antigua Bermuda Race will be an annual event, popular with a wide variety of yachts.”
Crane, a former Royal Bermuda Yacht Club commodore, is also competing in the race in his Farr 56, Monterey.
The race is open to monohull and multihull yachts that will be competing for class honours.
The US Merchant Marine's Volvo 70 Warrior and the Nigel Irens designed APC 78 catamaran Allegra are the fastest monohull and multihull competing while two 40-foot Pogo 12.50's, Hermes and Talanta, are the smallest yachts racing this year.
The largest yacht in the race is the majestic 162ft schooner Eleonora, an exact replica of the 1910 schooner Westward.
All yachts will be fitted with a YB tracker so that their progress can be monitored online.
The last few yachts were expected to complete registration prior to yesterday's Skippers' Briefing and Crew Party at the Copper & Lumber Store Hotel in Nelson's Dockyard.
The Antigua Bermuda Race is being organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
For more details visit www.antiguabermuda.com.