Over 40 yachts have expressed their interest in the Antigua Bermuda Race, organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week. The inaugural race coincides with the finish of the 50th edition of Antigua Sailing Week and the 35th America’s Cup event in Bermuda.
The Notice of Race for the Antigua Bermuda Race is now available:
A substantial fleet is expected from all around the world, ranging from magnificent superyachts and classic designs, to high performance multihulls, carbon fibre ocean greyhounds and production cruiser/racers.
The magnificent yacht Eleonora is already on the fast-growing list of yachts expected to compete in the race starting from Antigua on Friday 12th May, 2017. Eleonora is an exact replica of the schooner Westward.
Westward was launched on March 31, 1910 as hull number 692 at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. She was arguably one of the most famous and best known racing schooners in the world. She was designed by Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, the ‘Wizard of Bristol’, the designer of the America’s Cup defenders which turned back all six challenges from 1893 to 1920.
Westward was undoubtedly the fastest schooner in the world in 1910 and in the following years. With Captain Charlie Barr, who was one of the finest racing skippers in the world at her helm, she sailed successfully against racing yachts like Britannia, Lulworth, Meteor II, and won numerous trophies. For thirty seven years, Westward had graced the yachting scene and represented all that was best in yacht design and workmanship. Eleonora not only follows Westward’s heritage of big schooners racing but she also offers with her comfort and space unforgettable cruising and relaxation experience.
2017 is a special year for Mathew Barker, the owner of The Blue Peter, which was launched in 1930. Like Antigua Sailing Week, the British yachtsman based in Cannes, South of France will be celebrating his 50th year. Designed by Alfred Mylne and built in Burnham-on-Crouch, the original owner extended her by 10 feet in 1938 and the wooden sloop has been exactly preserved by Barker to that configuration – right down to the deck gear.
“The Blue Peter races extensively at classic regattas, has sailed across the Atlantic many times and competed in long passage races such as the RORC Caribbean 600, so she is already up to specification for the rigours of offshore racing,” explains Barker.
“We often take The Blue Peter to Bermuda when we are either arriving or leaving the Caribbean. Essentially we are going that way anyway and if there is a race in the offing, then we will do it! The Antigua Bermuda Race fits in perfectly with our plans and modus operandi. Leaving Antigua in early May is always special as it is effectively the end of the Caribbean season and everyone is in party mode.
“The adrenalin should be pumping at the start with an impressive fleet leaving the Caribbean. The first few miles are likely to be a good beat and then hopefully we will settle down to some nice fast-reaching to Bermuda. The Blue Peter is a very good sea boat; her high bow keeps us very dry and she is incredibly well balanced on her long keel, meaning you can steer with one finger, if you feel that way inclined. Once we are getting near the end of the race, we will be looking forward to arriving in Bermuda. It is a very beautiful island with incredibly welcoming people. Add the extra dimension of the America’s Cup into that and it will be an amazing month!,” exclaims Barker.
The Antigua Bermuda Race is open to yachts and multihulls with a minimum length of 40ft (12m) holding a valid IRC and/or CSA Rating Certificate or Superyacht rating. Dual scoring will be provided and a provision of a Motor Sailing Handicap will be overlaid for Cruiser Racers.
The Antigua Bermuda Race starts on Friday 12th May 2017 and is supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum. Competitors can be assured of a warm welcome in Bermuda and for more, including pre-registration of potential interest, please go to: www.antiguabermuda.com